Since Myanmar is an agricultural country, the farmers play an instrumental role in keeping the people fed and the land peaceful.
To recognise the significance of agribusiness and rural peasantry, every 2nd day of March is celebrated as the Peasants’ Day. This is also an annual public holiday.
About 70% of the country’s population is involved in farming. The prosperity of the land depends on the contribution of those working on the land as over 60% of Myanmar’s Gross Domestic Product is being generated from agriculture.
Myanmar’s main agricultural product is rice and it is one of the biggest exporters of rice in Asia. In recent years, the crops and products grown in Myanmar have been diversified to ensure that the country is not too dependent on one particular crop.
Peasants’ Day also coincides with the military coup of 1962, when General Ne Win came to power.
The late junta leader kicked off “Myanmar’s way to socialism” and gave special attention to agriculture. Therefore, the day celebrating farmers is jointly celebrated with the beginning of Myanmar’s socialist era.
Farmers voiced their hardships and needs on this day through public conferences.
It was 1 January on which the Peasants’ Day took place originally. But it was later changed to 2 March. Some people imply that it was an attempt by the late General Ne Win to commemorate his legacy.
But many people still remember 2 March as the day Myanmar faced its first military coup and tumultuous years of General Ne Win’s reign.