Agro exports cross $2.6 bln in current fiscal year

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Farmers unloading harvested corn from a vehicle before sales on market. Photo : Ko Htein (Ngathayauk)

Myanmar’s exports of agricultural products from 1 October to 5 July in the current fiscal year increased to over US$2.6 billion from $2.34 billion registered in the corresponding period of the 2017-2018FY, according to trade figures released by the Ministry of Commerce.
In the exports sector, the agriculture industry performed the best along with the natural gas sector. The chief items of export in the agricultural sector are rice and broken rice, pulses, corn, and rubber. Fruits and vegetables, sesame, dried tea leaves, sugar, and other agro products are also shipped to other countries.
Myanmar agro products are primarily exported to China, Singapore, Malaysia, the Philippines, Bangladesh, India, Indonesia, and Sri Lanka. But, the export market tends to be volatile due to unsteady global demand.
“Myanmar is faced with slower market information access, which sometimes poses obstacles in trade. Moreover, the country has poor logistics and warehouse infrastructure, which negatively affects the quality of fruits,” said an official from the Myanmar Fruit, Flower, and Vegetable Producer and Exporter Association.
U Ye Min Aung, the president of the Myanmar Rice Federation, said that quality control and food safety are key to export promotion. Therefore, good agriculture practices need to be fostered and developed, he said.
Additionally, the country requires a specific export plan for each agro product, as they are currently being exported to external markets based on supply and demand. A contract farming system, which includes the regional and state agricultural departments, exporters, traders, and some grower groups is required in order to meet the production target, said an official from the Agriculture Department.
Agricultural exports have not seen a remarkable increase in terms of trade value as China has been clamping down on illegal goods since the second week of October, 2018.
The Commerce Ministry is working to help farmers deal with challenges involving high input costs, procurement of pedigree seeds, high cultivation costs, and erratic weather conditions.—Ko Htet
(Translated by EMM)

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