Myanmar’s exports of agricultural products between 1 October and 1 November in the current fiscal year crossed US$264.47 million from $204.7 million in the corresponding period of the 2018-2019FY, which is an increase of $59.749 million, according to trade figures released by the Ministry of Commerce.
In the exports sector, the agriculture industry showed the best performance, along with the natural gas sector. The chief items of export in the agricultural sector were rice and broken rice, pulses, corn, and rubber. Fruits and vegetables, sesame, dried tea leaves, sugar, and other agro products were also exported 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 degradation in 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, 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, on its part, 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)