Around 160,000-tonne sugarcane to be exported to China under opium substitution

sugarcane sskm
A worker cuts sugarcanes on a field in Nay Pyi Taw.  Photo: Aye Min Soe

Myanmar will deliver about 160,000 tonnes of sugarcane, which was cultivated as opium substitution, to China via the Chinshwehaw border, according to the Ministry of Commerce.
Shwe Aung Yadana Co Ltd and Evershine Lashio Co Ltd have been exporting sugarcane to China through the Chinshwehaw post. Those two companies will handle that export this year’s sugarcane season as well.
At present, two companies daily send 300 truckloads of sugarcane to China.
Sugarcane is cultivated in Kunlong, Hsenwi and Lashio townships in northern Shan State as an alternate crop replacing poppies. They are conveyed to Nanhwa sugar mill in Yunnan province, China through Chinshwehaw.
Earlier, a driver substitution system from a sugarcane depot in Chinshwehaw and short-haul driver service was practised in sugarcane exports to the sugar mills in China under the opium substitution programme.
Following the successful negotiations between the two countries regarding trade facilitation, Myanmar truck drivers can directly transport the sugarcane to the mill in China with a border pass. Sugarcane exports under opium substitution, therefore, go smoothly from the Chinshwehaw border.
Myanmar has exported 87,882 tonnes of sugarcane worth $4.454 million to China via the Chinshwehaw border in the 2022-2023FY so far.
Last FY2019-2020, the country pocketed $14.528 million from 290,576 tonnes of sugarcane. As per the statistics provided by the Agriculture Department in Lashio District, Myanmar’s sugarcane sowing acres under opium substitution were recorded the highest in 2021-2022 with 11,433 acres and 325,118 tonnes of sugarcane production.
Those sugarcanes were harvested in early December. The export is conducted between December and the first week of March.
Sugarcane is commonly found in the upper Sagaing Region, followed by the northern Shan State. It is also found in the western and eastern Bago Region, Yangon Region and Mandalay Region.
Approximately, 450,000 acres of sugarcane covers across the country this year, with an annual production of 450,000 tonnes of sugar. Sugar was conveyed to China and Vietnam in the past years beyond self-sufficiency. Now, it is only shipped to Vietnam, according to Myanmar Sugar and Sugarcane Related Products Association.
The sugarcane is grown in December-January. It can be harvested from November to February of the following years. The sugarcane growing rotation cycle lasts four years in Myanmar. — NN/EMM

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