YANGON, March 16 (Xinhua) -- Myanmar government has returned some 385 acres (156 hectares) of land out of 1,081 acres, confiscated by the Ministry of Defense, to 82 farmers in Tachileik, the country's eastern Shan state, Myanmar News Agency reported Friday.
Other 696 acres of such land have also been given back to the Shan state government.
Second Vice President U Henry Van Thio, who is also Chairman of the Central Committee for Scrutinizing Confiscated Farmlands, stressed the importance of improving the living standard of farmers and finding markets for agricultural products after the return of the confiscated land to farmers who make up 70 percent of the country's rural population.
He urged related departments to continue to work for returning the remaining confiscated land and preventing exploitation of farmers.
Myanmar saw a rice export of 3.2 million tons in the current fiscal year of 2017-18, a highest record in more than seven decades.
Earlier, Myanmar government had returned 622.48 acres of land, confiscated by the Ministry of Defense, to 356 farmers in Taunggyi, the capital of the country's Shan state, with 1,347 acres given back to the Shan state government.
Myanmar government has been taking measures since last year to return seized land to farmers, the original owners, across the country.
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, which brought about land disputes between the government, landowners and investors.
More than one month after taking office in April 2016, the new government voiced commitment to the speedy resolution of farmland confiscation issue and the prompt return of confiscated land to their lawful owners.