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Jan 9, 2009 (DVB)-About 60 acres of bean plants were destroyed in Bago division’s Nyaung Lay Pin province when authorities opened the nearby floodgates, allegedly to force farmers to grow summer paddy on the land.
A local farmer from Pyun Tansar township told DVB yesterday that the plants were completely destroyed in the deluge.
"Our bean plants were doing so well until three days ago when water from the floodgates submerged the farmland and drowned the plants," he said.
The farmer said locals believed the authorities had deliberately flooded the fields because the farmers had ignored orders to grow summer paddy this year instead of the beans they usually grow.
"Farmers are assuming that the authorities deliberately opened the water gates because they think we will grow summer paddy as they asked us to when our bean crops are destroyed," the farmer said.
"After our farms were flooded, township administration officials came to see us and told us they would grow summer paddy themselves on those fields," he said.
"We didn’t want to have their people working on our farms, so we had to agree to grow summer paddy."
Authorities in Pyun Tansar were unavailable for comment.
Reporting by Naw Say Phaw