An official from the Ministry of Commerce said that the ministry is educating bean growers in quality bean growing methods in order to address the quality limitations when exporting to the European market.
U Win Myint, director at the Ministry of Commerce, said that the EU included Myanmar in their Generalised System of Preferences (GSP), which gives Myanmar good export potential for its low-priced beans.
However, buyers are picky about farmland, growing techniques, fertiliser use, storage, and harvesting processes, so the ministry must educate growers to meet EU standards, he added.
“Right now we are not able to meet their standards. We are working to educate farmers about their standards before this bean harvest season. They have been informed of the quality control standards they will have to follow. We can guarantee that they will be able to sell their beans for a higher price if they grow with better methods,” said U Win Myint.
The ministry has already given training to growers from Thanlyin, Kyauktan, Thonekhwa and Kawa township in Yangon. The ministry said it will also provide training in central Myanmar, the main bean producing region.
Currently, exporters must clean beans with machines to meet EU standards, said U Min Ko Oo, secretary of Bean and Sesame Exporters Association.
“We expect to export 1,000 tonnes of beans to the EU market in the 2015-16 financial year. We have strong market in India with our normal quality beans, and we have been been exporting to India for almost twenty years. For the EU market, we have to try our best to meet their quality standards,” he said.
In 2014-15 financial year, 55.997 tonnes of various beans valued at $46.66 million were exported by sea and 13.367 tonne valued $2.78 million were exported via border trade, according to Ministry of Commerce data.