Myanmar rice exports could double by 2020

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rice bagA sector that employs over 70 per cent of the workforce and contributes 43 per cent to GDP, agriculture in Myanmar has become rightly placed in the center of crosshairs by the government and developmental organisations alike.

Such has been the focus that the Asian Development Bank (ADB) forecasts continued favourable policy reforms and funding could send Myanmar rice exports soaring, doubling in volume by 2020, and inching up to a stature reminiscent of when the country was once the world’s largest exporter of the agricultural commodity.

President Thein Sein’s reformist government has made the sector a focal point in policy shift by calling for conventional farming methods to be upgraded to mechanised ones, with a package of low-interest loans totaling $36 million formerly extended by the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) in May to do just this. A UN agency, the IFAD finances agricultural development projects primarily for food production in developing countries.

Myanmar, the poorest country in ASEAN by per capita GDP, faces numerous uphill battles in regaining the prominence of its agriculture sector’s glory days. Currently about 80 per cent of Myanmar’s rice mills are low-tech which means that a much higher percentage of rice is broken during the milling process, according to Thura Swiss, a Myanmar-based consultancy.

Another large obstacle is that rural farmers lack access to credit, which is needed to purchase better seeds and fertiliser.

Furthermore, agriculture infrastructure in the form of irrigation systems is starkly absence across Myanmar, and transport routes are in poor condition, making shipping timely and dangerous at times. To address this, the ADB linked up with International Enterprise (IE) Singapore in May 2013 to jointly launch a launch a public-private partnership (PPP) to target such infrastructure shortcomings.

According to ADB statistics, Myanmar’s total milled rice production was 10.60 million tonnes in 2011, an increase of 1.8 per cent from 2010.

In comparison, Thailand produced 20.48 million tonnes in 2011, up 1 per cent from 2010.

Myanmar’s nominal GDP was $50.62 billion in 2011, according to the CIA World Factbook.

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Reading Time: 2 minutes

A sector that employs over 70 per cent of the workforce and contributes 43 per cent to GDP, agriculture in Myanmar has become rightly placed in the center of crosshairs by the government and developmental organisations alike.

Reading Time: 2 minutes

rice bagA sector that employs over 70 per cent of the workforce and contributes 43 per cent to GDP, agriculture in Myanmar has become rightly placed in the center of crosshairs by the government and developmental organisations alike.

Such has been the focus that the Asian Development Bank (ADB) forecasts continued favourable policy reforms and funding could send Myanmar rice exports soaring, doubling in volume by 2020, and inching up to a stature reminiscent of when the country was once the world’s largest exporter of the agricultural commodity.

President Thein Sein’s reformist government has made the sector a focal point in policy shift by calling for conventional farming methods to be upgraded to mechanised ones, with a package of low-interest loans totaling $36 million formerly extended by the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) in May to do just this. A UN agency, the IFAD finances agricultural development projects primarily for food production in developing countries.

Myanmar, the poorest country in ASEAN by per capita GDP, faces numerous uphill battles in regaining the prominence of its agriculture sector’s glory days. Currently about 80 per cent of Myanmar’s rice mills are low-tech which means that a much higher percentage of rice is broken during the milling process, according to Thura Swiss, a Myanmar-based consultancy.

Another large obstacle is that rural farmers lack access to credit, which is needed to purchase better seeds and fertiliser.

Furthermore, agriculture infrastructure in the form of irrigation systems is starkly absence across Myanmar, and transport routes are in poor condition, making shipping timely and dangerous at times. To address this, the ADB linked up with International Enterprise (IE) Singapore in May 2013 to jointly launch a launch a public-private partnership (PPP) to target such infrastructure shortcomings.

According to ADB statistics, Myanmar’s total milled rice production was 10.60 million tonnes in 2011, an increase of 1.8 per cent from 2010.

In comparison, Thailand produced 20.48 million tonnes in 2011, up 1 per cent from 2010.

Myanmar’s nominal GDP was $50.62 billion in 2011, according to the CIA World Factbook.

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