Inca Inchi Nuts: A Potential Replacement Crop for Opium Among Subsistence Farmers in Kachin State

  •  Jem Lomethong    
  •  John Walsh    


The Kachin people of northern Myanmar have been fighting for independence for decades. To fund the political and military struggle, the growth and sale of opium has been used. However, narcotics usage has become a scourge in Kachin society as it has been around the world and there have been increasing attempts to eradicate growth and dampen demand. For opium eradication to be successful and sustainable, farmers must be provided with alternative crops that can provide a decent level of income an which are suitable for prevailing agricultural conditions. One possible such crop is the Inca Inchi nut that originally was found in upland South America. The nut provides a nutritious oil with many benefits to health and has been successfully marketed in the form of beverages, cosmetics and medicinal products. This case study considers the possibility of using Inca Inchi nuts across Kachin State as part of an extensive opium replacement programme.

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