Myanmar farmers need stable exchange rate

Myanmar’s agricultural sector needs a stable exchange rate for the sake of the farmers who make up around 70 percent of the country’s population. Unstable exchange rates are currently troubling growers, causing input costs to rise in cultivation season, while lowering crop price in harvest season.
Agricultural machinery, quality seeds, chemical fertilizer and pesticides should be made available for farmers at reasonable prices. Agricultural loans must be effective for farmers. Nevertheless, modern agricultural technology is of the greatest importance to farmers in the long run.
Myanmar was a major rice exporter before World War II, exporting some 3.4 million tonnes in 1934. After decades of decline in paddy yields, Myanmar adopted the Special High Yielding Programme in 1977-1988. However, more efforts are still needed to lift paddy production to adequate levels for supplying the international market.
While farmers are being urged to grow more, they also need more aid programmes in the form of input items and technology. Myanmar has targeted 29.2 million tonnes of paddy for the 2015-2016 cultivation and harvest season.
Businesspersons or exporters need to consider the interests of farmers without monopolizing the paddy market by manipulating exchange rates. Farmers should not be underdogs in the agricultural sector. Mutual benefit is more appropriate than one-sided interest for the sustainable development of any industry.

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