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More Villages Hit by Low Harvest Yields in Chin State

26 November 2012: An increasing number of villages in Chin State said their harvest yields this year have sharply fallen and will not last until mid 2013.

At least 19 villages in Thantlang Township will be running out of food early next year due to low yields from their subsistence farming.

A local farmer from Belhar, one of the worst affected villages, said he was not sure if his family would have enough rice for the next two months, adding: “Now we have just finished our harvest but we have got to start looking for food straight away.”

Subsistence farmers from Vomkua, Tluangram, Hmunhalh, Sialam, Ngalang, Lawngtlang and Lulpilung villages also said they are in imminent danger of facing food shortages in the near future, according to the Chinland Post.

Eleven villages of Zahnak village tracts said their harvests have come to a record low compared to the previous years due to unusual circumstances.

Rev. Hmet Kam, from Ruabuk village, told the Hakha Post that some families are now struggling for their daily meals because of their unsuccessful cultivation.

“Many villages along the Indian-Burma border are also affected by the low harvest yields this year. Their crops were growing well but got dried near the time of harvest,” added the Chin pastor.

Some Chin subsistence farmers claimed the unusual weather conditions had caused their crops fruitless while others blamed on excessive amount of ashes from cutting and burning of the forests.

Several villages across Chin State are still recovering from acute food shortages caused in late 2006 by a natural phenomenon called mautam.

In southern parts of Chin State, more than 40% of households were borrowing either food or money with interest, with majorities reporting in Kanpetlet, Mindat and Paletwa, according to an emergency food security assessment in Chin State in March 2012 by WFP (World Food Program).

The report also said 40% to 50% of households were reducing the number of meals per day in Mindat and Paletwa and almost 65% were reducing the quantity of food in Paletwa.

Van Biak Thang
[email protected]

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