High demand seen for Bago Region paddy

DSC 4004 Workers unloading sacks of rice from a ship in Yangon. Photo Phoe Khwar copy
Workers unloading sacks of rice from a ship in Yangon. 
Photo: Phoe Khwar

Newly-produced fresh paddy from northern Bago Region is in high demand, with daily purchase of 30,000 baskets, prompting Myanmar Rice Millers Association (MRMA) to call for effective combating illegal paddy export, said officials from MRMA.
“Even a single township can supply thousands of paddy baskets per day. More townships will be joining in the coming harvest season. Millers have to purchase tons of paddy. At that time, some paddies illegally flow out of the country through border trade routes. When that happens all the time, illegal export volume will reach to a peak level, which concerns us”, U Nay Lin Zin, general secretary of MRMA said.
Local low-grade paddy variety (Aemahta) is highly demanded. Fresh paddy fetches Ks650,000 per 100 baskets, whereas dried paddy is offered at around Ks750,000. Local millers cannot offer such a high price as they will surely not make profit in domestic market.
With excessive illegal paddy export, the country might face difficulties in reaching rice export target of 2.5 million in current fiscal year 2018-2019 tons, U Nay Lin Zin stressed.
Despite the country’s export restriction for paddy, China has demanded paddy at a good price for the past three years. Therefore, MRMA put forward its report to the Ministry of Commerce in 2017. Also, the government has instructed related officials to counter the illegal trade under the existing law. Nevertheless, that continues to happen, and asking millers to report again as those illegal trade might affect the revenue of the country in certain way, said U Nay Lin Zin.
Paddy can be freely traded within the country and so, its trading in the country’s territory cannot be regulated. This being so, there are many difficulties in tracking and tracing illicit paddy trade.
Illegal paddy export threatens milling operations, which might affect the whole supply chain, including rice mill jobs and rice products and related livestock industry. Local rice price will also rise in this situation. The growing illegal trade
will affect maintaining public trust and the efficiencies of
administrative mechanism. Additionally, that might lead to more problems in the value-added production industry, he added.
When monsoon paddy is harvested, merchants purchase them from Ayeyawady, Yangon, Bago, Mandalay and Sagaing regions to send them to border market. This could drastically affect the whole agricultural supply chain, said U Tin Aung, deputy chair of MRMA.
“China might have their own particular reason for paddy purchase when they can buy rice as much as they want. We cannot know what specific reason of direct paddy purchase China has”, he continued.
The MRMA will report those difficulties again at the meeting between Private Sector Development Committee led by Vice President (1) and private entrepreneurs.


By May Thet Hnin

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