header-pulses-cea

1. The Problem

After decades of military dictatorship, hopes of a fast and inclusive democratic transition in Myanmar under the leadership of Daw Aung San Suu Kyi and the National League for Democracy have proven to be too high. Priorities such as peacebuilding, engagement of ethnic minorities, responsible economic investments, inclusive rural development and secure access to land have not sufficiently been materialized as yet. However nowadays Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) and Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) are involved in rural development in the agricultural sector; and government officials are open for their participation in consultations.

The country’s economy has increasingly opened up. During the period of 2010-11 to 2016-17, Myanmar’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) expanded by over 8% per year. Over the same period agricultural GDP has expanded at an average growth rate of 3.2%. Still, approximately 72% of the population lives in rural areas where 85% of poverty is concentrated (Central Statistical Organisation: Statistical Yearbook, 2017).

Key weaknesses

In Myanmar, 56% of employment is generated by the agricultural sector, and 54,2% of those engaged in this sector fall below the general poverty line. Some key weaknesses include (Agricultural Development Strategy 2017/18-2022/23, 2018):

  • Low labor and land productivity and productivity growth;
  • Underfunded, poorly coordinated, and unresponsive research, extension, and agricultural education to smallholder farmers’ needs and demands;
  • Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock and Irrigation (MoALI) departments still need to be fully integrated and the budget realigned to address policy priorities;
  • Limited access of farmers to timely and quality inputs;
  • Limited access of smallholder farmers to financial services;
  • Limited quality and safety of agricultural products;
  • Weak transport and communication infrastructure;
  • Low capacity of institutions to carry out key governance functions including planning, policy formulation and analysis, monitoring and evaluation, safeguards;
  • Inefficient use of water resources and irrigation systems;
  • Weak statistical systems, and lack of trustworthy data on the agricultural sector;
  • Low value added produced by agro-industry.

Smallholder and rural community interests are not sufficiently taken into account by Myanmar’s governing bodies nor by companies in agribusiness. Farmers associations and cooperatives are only consulted in sparse size. The level of Good Agricultural Practices (GAP), organization and collaboration among smallholder farmers, and government recognition of farmers organization is still limited. Youth, women and people with disabilities are specifically vulnerable within the agricultural sector.

After decades of military dictatorship, hopes of a fast and inclusive democratic transition in Myanmar under the leadership of Daw Aung San Suu Kyi and the National League for Democracy have proven to be too high. Priorities such as peacebuilding, engagement of ethnic minorities, responsible economic investments, inclusive rural development and secure access to land have not sufficiently been materialized as yet. However nowadays Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) and Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) are involved in rural development in the agricultural sector; and government officials are open for their participation in consultations.

The country’s economy has increasingly opened up. During the period of 2010-11 to 2016-17, Myanmar’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) expanded by over 8% per year. Over the same period agricultural GDP has expanded at an average growth rate of 3.2%. Still, approximately 72% of the population lives in rural areas where 85% of poverty is concentrated (Central Statistical Organisation: Statistical Yearbook, 2017).

Key weaknesses

In Myanmar, 56% of employment is generated by the agricultural sector, and 54,2% of those engaged in this sector fall below the general poverty line. Some key weaknesses include (Agricultural Development Strategy 2017/18-2022/23, 2018):

  • Low labor and land productivity and productivity growth;
  • Underfunded, poorly coordinated, and unresponsive research, extension, and agricultural education to smallholder farmers’ needs and demands;
  • Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock and Irrigation (MoALI) departments still need to be fully integrated and the budget realigned to address policy priorities;
  • Limited access of farmers to timely and quality inputs;
  • Limited access of smallholder farmers to financial services;
  • Limited quality and safety of agricultural products;
  • Weak transport and communication infrastructure;
  • Low capacity of institutions to carry out key governance functions including planning, policy formulation and analysis, monitoring and evaluation, safeguards;
  • Inefficient use of water resources and irrigation systems;
  • Weak statistical systems, and lack of trustworthy data on the agricultural sector;
  • Low value added produced by agro-industry.

Smallholder and rural community interests are not sufficiently taken into account by Myanmar’s governing bodies nor by companies in agribusiness. Farmers associations and cooperatives are only consulted in sparse size. The level of Good Agricultural Practices (GAP), organization and collaboration among smallholder farmers, and government recognition of farmers organization is still limited. Youth, women and people with disabilities are specifically vulnerable within the agricultural sector.

Civic Engagement Alliance uses cookies

We use cookies to make your experience of our website better. Please indicate whether you can consent to us using cookies. Our cookies policy explains what cookies are and how we use them. More info