Highlights

  • Myanmar and Japan cooperate to produce quality rice amid shortage.
  • Myanmar and Japan to work on a 5 year long project to produce quality rice seeds.
  • Myanmar is aiming to export 2 Million Metric Tonnes (MMT) of rice in 2017-18.
  • Myanmar trying to restore its former position as a chief rice exporter in ASEAN.

Myanmar Deputy Permanent Secretary of Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock and Irrigation Mr. U Myo Tint Tun said, Myanmar and Japan will cooperate to produce quality rice seeds under a local project.

Food Show IndiaThe 5 year long project starting from September 2017 to February 2023 is a result of shortage of quality rice seeds in Myanmar. The country has the paddy acreage of 17 million acres, a large swathe of which is unable to yield quality produce owing to non-conducive weather conditions and poorly managed infrastructure. The project would utilise production across 26 townships in the Ayeyarwady Region and across 7 townships in the Sagaing Region. “The project is mainly to fulfill quality rice seed requirements and it will be implemented in cooperation with Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA),” Mr. Tint Tun informed.

Myanmar is aiming to export 2 Million Metric Tonnes (MMT) of rice in 2017-18 while trying to restore its former position as a chief rice exporter in ASEAN. According to the Myanmar Rice Federation, Myanmar exports between 1.5 to 2 MMT of rice currently. According to a rice mill owner, there are difficulties in meeting the market’s requirements on quality, price and volume. For the varieties that do meet export standards, difficulties arise in meeting the demanded quantities, owing to the poor infrastructure of the country. The Agricultural Research Department has not been able to produce enough quality seeds despite the country’s ample amount of harvestable fields, lamented the rice miller. Moreover since the domestic price is higher than the foreign price, most buyers resort to importing rice from China, rued a rice miller, Mr. Ko Nay Soe.

JICA will provide R&D on a project with Myanmar’s Agricultural Research Department on the production, multiplication, distribution and promotion of new quality rice seeds. The project will include the upgrading of existing seed gardens and construction of Japanese technology laboratories to test and inspect the rice quality. The project will first be implemented in ministry-owned quality seed gardens and would benefit rice farmers, traders and foreign investors on completion.

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