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Corn growers push for cultivation acreage increase on price rise

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Price rise prompted the corn growers in Minbu (Sagu) Township, Magway Region, to continue the corn season this year, the growers said.
The corn can be harvested after three months of cultivation. The retail price of corn is K200, and the corn is offered at K180 in the wholesale market. Systematic cultivation can result in a high yield. There are sweet corn, glutinous corn and pod corn. The pod is only for animal feed.
The corn needs moisture content. Irrigation is utilized for adequate soil moisture in the summer and winter growing seasons. The growers have to take special care in corn pollination and fertilization. Corn can be grown by broadcasting or planting the seeds in rows. Drip agriculture, spraying fertilizer and clearing weeds and grass are required to grow them successfully. Approximately 10,000 plants can be produced per acre. The high price encouraged the growers to extend the corn season, said U San Tun, a grower from Kyauktan village in Minbu Township.
The corn FOB price stood at US$345 per tonne during the pre-Thingyan period, according to the Yangon Region Chambers of Commerce and Industry (Bayintnaung).
The recent policy changes will not adversely influence the exports. An export licence is required for the exports of those items, including maize, starch, popcorn, seed, maize corn flour, cereal grains, millets, cereal groats, meal and pellets, buckwheat and canary seeds starting from 1 April 2022, according to a notification released by the Ministry of Commerce on 9 March 2022.
Nevertheless, the Foreign exchange earned by locals in Myanmar must be deposited in accounts at the authorized banks and exchanged for the local currency at the Central Bank of Myanmar’s reference rate of K1,850. The CBM’s move makes the traders face export hurdles, a trader from Mandalay said.
According to Myanmar Corn Industrial Association, as the corn traders are filling the inventory, trade is likely to go strong up to September. Presently, corn is highly demanded by foreign trade partners and domestic feed processing factories.
Myanmar exported 2.3 million tonnes of corns to foreign trade partners in the 2020-2021 financial year. The majority of them were sent to Thailand, and the rest went to China, India and Viet Nam. Currently, corn is cultivated in Shan, Kachin, Kayah and Kayin states and Mandalay, Sagaing and Magway regions.
Myanmar has three corn seasons- winter, summer and monsoon. The country yearly produces 2.5-3 million tonnes of corns. — Zeya, KK/GNLM

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