Agro exports surge by $781 mln as of 19 February

The agricultural exports have touched a high of US$2.25 billion as of 19 February 2021 in the current financial year since 1 October 2020 on the back of strong global demand for agricultural products amid the coronavirus impacts.

The figures reflect a significant rise of $781.5 million this FY. According to the trade figures released by the Ministry of Commerce, the ago exports soared from $1.47 billion in the corresponding period of the 2019-2020 FY.

Myanmar’s agricultural exports rose regardless of the coronavirus’s impact on foreign demand for other export groups.

However, some ocean liners suspended cargo transport from Myanmar in recent days. The cargo transport will double or triple if we conduct the trade with small ships. It could harm the export sector somehow, according to Myanmar Mercantile Marine Development Association.

In the exports sector, the agriculture industry performed the best, accounting for over 22 per cent of overall exports. The agricultural industry’s chief export items are rice and broken rice, pulses and beans, and maize. 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. Sometimes, the export market remains uncertain due to unsteady global demand.

The country requires specific export plans for each agro product, as they are currently exported to external markets based upon supply and demand. Contract farming systems, the involvement of regional and state agriculture departments, exporters, traders, and some grower groups, are required to meet production targets, said an official from the Agriculture Department.

The Commerce Ministry is working to help farmers deal with challenges such as high input costs, procurement of pedigree seeds, high cultivation costs, and unpredictable weather conditions. — HH/GNLM

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