Rice farmers in Myanmar are gathering to put their rice up for auction in December with fixed floor prices, said U Thein Aung, chair of Free Farmers Association.
“We are trying to create a market by rallying farmers. Every farmer in Myanmar will be invited,” he said.
By selling rice through auctions to local and foreign companies the farmers hope to avoid facing the price dropduring every harvesting season and earn greater income.
“Farmers cannot possibly get higher prices even if they hold auctions themselves as the market is controlled by those who have money,” said a trader.
The agriculture sector, which provides livelihood for 70 percent of the population, most of whom are rice farmers, needs to be modernised, said U Chit Khaing, chair of Myanmar Rice Federation, adding that farmers should plant quality varieties suitable for foreign exports to increase income.
“Only high quality rice can garner high profits. For that purpose, rice trading companies should request farmers to grow the variety that can sell and provide resources to farmers if necessary. Also the traders should not give low prices during harvest season. Then mutual benefits can be ensured,” he explained.
Rice farmers from Ayeyarwaddy and Bago regions will primarily participate in the rice auction slated to be held in December while interested farmers from around the country can also join, U Thein Aung said.