Rice inflation causing food insecurity in Nanyun town in the Naga self-administered region

Local people say that the price of rice has dramatically increased in Nanyun town in the Naga self-administered region in Sagaing Region. The cost of rice in Nanyun town has increased by approximately 55 percent since March.

Since March the cost of a bag of Paw San Mwe rice has increased from 70,000 Kyat to 110,000 Kyat; and the cost of a bag of Ngwe Toe rice has increased from 65,000 Kyat to 105,000 Kyat. Even the lowest-quality rice now costs approximately 95,000 Kyat per bag.

“The main cause of the price rise is the difficulty of transporting rice from central Burma to Nanyun. It now takes two or three days to travel from Tanai to Nanyun. Another reason is that the cost of rice in central Burma has increased. Local people in Nanyun are having a hard time affording the new prices. We do not have any choice but to buy rice with a high price,” a Nanyun resident told KNG.

Typically local people depend rice grown on their rotational farms, but last year the rice yields on local rotational farms was low. This year local people need to buy rice from central Burma.

“If the yield on our rotational farm is not good, we have to buy rice from central Burma. Before the military coup, the rice price in Nanyun was about 45,000 Kyat per bag. Now the cost of rice has increased dramatically,” the local man told KNG.

The economy in Nanyun town and the surrounding area is not highly economic developed. There are few job opportunities for local people. Local people are mainly farmers and grow rice on their rotational farms for their household consumption. Many households have few external sources of income. This is why local people cannot afford to buy rice are market prices when the price increases quickly.

Most of the rice, basic food products and household goods brought into Nanyun are transported from Myitkyina to Tanai to Shinbwe Yang then on to Nanyun. The between distance between Shinbwe Yang and Nanyun is approximately 40 miles, but during the wet season it can take a truck seven days to complete the trip.

Nanyun Township has more than 60 village-tracts and more than 100 villages. There are nearly 10,000 families living in Nanyun Township.

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