Economy

Farmers and Loan Money “Amadaw Kyay” Under BSPP

Daw May Myo Khine, 49 years old, who once lived in Sittwe, capital of Rakhine, and whose grandfather and father owned many rice farms explained that under the Burmese Socialist Programme Party, some farmers grew two different kinds of rice. They grew low quality rice, which they would sell to the government at the prescribed price and good quality variety, which they would eat themselves. The government gave farmers loans called “Amadaw Kyay”  for growing rice. In return, the farmers had to sell the harvested rice to the government.

Unusual terms used to refer rice under BSPP

There existed unusual terms used to refer certain types of rice during the BSPP government. Here are three examples. U Myo Win Than is a 55 years old Burmese man who used to live in Myittha, Kyaukse district, Mandalay.

He explained that “Yar Kyaw Sa Par” refers to the variety which exceeds a hundred tinns (Burmese unit of volume measurement that equals to 40.9148 L) per acre when harvested.

Hunger: "We want rice, we don't want cash!"

This haiku encapsulates my impression of the debate titled 'Cash or kind transfer? The regional, national and global dimensions of revamping the Public Distribution System' facilitated by Augustin Brutus, a scholar activist (Intercultural Network for Development and Peace) and post-doctoral scholar at IFP, Nithya Joseph, at the Pondicherry workshop.  The participants included Sudha Sundaraman, of the AIDWA (All Democratic Women's Association) and members of the local women's group SAMAM (Samam Makalir Suyasarbu Iyakkam).

Rice, Women and Local Economy: Rethinking Covid-19 Consequences

The images are from Kokrajhar Town bi- weekly market. Every Thursday and Sunday people living in and around the District Headquarter of Kokrajhar in the BTC (Bodo Territorial Council) area visit the main market when the bi-weekly bazaar takes place. The bazaar is a huge affair where assorted items are sold and bought, and contribute to the local economy. From direct producers-to-middlemen-to-whole salers of innumerable products partake in the commercial exchanges here. There are dedicated lanes and by-lanes within the market area for different items sold.

A Lemon for €1

Lemon is a fruit and a small shrub that grows 5 to 10 meters high. It has many benefits, culinary and therapeutic. I like to squeeze a lemon daily when I take tea. On my visit to Leiden, The Netherlands, I bought a lemon at a Saturday Market – one lemon for one Euro - in July 2019.

“A lemon for one Euro” -  It was a high price but it made me think about the two different worlds – one in the south, Mali, where I live and a developing region, and the other in the north- the developed region.

Trades of a Town: Tendu Patta

Madhya Pradesh is India’s leading tendu leaf producing state. Used primarily to make Beedi , this valuable forest produce has a history of control and ownership over the years. Piyush Kothari (63), a local tendu merchant based in Pipariya, talks about the changes in the trade and how the town’s proximity to nearby forest tracts made it suitable for the early traders. Excerpts from our recorded conversation (December 2017):   

Saturday Market

The setting of the Saturday Market is a completely different image from the other local shops during the weekdays. It opens twice a week - a small one on Wednesdays, and the main one on Saturdays from 8:00 am to 5:00 pm. It is full of products from local and as well as non-Ducth origin (e.g Mabroek). The uniqueness of the market makes people visit it and makes the experience worthwhile. People come not only to shop but also to relax, to enjoy their Saturdays with family and friends.

Multiple Currency Transactions among Traders along the Togo/Benin Border

The traders here accept all the three West African Currencies for transactions (CFA, Niara, Ghana Cedis). Irrespective of whichever currency a buyer offers, the shopkeepers are able to convert and give change when required. It is interesting how they (shopkeepers) are not limited in anyway among themselves despite the physical border restrictions.

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