Rice is a staple food in Myanmar and farmers primarily grow paddy through irrigation and river water pumping. There are 15 million acres of monsoon paddy and two million acres of summer paddy on average across the country annually.
The low-grade paddy was priced at only K500,000 per 100 baskets as of 2020. Therefore, the authorities set the floor price for 2020 monsoon paddy at K500,000 per 100 baskets (a basket equals 46 pounds).
The floor prices for summer and monsoon paddies were around K300,000. In 2021, the floor price of monsoon paddy was hiked to over K600,000 per 100 baskets (with a basket weighing 50 pounds). Thereafter, monsoon paddy prices surged to over K1 million in the middle of the year.
This year, some low-grade paddies were valued at K1.3 million when the floor price was set above K1 million per 100 baskets during the 2022 monsoon paddy season. The supply of paddy is low at the farm when the price is pretty high. Pawsan paddy prices jumped from K1.4 to 1.5 million in the delta regions.
Monsoon paddy cultivation does not need fuel to pump the water as rainwater is utilized. Although the fertilizer price is expensive, it is less consumed in monsoon paddy cultivation.
Nowadays, harvesters and dryers are used amid the shortage of human resources. Drying paddies under the sun along the roads are still witnessed.
This year, the monsoon paddy cultivation is not affected by the flood impacts. Regardless of the heavy rain, it does not cause extreme losses.
The monsoon paddy was grown with a broadcasting method and approximately 70 baskets of monsoon paddy were produced per acre. The farmers of monsoon paddy this year earn a handsome profit according to the high price of new paddy.
Those farmers working with many farms on a large scale keep the stocks in hand to sell them in mid-year in hope of a price increase. High profitability might prompt the farmers to execute paddy cultivation.
After the harvest of 2022 monsoon paddy, summer paddy, bean and chilli pepper are grown in the delta regions under the mixed cropping system, according to the water access and land condition.
Prior to the growing season, the prices of three summer crops grown under a multi-cropping system doubled this year compared to those registered in late 2021.
The prices are expected to inch higher in early 2023.
The probability of price increases has become a driving force in the agriculture sector. The outputs of paddy, bean and chilli peppers are expected to increase in the upcoming harvest season.
The price of 2022 summer onions produced mainly by central Myanmar regions (Mandalay, Magway and Sagaing) hit the highest K4,600 per viss (large size) in history in November. Prior to 2022, the large size of onions fetched K3,700 in maximum in late 2015.
The figures indicated an increase of K900 from the previous record price.
When newly harvested summer onions enter, the prices are usually under K1,000 per viss. The highest price is onlyK600.
The cultivation cost was only K600 per viss in early 2022. The price went on an upward spiral in mid-2022. It rallied to K3,800 per viss in September and K4,600 in November.
Those traders who kept the stocks in hand and some growers earned a great profit this year. Among summer onion growers, those who sold the onions in summer gain low profit. Yet, the high price pushed them to grow the onions earlier than usual and managed to avoid the heavy rain’s impact. Monsoon onion growers are likely to receive a high price at the end of 2022.
Following the increase in agricultural input cost, cultivation cost significantly jumped from K2.5 to K7 million per acre with a production capacity of 4,000 visses of potatoes.
As a result of this, potato prices increased from K600-K700 to K1,500-K1,600 per viss. The price inflated to K2,500 per viss in Yangon markets. This month (Nov), the prices moved in the range between K1,500 and K2,000 per viss. The price has not fallen below K1,000 per viss as before.
The price of garlic from Shan State edged up to K3,000-K4,000 per viss depending on the size at the harvest time. The prices stood at K2,000 per viss in the previous years.
Among kitchen groceries, the price of new chilli pepper produced from mid-2022 is three times higher than that of the year-ago period. The wholesale price was K4,000-K5,000 per viss in the previous years. This year, it rocketed to K15,000-K30,000 per viss.
The prices of edible oil crops (peanut, sesame and sunflower) edged up in mid-2022, with K7,000 per viss of peanut, K90,000 per basket of sesame seeds and K150,000 per basket (27 visses) of sunflower. The prices of black gram and pigeon peas also went up to K2.1 million per tonne.
In early November 2022, the price of black gram stood at K1.8 million per tonne while pigeon peas fetched K1.9 million per tonne. The chickpea price is approximately K4,000 per viss in the wholesale market.