Boosting Productivity and Economic Driving Force of Myanmar

  • Ti Kyi Maung

A cultivator reaps paddy in the plantation.

Agriculture is the main industry in Myanmar, and rice remains one of the most crucial agricultural commodities of the country. The production of crops including pulses, beans, sesame, groundnuts, sugarcane, tobacco, sunflower, maize, jute, wheat and fish has increased due to supportive government policies as well as favorable market forces.

An agro-based nation
Myanmar is an agro-based nation, comprising of 70 percent of rural populace are paddy-growers. The country possesses a vast area of arable land for growing and creeks, ponds, rivers and shallow part of sea for breeding fish and prawns. Provided that agriculture and breeding can be implemented effectively within 4-5 months, we can depend upon these sectors for national export.
What we mainly need is subvention, techniques and markets. In the past people had ever experienced of rapid plunge of paddy prices. But as the government managed to open markets by linking with other countries, it caused paddy prices to recover into the normal stage.
Farmers raise livestock for both food and labour purposes. This includes cattle, buffalo, goats, sheep, oxen, chicken and others while most cattle are raised throughout the country.

Agricultural Sector
Agriculture can provides a majority of the employment and income in Myanmar and it includes crop production, hunting, fishing and forestry are responsible for much of the income and employment in the country.
Agriculture including crop production, hunting, fishing, and forestry, is regarded the mainstay of the Myanmar’s economy. The country produces enough food to feed its entire population.
Rice is the most important agricultural commodity of Myanmar and the crop is cultivated along the river valleys, coastal areas, and delta areas. A wide variety of crops are cultivated in the northern part of Myanmar and rubber and other commercially useful products are cultivated in the lower part of the country.

Economic Liberalization
Thanks to economic liberalization, economic growths have improved to some extent. Under the new economic system, the government distributed land among the landless, improved irrigation facilities, and increased the prices of paddy which the government procures from the farmers. Some private activity in the export sector has been allowed since the years of economic liberalization. As a result, the outcome of the agricultural sector in the GDP has gone up.
In order to maintain the steady flow of economy, systematic plans are needed to shape the economic development by encouraging SMEs in the long run. With the increasing amount of import substitutes, commodity prices will decrease and citizens will have more job opportunities at the same time.

Fishery Sector
Myanmar is rich in vast fishery resources in its coastal waters, rivers and inland lakes.Myanmar’s re-emergence in the world of commerce offers exciting opportunities to address the issues of sustainability and conservation, as well as to boost its export potential.
According to data provided by the Department of Fishery, the country has earned US$535 million through the export of marine products in the 2017-2018 fiscal years.
Myanmar’s fishery products are exported to many countries including China, Hong Kong, Japan, Korea, the Middle East, Europe and the United States.
Fishery exports are expected to generate some $1,000 in the 2018-2019 fiscal years, if the government and businesses cooperate to increase productivity, as well as the product quality. With the aim of producing enough for the consumers and increasing exports, the Department of Fishery is supporting the livestock sector by providing technology, investments and other equipment to fish and shrimp breeders, in cooperation with the Myanmar Fisheries Federation Association. The fishery sector is regarded as very crucial stage whichcan contribute to domestic consumption, as well as generation of national income.

Increase the productivity of fishery products
All possible ways and means should be used to increase the productivity of value-added fishery products,such as local dried fish businesses, and encourage the establishment of canneries and fish-ball factories across the nation. It can help Myanmar achieve the desired export earnings from marine products. The fishery sector plays an important role for the social and economic development of the country.

Stable Economic Development
In bringing about the stable economic development of a country, sustainable provision of supports for the development of small businesses from the private sector is essentially needed to be done while building up the economic enterprises. In economy, small productive industries are the most fundamental ones, increasing per capita income.
There are various kinds of spheres for economic in Myanmar. It is essential to constantly monitor conditions of small businesses from the public economic sector and simultaneously to encourage them. It is because a nation’s economic development is directly proportional to the development of SMEs.
The requirement for the betterment of economy is for export products to become strong and imported goods to be reduced. The country is still relying upon imports of commodities of small value, not to mention heavy commodities. As it is, products of SMEs are finding it difficult to penetrate promising markets.
Imports from foreign countries are presently occupying in the markets. That is attributed to their quality, reasonable prices and availability of adequate amount as much as what the people demand. Moreover, region-originated institutions need to monitor and help their needs for the development of SMEs whereas businessmen and entrepreneurs as well are required to try their best to penetrate the whole market, without looking at their personal interests only.
In any economic, political or administrative system, only a solid foundation can support the emergence of strong infrastructures. In a democratic nation, the people play an important role, being the very basic foundation of human society.
There are still many challenges in various sectors on the path of economic development in the country. But there are some positive signs such as a gradual ease of doing business in Myanmar and consequently the attention given to the private sector which can boost the economic development. Even though Myanmar has numerous challenges, private sector development is the main driving force behind the national economic growth.

Translated by Win Ko Ko Aung

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