The Myanmar Organic Association said it plans to work with Japanese firm EM Company to promote organic farming in Myanmar.
The plan is in response to growing demand for organic products in the international market, which Myanmar is poised to enter if it can increase investment and value-added capacity in the country’s large agriculture sector.
Local farmers have formed a temporary association for comprehensive development in the organic farming industry, which will cooperate with the Japanese firm, which has extensive knowledge and technical skill in organic techniques, U Hnin Oo, spokesperson of the association, said.
Currently, the local base practicing organic farming is too small to even meet local demand. The association will help local individuals interested in introducing organic farming techniques and incorporating new technology into their practices so that they can gain international accreditation, to quench demand both domestically and internationally.
Even though the forming of an association and a partnership with EM Company will bring great value to the organic farming industry, more support is needed from the government to ensure its competitiveness and success.
“Locals who want to introduce organic farming techniques do not have enough land, while those who have land are not interested in the practice. So the government should provide organic farmers with land and funding,” said U Hnin Oo.
Myanma Agricultural Enterprise has issued internationally accepted accreditations to only 43 farmers, while Myanmar only has 1,500 acres of organic rice fields.
“If we introduce organic farming methods and receive international accreditation, we will have better export options. But for success, we will also need to address the issues of land and capital,” a farmer from Hlegu township in Yangon said.