Agro exports touch $1 bln in current FY

Workers gathering and scooping unhusked rice into sacks at their farm in Ayeyawaddy Region.   Photo: Phoe Khwar
Workers gathering and scooping unhusked rice into sacks at their farm in Ayeyawaddy Region.  Photo: Phoe Khwar

Myanmar’s exports of agricultural products between 1 October and 17 January in the 2019-2020 financial year rose to US$1 billion from $940 million in the corresponding period of the 2018-2019FY, which reflects an increase of $141 million, according to trade figures released by the Ministry of Commerce.
In the export 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 exported to other countries.
Myanmar primarily exports agro products to China, Singapore, Malaysia, the Philippines, Bangladesh, India, Indonesia, and Sri Lanka. However, the export market remains uncertain due to unsteady global demand.
According to the Myanmar Rice Federation, quality control and food safety are key to the promotion of exports. Therefore, improved agricultural practices need to be developed.
Additionally, 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, and involvement of regional and state agriculture departments, exporters, traders, and some grower groups are required in order to meet production targets, said an official from the Agriculture Department.
Myanmar faces slower access to market information, which sometimes poses obstacles in the market, said officials.
The Commerce Ministry is working to help farmers deal with challenges, such as high input costs, procurement of pedigree seeds, high cultivation costs, and erratic weather conditions. —Ko Htet (Translated by Ei Myat Mon)

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