Home MMBIZ News Myanmar Sees Surging Foreign Engagement in Agro Sector

Myanmar Sees Surging Foreign Engagement in Agro Sector

Myanmar has seen rising foreign engagement in the development of its agricultural sector, in which foreign investment accounts for only 0.43 percent of the total FDI.
The International Fund for Agriculture Development (IFAD) recently granted $300,000 to Myanmar to carry out an agricultural development project. The 18-month project from October 2013 to March 2015 will be implemented in three villages of central Magway region.
The project will mainly focus on capacity building courses for rural development, workshops and demonstrations on development of agricultural and livestock sector. Civil society organisations and donors from home and abroad will be among those taking part in the project along with government departments.
IFAD is also cooperating with Myanmar for huge investment by private sector on required high technology and processing plants for export of agricultural produce including paddy to the international market.
Besides, Tony Blair Association will also provide necessary assistance for rural development and help Myanmar draft electrification and drinking water supply plan and comprehensive development plan.
Earlier this month, two companies from Myanmar and Japan vowed to cooperate in producing rice in Myanmar and then export them to third countries. The cooperation is to be made by Myanmar Agribusiness Public Corpo (MAPCO) and Japanese Mitsui Co Ltd under the name of Myanmar Japan Rice Industry Co Ltd (MJRI).
Mitsui will invest $100 million for producing quality rice in the country. Of the produced rice, 100,000 tonnes will be exported, while $5,000 tonnes will be sold in domestic market.
Mitsui will also provide technical aid for producing high-quality rice in the country.
Under an Integrated Rice Complex Project, a 50-tonne-capacity rice mill will be built in Twante township of Yangon.
Myanmar exported rice to Japan for the first time in May this year after a suspension of nearly 50 years.  
Vietnam-based Vina Capital will also join with MAPCO in Myanmar’s agricultural development.
According to a memorandum of understanding, integrated food and energy factories and advanced rice grinding and purifying mills will be set up in Yangon, Ayeyawady and Bago regions as well as Nay Pyi Taw.
Myanmar also signed an MoU with International Rice Research Institute (IRRI) recently on cooperation in development of Myanmar rice under Myanmar Rice Sector Development Strategy and Programme.
The government is also increasing agricultural loan to farmers to address their need of the injection of capital in the sector.
As of July 2013, foreign investment in Myanmar’s agricultural sector totalled $185.351 million in 10 projects.  
Myanmar exported 1.3 million tonnes of rice, gaining $544 million in 2012-13, up from 707,200 tonnes and $267.2 million respectively in the previous fiscal year, according to government statistics.

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