Agro exports up $466 mln as of 12 June

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Myanmar has seen a surge in agricultural export between 1 October and 12 June this year. Photo: Phoe Khwar

Myanmar’s exports of agricultural products between 1 October and 12 June in the current financial year 2019-2020 increased to over US$2.9 billion from $2.4 billion in the corresponding period of the 2018-2019 FY, according to the trade figures released by the Ministry of Commerce.
Over the past eight months, the export figures reflect an increase of $466 million against a-year ago period.
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. However, the export market remains uncertain due to unsteady global demand.
Myanmar faces slower access to market information, which sometimes poses obstacles in the market. Moreover, the country has poor logistics and warehouse infrastructure, which leads to degrading of the quality of fruits, said an official from the Myanmar Fruit, Flower and Vegetable Producer and Exporter Association (MFVP).
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, the 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. 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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