A Century of Rice Improvement in Burma by U Khin Win

By U Khin Win

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The indiscriminate slaughter of cattle during the war caused a shortage of work animals. Under these circumstances, the target set in the plan proved to be very ambitious. The target for sown area was reset in the Agricultural and Rural Development Five-Year Plan, but recovery of the area followed the same slow pace, indicating that the same problems persisted. Yield and production During the war years, yield declined appreciably, but it recovered slowly and reached the prewar level in 1958. The decline in yield was due to the unstable political conditions in the rural areas.

After this take-off period, production rose rapidly, especially at the close of the 19th century. 5 million t in 1910, after which the rate of growth slowed down. (For annual rice production data, see Appendix I). During this era, rice production growth was remarkable, but growth between 1885 and 1910 was most distinct and significant. Such a rapid rise in production growth was the result of many factors having differential impacts— some beneficial and some detrimental-onthe various segments of the population.

With time, the relationship between landlords and tenants deteriorated to the extent that the government had to seriously consider tenancy legislation to provide tenants reasonable security of tenure and fair rent. It was proposed that no land rent should exceed 25% of the produce. The Tenancy Act was passed in 1939, but the concept of a fair rent proved too impractical to institute. Further attempts to correct these deficiencies did not materialize due to the outbreak of World War II. Draft cattle Draft cattle served as the main source of power in rice cultivation.

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