Officials from the Myanmar Rice Federation (MRF) have appealed for an improvement in the rice sector at a meeting between Vice President and entrepreneurs on 2 April.
Last year, a decision was taken to set up an agribusiness service centre in 33 townships. “The government should issue notification letters to facilitate loans from the China EXIM Bank,” said U Ye Min Aung, Secretary of MRF.
The centre will provide services such as the sale of pedigree seeds, fertilisers and machinery for land restoration, crop drying and storage services. The centre will also provide technical assistance and contract farming services. The agribusiness service centre will be constructed in the Yangon, Ayeyawady, Bago and Mandalay regions, and Mon, Kayin and Shan states and Nay Pyi Taw. To implement these projects, the Myanmar Agribusiness Public Corporation, MRF and the China International Trust Investment Corporation Group, China’s state-run investment company, signed a memorandum of understanding in Nay Pyi Taw in July 2017. They have already submitted a proposal to obtain a US$400-million loan to implement the projects.
A drying and storage centre will be constructed in 10 states and regions to produce high-quality rice and sell them at a high price. The MRF also appealed for a fund of Ks15 billion from the Ks60-billion SME loans kept aside for the rice sector in 2018 to implement the activities.
“The storage centre can store rice and beans, depending on the season. The local farmers will be able to receive higher prices for their crops if they have storage facilities, as they will not be compelled to sell their crops due to the lack of a storage centre. Some of the local farmers said the rice traders were purchasing their products at low prices. Therefore, we request the government takes up this issue as a priority,” said U Ye Min Aung. The drying and storage centre will be set up in 10 states and regions, barring Chin State, the Taninthayi Region and Nay Pyi Taw. The MRF requested the Department of Agricultural Research to provide more breeder and foundation seeds, which are long and slender. The MRF also invited private entrepreneurs to cooperate in the production of good quality rice.
Moreover, the MRF has requested a loan from the bank, according to bank procedures, by paying land registration No. 7, to prevent illegal rice trading through the border gate.
“We have requested the government to clamp down on illegal rice trading. The country will incur tax losses if illegal rice trading continues,” said U Ye Min Aung. Myanmar exported 3.2 million tonnes of rice, as of 19 March. Myanmar has also intended to export four million tonnes in 2020. Further, it plans to increase rice exports to new markets.
By May Thet Hnin