The Myanmar government has returned 4,932 acres (1,997 hectares) more of farmland, confiscated by the Ministry of Defense, to 528 farmers in Kanbalu district, Sagaing region, marking the largest amount of land returned over the last two months, Myanmar News Agency reported Thursday.
A ceremony to return the land to the farmers was held on Wednesday in Kanbalu, attended by Second Vice President U Henry Van Thio, who is also chairman of the Central Committee for Scrutinizing Confiscated Farmlands.
U Henry Van Thio said the government is working to establish contract farming for farmers to grow, package and trade their produce.
By so doing, he said, farmers will no longer need to sell their land for money but can maintain their fields for generations to come.
Myanmar government has been taking measures to return seized land to farmers, the original owners.
As of March this year, hundreds of hectares of confiscated land in Yangon, Mandalay and Ayeyawaddy regions as well as in Shan and Kayin states and Nay Pyi Taw Council area were handed back to their original owners.
During the tenure of the former government, private companies and government departments were allowed to confiscate land, including farmland, in accordance with the 2012 Farmland Law under the pretext of urbanization and industrialization.
However, land dispute occurred between the government, landowners and investors over ownership.
About one month after taking office in April 2016, the new government voiced commitment to the speedy resolution of farmland confiscation issue and for the prompt return of abandoned land to their lawful owners.