Myanmar ready to export rice if ROK sends purchase proposal

Myanmar is willing to sell rice if the Republic of Korea delivered the purchase proposals for the emergency reserves to Myanmar, said U Ye Min Aung, president of Myanmar Rice Federation (MRF).
To maintain the price stability and build food security for the possible natural disaster, the government of ROK will start the annual purchase of rice for the emergency reserves in the third week of September.
Under the plan, Korea will purchase 340,000 tonnes of rice for the reserves by the end of this year, along with 10,000 tonnes for foreign aid, according to the Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs of Korea.
However, Myanmar has not received any official letter regarding rice purchase, he added.
“There is no official negotiation regarding this matter yet. We are ready to export rice if they want as the country has been shipping rice to external markets, beyond self-sufficiency. Therefore, we see no difficulty in that,” he added.
Korea’s emergency reserve system is designed to store staple grains as a contingency against natural disasters or other food supply crises.
The Korean government purchases typically around 17 to 18 per cent of the annual consumption amount (2-month food security).
The government plans to provide an advance payment of 30,000 won (US$25.2) per 40-kilogramme sack of rice and cover the remaining amount by the end of this year.
The ROK has not yet set this year’s price. A sack of rice fetched 65,750 won in 2019.
Moreover, they also purchase the rice for foreign aid under the ASEAN Plus Three Emergency Rice Reserve project, which is aimed at safeguarding the food security in case of emergencies, such as floods and droughts.
“They prefer sticky rice. However, we do not know which rice varieties they will purchase during the COVID-19 crisis. The Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs of Korea will issue further detail soon. They normally buy the rice from Viet Nam and Thailand,” said the MRF president.
Since 2017, the Republic of Korea has donated rice to Myanmar, Cambodia, Viet Nam, Laos and the Philippines in humanitarian aid under the programme.
The ROK helped Myanmar for agricultural mechanization by providing technical assistance and farm machinery. Myanmar and Korea have expanded cooperation on agriculture, and it plays a pivotal role in Myanmar agricultural sector, he remarked.(Translated by Ei Myat Mon)

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