As evidence that no one was coerced he gave the example of 12 people who he said still haven't agreed to hand over around 100 acres. "We say please and are very gentle," he said.
Zay Thiha predicts, ambitiously, that the 2,500 acre industrial zone alone could create 1.5 million stable jobs in Southeast Asia's poorest country, but few farmers see a place for themselves or their children in that bright, industrial future.
Kyaw Sein, 62, is the son of farmers and his sons are farmers.
"We can't do anything except farm," he said. He said he agreed to accept 300,000 kyat per acre from Zaykabar in 2010 because he saw what happened to his neighbors in 1997.
"They lost their farms totally and didn't get anything," he said. "Anything is better than nothing."
Additional reporting by Associated Press writer Yadana Htun in Yangon.
Follow Erika Kinetz on Twitter at www.twitter.com/ekinetz
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