Only one-third of the banana tissue culture farms are still in Myitkyina and Waimaw townships after many of the Chinese who invested in these farms have withdrawn in the last two years.
According to a member of the Kachin State Crops Association, Chinese entrepreneurs who paid for 30-year leases to cultivate banana crops in Kachin State have lost a lot of money due to the pandemic and political unrest following the coup.
It’s time to plant, but many farms are lying fallow this year, one man told KNG on condition of anonymity. “I think some of them will return to Kachin State, but they are waiting to see what happens with the political situation and with COVID-19.”
A company in Wei Moe invited 11 Chinese businessmen to invest in tissue culture banana plantations, however, 8 eight people who had agreed to return to Kachin State have not yet done so.
Some of the 33 Burmese companies that had signed a joint venture with Chinese companies to grow banana tissue have continued cultivation without them.
According to a business owner in Waimaw, many Chinese who invested money in leasing land have lost it after the cost of labour and fertiliser increased and they can no longer export their product to China due to strict border controls and closures from 2021 to 2022.
“Almost all the companies have left Tarlaw Gyi Township. There are probably only one or two left. The workers have also all returned to their villages,” a resident of Tarlaw Gyi village told KNG, asking that his name not be published.
Many of the farms are located in Tarlaw Gyi, Mang Weing, Lor Hser, Waingmaw, Shwe Nyaung Pin in Myitkyina and Waingmaw townships and along the route from Bhamo to Myitkyina.
The farms, which cover tens of thousands of acres in Kachin State, were established in the 2006-2007 fiscal year under a poppy replacement programme.