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Rice

Websites/Multiple Documents

Title: Consortium for Unfavorable Rice Environments - Myanmar page
Description/subject: "Myanmar is a resource-rich country bordered by India, Bangladesh, China, Laos, and Thailand. It is the second-largest country in Southeast Asia, with a third of its perimeter comprising an uninterrupted coastline that spans 1,930 kilometers along the Bay of Bengal and Andaman Sea. Agriculture is very important in Myanmar’s economy: it employs 70% of the country’s labor force and comprises 38.2% of its GDP. Rice is considered both a major food crop and major export food item. The majority of Myanmar’s sown area is planted to monsoon rice, whereas summer rice is planted between November and February in the delta region in the country’s lower part and from January to March in central dry-zone regions. Myanmar is among the world’s most vulnerable countries to climate change. One of its manifestations that is seen to seriously affect the country’s rice production capacity is heat stress."
Language: English
Source/publisher: International Rice Research Institute (IRRI)
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 18 January 2015


Title: International Rice Research Institute (IRRI)
Description/subject: "IRRI aims to reduce poverty and hunger, improve the health of rice farmers and consumers, and ensure environmental sustainability of rice farming. We do these through collaborative research, partnerships, and the strengthening of the national agricultural research and extension systems, or NARES, of the countries we work in. Our goals IRRI's goals contribute to the United Nations Millennium Development Goals to eradicate extreme poverty and hunger and ensure environmental sustainability. They are also aligned with the objectives of the Global Rice Science Partnership (the CGIAR Research Program on Rice) that help deliver internationally coordinated research effectively and efficiently with our partners. Ensure that rice production is stable and sustainable, does minimal harm to the environment, and can cope with climate change. Improve the nutrition and health of poor rice consumers and rice farmers. Provide equitable access to information and knowledge on rice and help develop the next generation of rice scientists. Provide rice scientists and rice producers with the genetic information and materials they need to breed better rice varieties, develop technologies to support optimal farming practices, and enhance rice production."
Language: English
Source/publisher: International Rice Research Institute (IRRI)
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 18 January 2015


Title: Results of a Google search for Myanmar on the website of the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI)
Description/subject: Or go to IRRI (Alternate URL) and search for Myanmar
Language: English
Source/publisher: International Rice Research Institute (IRRI),
Format/size: html
Alternate URLs: http://www.irri.org
Date of entry/update: 03 June 2003


Individual Documents

Title: Fish, Rice and Agricultural Land Use in Myanmar: Preliminary findings from the Food Security Policy Project
Date of publication: 05 May 2015
Description/subject: "... Food Security Policy Project Components: • Value chains and livelihoods research • Mon State rural livelihoods and economy survey • Fish value chain • Other product and input value chains assessments • Policy Advising (e.g. Mon State Rural Development Strategy) • Training and Outreach..."
Author/creator: Ben Belton, Aung Hein, Kyan Htoo, Seng Kham, Paul Dorosh, Emily Schmidt
Language: English
Source/publisher: Myanmar Development Resource Institute (MDRI)
Format/size: pdf (3.5MB)
Date of entry/update: 23 April 2016


Title: Myanmar Rice Sector Development Strategy
Date of publication: May 2015
Description/subject: "The Government of Myanmar has positioned agricultural development as one of seven key pillars supporting and enabling inclusive and sustained economic growth. To achieve agricultural development, the Ministry of Agriculture and Irrigation (MoAI), with technical assistance provided by the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI), developed the Myanmar Rice Sector Development Strategy (MRSDS) that seeks to boost rice production and thus better ensure food self-sufficiency and a larger share in the international rice trade for the country. The MRSDS is anchored on improving farm productivity, raising rice farmers’ incomes, and enhancing the global competitiveness of Myanmar’s rice industry. Higher farm incomes, so crucial to poverty reduction and sustained food security, rely on increased productivity. Moreover, improved farm productivity enables affordable food supplies and competitive wage rates across the economy, thereby generating employment that enables the absorption of plentiful rural labor in off-farm and non-farm occupations, thereby accelerating the growth and modernization of the economy as a whole..."
Language: English
Source/publisher: Ministry of Agriculture and Irrigation, Myanmar via International Rice Research Institute
Format/size: pdf (4.1MB-reduced version; 7.89MB-original)
Alternate URLs: http://www.burmalibrary.org/docs21/IRRC-2015-05-Myanmar_Rice_Sector_Development_Strategy-en-red.pdf
Date of entry/update: 25 September 2015


Title: MYANMAR: RICE PRICE VOLATILITY AND POVERTY REDUCTION
Date of publication: 04 October 2014
Description/subject: Key findings: Price fluctuations are common in agricultural markets. However, rice price volatility in Myanmar is more profound than in neighboring rice net-exporter countries like Cambodia, Vietnam, and Thailand. The economic liberalization in 2004 removed local trade barriers and this reduced risks and price volatility in the domestic rice market. Even if Myanmar’s price fluctuations decreased in recent years (compared to the mid-2000s), it remains high. Beyond price volatility, rice prices have risen by 41% between 2009 and 2013. This is much higher than that of rice exporters in neighboring countries like Thailand and Cambodia. The high concentration of the paddy harvest in November and December is the main cause of rice price volatility. Nearly 70% of paddy is harvested in just two months of the monsoon season. This results into sharp price drops from December to January and spike-ups between May and October. Production in dry season is small due to a lack of rice varieties with different harvesting periods, growth durations, and appropriate irrigation. The rice market is fragmented and weakened due to poor roads and low phone coverage. There is also inaccurate information on rice production, consumption, trade, and stocks. Due to the latter, farmers, millers, exporters, and the government often overreact when there are minor price changes. This ignites volatility even further, given that private stocks are too small to buffer price fluctuations. Poor diversification of export markets also contribute to price volatility. Most of the formal rice exports go to Africa with stable prices. The informal cross-border export to China, in contrast, has been highly unpredictable. The recent closure of informal trade with China is an example of such unpredictability.
Language: English, Burmese/ ျမန္မာဘာသာ (Executive Summary)
Source/publisher: World Bank (Agriculture Global Practice East Asia and Pacific Region)
Format/size: pdf (2.9MB-reduced version; 6.3MB-original)
Alternate URLs: http://www.worldbank.org/en/country/myanmar/publication/rice-price-volatility-and-poverty-reduction...
Date of entry/update: 26 November 2014


Title: MYANMAR: CAPITALIZING ON RICE EXPORT OPPORTUNITIES
Date of publication: 28 February 2014
Description/subject: Conclusions: "Myanmar has new global and regional rice market opportunities. Should they be captured, higher rice exports could eventually stimulate agricultural growth, which in turn could reduce poverty and boost shared prosperity. Better export opportunities and more stable prices, to which a more efficient export system could contribute, would trigger an increase of rice sector productivity and eventually overall agricultural productivity, given the large share of rice in Myanmar’s planted area, production, trade, and consumption. Higher agricultural productivity would also help the landless, who often work as seasonal farm workers. With more and better quality paddy, the milling industry would accelerate its modernization, creating non-farm jobs and stimulating economic growth. Net buyers of rice in rural and urban areas would benefit from a larger variety and improved quality of rice, potentially at lower prices. 109. Yet several big challenges lie ahead. Strong competition from other exporters and constantly rising demands for the safety and quality of rice on world markets puts pressure on Myanmar’s rice sector. While field yields are only half of those realized by other exporters, significantly expanding the current exportable surplus will take time and can only be realized if rice farming profitability is considerably increased. With reduced carryover stocks, rice exports in 2013/14 are currently trailing the same period in 2012/13, illustrating the importance of addressing structural weaknesses along the value chain if Myanmar is to become a reliable rice exporter. A significant increase in exports also necessitates that Myanmar diversify both its overseas markets and the quality of its rice exports. 110. Taken as a whole, the policy recommendations will go a long way towards improving the prospects for more profitable rice farming. Policymakers need to understand that the rice milling sector and exporters also need a conducive policy environment without an anti-export bias to ensure that their performance is upgraded to become internationally competitive. While public spending programs take time to materialize, policies can have an immediate effect. A small change of policy or even its clear communication and implementation can have a lasting positive impact without any cost to stretched national or local budgets. With this in mind, policies should be considered the most effective vehicle for attracting private investment in the rice value chain in the short run and should be utilized strategically. 111. With more consistent enabling economic policies, alignment of public investment with the strategic objective of export promotion is the key to the long-term prospects for rice exports. The focus should change from producing and selling more low-quality rice to producing and selling increased quantities of different qualities of rice and doing so more efficiently. This strategy would allow Myanmar’s rice value chain participants to earn higher incomes, capture the growing market of higher value rice, and diversify risks in different markets..."
Language: English
Source/publisher: World Bank
Format/size: pdf (938K-reduced version; 1.6MB-original)
Alternate URLs: http://lift-fund.org/Publications/Myanmar_Capitalizing_on_Rice_Export_Opportunities.pdf
http://www.burmalibrary.org/docs18/WB-Myanmar-Capitalizing_on_Rice_Export_Opportunities-en.pdf
Date of entry/update: 02 July 2014


Title: Rapid Value Chain Assessment: Structure and Dynamics of the Rice Value Chain in Myanmar
Date of publication: March 2013
Description/subject: This Background Paper is an integral part of the Diagnostic Assessment. It involves an assessment of the Myanmar rice value chain within the context of the Myanmar rice industry. Special focus is paid to its structure and performance, dynamics, and future prospects. Also included is a consideration of its weaknesses and constraints that had influenced the development of the industry as well as an evaluation of the prospect of improving the value chain and consequently the industry and suggesting crucial steps that should be taken for the short game and the long game. Basically, the report integrates the findings from intensive literature review and desk research coupled with observations and interviews conducted during field visits in October and November 2012 and supplemented by persona communication with key players in the public and private sectors as well as civil society at various levels of the rice value chain.
Author/creator: Larry C.Y. Wong and Eh Mywe Aye Wai
Language: English
Source/publisher: Myanmar Development Resource Institute - Centre for Economic and Social Development (MDRI-CESD)
Format/size: pdf (1.7MB)
Date of entry/update: 11 April 2016


Title: Rice Policies in Myanmar: A Comparative Analysis with Vietnam
Date of publication: 2013
Description/subject: Abstract: "This paper compares the development of the rice economy in Myanmar with Vietnam’s. The rice economies in the two countries show a stark contrast in terms of productivity. To account for the yield gap between them, this paper considers the impacts of not only price policies but also production technology. As there is no clear deterioration or improvement in the terms of trade for rice producers in the two countries, the widening yield gap might be attributable to differences in technological changes. It is implied that Myanmar needs more public investments in agriculture, especially in irrigation and breeding of high-yield varieties seeds, in order to upgrade production technology. The insufficient public investments in the agricultural sector in Myanmar might be due to lower marginal return to such investments, which in turn is related to the allocation mechanism of the state budget; the higher the delegation of budget to local governments, the higher the marginal return to public investments could be. A policy recommendation is more delegation of agricultural budget to local governments..."
Author/creator: Koji KUBO
Language: English
Source/publisher: Bangkok Research Center (IDE-Jetro) Research Report No. 10
Format/size: html, pdf (203K)
Alternate URLs: http://www.ide.go.jp/English/Publish/Download/Brc/10.html
http://www.burmalibrary.org/docs21/Kubo-IDE-2013-Rice_Policies_in_Myanmar-A_Comparative_Analysis_wi...
Date of entry/update: 25 September 2015


Title: Special Report: As Myanmar reforms, discontent grips countryside
Date of publication: 09 August 2012
Description/subject: "From his thatch-roofed hut, 62-year-old farmer Tint Sein studied the bucolic scene anxiously. Trapped in debt to black-market lenders, he says he has begun to skip meals to save money for his family of four. The emerald-green rice fields that sustained generations of his clan are no longer profitable. The arithmetic is remorseless. The 10-acre spread earns him an average $4 daily, but his costs are $6, yielding a bottom-line loss of $2, day after day. "I cannot live on this income," he says. That leaves Tint Sein a painful choice: Abandon the farm to join the swelling ranks of Myanmar's landless farmers - or hope that his nation's new reformist government will revive the farm belt's fortunes. Change is sweeping Myanmar. In 12 months of reforms, the former military junta has embraced an economic and political opening that has won praise from Washington to Tokyo. But change is coming either too slowly, or in the wrong forms, to the place where the great majority of Myanmar's people live: the farming heartland, which once led the world in rice exports before withering under half a century of military dictatorship..."
Language: English
Source/publisher: Reuters
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 16 August 2012


Title: Agricultural Efficiency of Rice Farmers in Myanmar: A Case Study in Selected Areas
Date of publication: September 2011
Description/subject: Abstract: "This paper try to analyze unique data set for rice producing agricultural households in some selected areas of Bago and Yangon divisions to examine the households' profit efficiency and the relationship between farm and household attributes and profit inefficiency using a Cobb-Douglas production frontier function. The frequency distribution reveals that the mean technical inefficiency is 0.1627 with a minimum of 3 percent and maximum of 73 percent which indicates that, on average, about 16% of potential maximum output is lost owing to technical inefficiency in both studied areas. While 85% of the sample farms exhibit profit inefficiency of 20% or less, about 40% of the sample farms is found to exhibit technical inefficiency of 20% or less, indicating that among the sample farms technical inefficiency is much lower than profit inefficiency."... Keywords: Myanmar, rice, efficiency, production frontier function
Author/creator: Nay Myo Aung
Language: English
Source/publisher: Institute for Developing Economies (IDE) Jetro (IDE DISCUSSION PAPER No. 306)
Format/size: pdf (430K)
Date of entry/update: 17 October 2011


Title: Myanmar loosens yoke on farmers
Date of publication: 02 August 2010
Description/subject: YANGON, Myanmar — "Moves by Myanmar's military regime to loosen its grip on the impoverished nation's once-mighty rice industry in advance of an election this year have raised cautious hopes for the nation's economy..."
Language: English
Source/publisher: "Wall Street Journal"
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 29 August 2010


Title: Revitalizing Agriculture in Myanmar: Breaking Down Barriers, Building a Framework for Growth
Date of publication: 21 July 2010
Description/subject: This is a study of the rice economy in Myanmar. It seeks to identify barriers and bottlenecks that are hindering growth and depressing value in a sector that must play a central role in alleviating the extreme poverty that currently afflicts an expanding proportion of rural households.
Author/creator: David O. Dapice, Thomas J. Vallely, Ben Wilkinson
Language: English
Source/publisher: Harvard Kennedy School - Ash Center
Format/size: pdf (1.32MB)
Date of entry/update: 21 August 2012


Title: Return of the Burmese 'Rice Bowl'?
Date of publication: May 2010
Description/subject: The world’s biggest rice exporter is getting edgy about an increase in production by its once-mighty rice-producing neighbor, Burma... "The 1.3 million tons exported by the Burmese in 2009 is making the Thai Rice Exporters Association (TREA) question whether to remain focused on volume exports or vacate that spot to new competitors like Burma and pursue the top-quality market. A reinvigorated Burmese industry is expected to raise its annual export volume to between 2.5 to 3 million tons over the next few years, the Thai Rice Millers Association warned in March. Burma’s rice production growth is being aided by a major re-organization of the domestic industry announced at the beginning of this year when the Myanmar Rice Industry Association (MRIA) was created from three separate production and trading groups. The increase in production in Burma comes despite continuing problems and lack of investment in the key Irrawaddy delta region so badly hit by Cyclone Nargis in 2008..."
Author/creator: William Boot
Language: English
Source/publisher: "The Irrawaddy" Vol. 18, No. 5
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 29 August 2010


Title: National body to strengthen rice industry
Date of publication: 24 January 2010
Description/subject: "MYANMAR’S leading rice producers, traders and exporters have joined forces to make the country’s rice industry more competitive with regional rivals like Vietnam and Thailand. Effective January 12, the Myanmar Rice Industry Association (MRIA) was created as a national body, uniting three existing separate associations – the Myanmar Rice and Paddy Traders’ Association, the Myanmar Rice Millers’ Association and the Myanmar Paddy Producers’ Association..."
Author/creator: Ye Lwin and Thike Zin
Language: English
Source/publisher: "The Myanmar Times" Volume 26, No. 505
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 29 August 2010


Title: Commentary on the visit by Professor Stieglitz and necesary follow-up
Date of publication: 09 January 2010
Description/subject: Commentary of 9 January 2010 by U Myint on the visit by Joseph Stiglitz and necessary follow-up. A major section of the address dealt with how to boost the rice economy in Burma
Author/creator: U Myint
Language: English
Source/publisher: "The Irrawaddy"
Format/size: pdf (108K)
Date of entry/update: 31 January 2010


Title: Assessment of the Myanmar Agricultural Economy
Date of publication: January 2009
Description/subject: Overview: "During two weeks in January 2009 a team from the Asia Programs unit of the Harvard Kennedy School’s Ash Institute, International Development Enterprises (IDE), and the Ministry of Agriculture and Irrigation of the Union of Myanmar conducted a humanitarian assessment of food production and the agricultural economy in Myanmar. We focused on paddy production, because rice is the country’s staple crop. Based on fieldwork in cyclone-affected areas of the Ayeyarwady River Delta and in Upper Myanmar, we conclude that paddy output is likely to drop in 2009, potentially creating a food shortage by the third quarter. Our estimates are based on imperfect data, and this scenario may not materialize, but the avoidance of a food shortage this year would represent a temporary reprieve, not a recovery. Myanmar’s rural sector is stretched to the breaking point and the natural resilience that has sustained it is leaching away. This paper recommends a set of interventions to avert this looming crisis: 1) an increase in credit for farmers and other participants in the rice economy including traders and millers, 2) steps to increase the farm gate price of paddy in order to create an incentive for farmers to produce more paddy, and 3) a program to finance small-scale village infrastructure projects to increase demand for wage labor for the rural poor who are most at risk. This paper proceeds as follows. Section I describes the study’s rationale and methodology. Section II presents the research team’s key findings. Section III offers an analytical framework for considering how and why food markets fail. The next two sections consider the implications of our finding, examining income loss, crop production, and land concerns. Section VI recommends a three-pronged policy response. Section VII concludes by considering the distinction between humanitarian responses and development strategy. Appendix I discusses Myanmar’s likely actual GDP growth rate. Appendix II summarizes the policy options available to the government in the face of continued deterioration of conditions in rural areas."
Author/creator: David Dapice, Tom Vallely, Ben Wilkinson
Language: English
Source/publisher: International Development Enterprises
Format/size: pdf (177.13 KB)
Alternate URLs: http://www.ash.harvard.edu/content/download/1201/26734/version/1/file/myanmar.pdf
Date of entry/update: 01 September 2010


Title: Rice: A Serious Shortage or Market Manipulation?
Date of publication: 01 May 2008
Description/subject: Rising prices, poor harvests, rationing in supermarkets—Asian countries appear to be facing a growing crisis.... "HOW serious are the recent rice “shortages”? Are supplies really running low across Asia or is it at least partly a problem of hoarding and scaremongering to push up prices? Rising prices are certainly causing alarm in low-income countries in the region, and some supermarket chains in the world’s largest rice-exporting country, Thailand, have even imposed rationing. Yet the Thai government confirmed in mid-April that Thailand had more than 2 million metric tonnes (1,000 kilograms = 1 metric tonne) in state warehouses and more in private hands, so exports could continue unimpeded. However, other major rice-exporting countries have put limits on international sales. One of the knock-on effects of the new export price controls is that rice-importing countries—even rich ones—are searching the bargain basement for better deals. This appears to be benefiting the Burmese junta and its business cronies. Major Singapore rice importer-distributor Saga Foodstuffs paid US $820 per tonne for Thai rice in early April, up from $570 per tonne in March until the company tried to buy from Burma. Saga managing director Goh Hock Ho said he was then able to secure 350 tonnes of Burmese rice for $140 per tonne cheaper than the April Thai price. Virtually all rice consumed in Burma is locally grown. However, in Thailand the government has rejected proposals for a minimum export price to slow down exports, as India, the world’s third largest rice exporter, did in March..."
Author/creator: William Boot
Language: English
Source/publisher: "The Irrawaddy" Vol. 16, No. 5
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 01 May 2008


Title: Transforming Myanmar’s rice marketing
Date of publication: January 2007
Description/subject: Conclusion: "The stable supply of rice at a low price continued to be the principal rationale of the rice marketing system in Myanmar even after the two liberalisations. The transition from comprehensive state control over rice marketing that began with the first liberalisation and continued with the second can be seen as an ad hoc transformation of the marketing system in response to the changing economic and political situation. It eventually took the form of gradual rice price deregulation. After the two liberalisations, Myanmar’s rice-marketing system shifted from being one supported by the rice procurement and ration systems and export controls to one solely dependent on rice export controls to achieve the low rice price policy. This policy orientation determined the development of the private rice marketing sector. The whole sector was allowed to develop only in the remaining sphere of the rice marketing sector and on condition that it did not jeopardise the stable supply of rice at a low price. This was the inevitable consequence of Myanmar’s rice marketing policy. In the liberalisation process, however, the private rice marketing sector was able to achieve self-sustaining development. The government’s policy to promote rice production and cut-backs in the volume of rice procurement increased the amount of rice sold in the market, which induced more traders to enter the rice-marketing business. This was a clear manifestation of the latent willingness of Myanmar’s traders to grasp whatever small opportunities arose to increase profits, opportunities that had been closed for more than one-quarter of a century during the socialist period. The rice traders who expanded business while avoiding conflicts with the government rice policy were the ones who were able to survive during the 1990s. By the end of the 1990s, however, the private rice marketing sector had reached a crossroads as the domestic rice market approached total saturation. This problem was most evident in the tough business conditions facing medium and large-scale rice millers. The worn-out state of their mills grew apace, but they could not risk venturing into new investments under the existing market structure where low and medium-quality rice was in greatest demand. Even in the milling of lower-quality rice, the big mills were losing out to the growing number of small-scale rice mills in the villages. Thus, by the time of the second liberalisation, medium and large-scale rice mills were facing a crisis in their operations. What are the implications of this transformation of the rice sector in accordance with the low rice price policy to the development of Myanmar’s national economy? The first implication is the poor prospects for the development of the rice industry. It cannot be denied that the commercial and processing industries of Myanmar’s rice marketing sector continue to be the base of the rural economy. In neighbouring Thailand, rice millers turned to exporting and, with the accumulated capital, expanded their businesses to other industries with great success. In Myanmar, one would hope that the same scenario could play out for private rice traders and millers. In reality, however, there is little prospect that private rice exporting will be allowed in the near future. The present government is unlikely to change its rice policy, which prioritises a low price for the sake of political stability. Since export controls become the sole direct policy tool that the government has for keeping the price of rice low, it will remain reluctant to undertake any rapid deregulation of rice exports. This means that the private rice marketing sector will have to survive within the confines of the present domestic market, which limits demand largely to low and medium-quality rice. Thus the government’s rice policy has again thwarted the development of Myanmar’s rice industry and denied it the potential to stimulate growth in the economy as a whole. The second implication, which could be more serious than the first, is the absence of a clear scenario to utilise the low rice price for development led by industrialisation (Fujita and Okamoto 2006). Generally speaking, the low rice price policy itself is not unique to Myanmar, and has been adopted in various developing countries, especially in the early stages of economic development. The purpose is to promote industrialisation using cheap labour, backed by the low price of rice. Any clear vision for this type of industrialisation has, however, been barely observed for Myanmar in the past 19 years. The low rice price policy has not gone beyond the purpose of maintaining the regime and it is likely to continue that way for some time."
Author/creator: Ikuko Okamoto
Language: English
Source/publisher: 2006 Burma Update Conference via Australian National University
Format/size: pdf (181K)
Alternate URLs: http://epress.anu.edu.au/myanmar/pdf_instructions.html
http://epress.anu.edu.au/myanmar/pdf/whole_book.pdf
http://epress.anu.edu.au/myanmar/pdf/ch07.pdf
Date of entry/update: 30 December 2008


Title: Transformation of the Rice Marketing System and Myanmar’s Transition to a Market Economy
Date of publication: December 2005
Description/subject: Abstract: "Creating a rice marketing system has been one of the central policy issues in Myanmar’s move to a market economy since the end of the 1980s. Two liberalizations of rice marketing were implemented in 1987 and 2003. This paper examines the essential aspects of the liberalizations and the subsequent transformation of Myanmar’s rice marketing sector. It attempts to bring into clearer focus the rationale of the government’s rice marketing reforms which is to maintain a stable supply of rice at a low price to consumers. Under this rationale, however, the state rice marketing sector continued to lose efficiency while the private sector was allowed to develop on condition that it did not jeopardize the rationale of stable supply at low price. The paper concludes that the prospect for the future development of the private rice marketing sector is dim since a change in the rice market’s rationale is unlikely. Private rice exporting is unlikely to be permitted, while the domestic market is approaching the saturation point. Thus, there is little momentum for the private rice sector to undertake any substantial expansion of investment."... Keywords: Myanmar, rice, marketing system, liberalization
Author/creator: Ikuko Okamoto
Language: English (available also in Japanese - ?)
Source/publisher: IDE Discussion Papaer No. 43
Format/size: pdf (761K)
Date of entry/update: 16 July 2006


Title: Rich Periphery, Poor Center: Myanmar's Rural Economy
Date of publication: March 2004
Description/subject: Abstract: "This paper looks at the case of Myanmar in order to investigate the behavior and welfare of rural households in an economy under transition from a planned to a market system. Myanmar's case is particularly interesting because of the country's unique attempt to preserve a policy of intervention in land transactions and marketing institutions. A sample household survey that we conducted in 2001, covering more than 500 households in eight villages with diverse agro-ecological environments, revealed two paradoxes. First, income levels are higher in villages far from the center than in villages located in regions under the tight control of the central authorities. Second, farmers and villages that emphasize a paddy-based, irrigated cropping system have lower farming incomes than those that do not. The reason for these paradoxes are the distortions created by agricultural policies that restrict land use and the marketing of agricultural produce. Because of these distortions, the transition to a market economy in Myanmar since the late 1980s is only a partial one. The partial transition, which initially led to an increase in output and income from agriculture, revealed its limit in the survey period."...There are 2 versions of this paper. The one placed as the main URL, which also has a later publication date, seems to be longer, though it is about 30K smaller.
Author/creator: Ikuko Okamoto, Kyosuke Kurita, Takashi Kurosaki and Koichi Fujita
Language: English
Source/publisher: IDE ( Institute of Developing Economies) Discussion Paper No. 23
Format/size: pdf (213K)
Alternate URLs: http://www.econ.yale.edu/conference/neudc03/papers/1d-kurosaki.pdf
Date of entry/update: 05 December 2003


Title: BURMA’S RICE POLICY CHAOS SOWS ECONOMIC SEEDS OF DOUBT
Date of publication: 14 February 2004
Description/subject: "For years, Burma's military exercised tight controls over the politically sensitive rice trade to ensure a steady supply of affordable rice in the cities and to collect the foreign exchange generated by rice exports. Its interventions into the grain trade – which began as part of the "Burmese Way to Socialism" crafted by the eccentric former dictator, Ne Win - depressed prices paid to farmers, devastating rice production in what was once the "rice basket of Asia". The military regime that followed Ne Win clung to the controls because they feared that rice shortages would trigger urban unrest. Burma's generals decided only last year to get out of the rice trade, relinquishing what it called "the last remnant" of the old economic order. It hoped that rice production would surge if farmers received more attractive prices for their crop. However, yielding to market forces is proving tough action for the generals to take, highlighting the difficulties resuscitating a gasping economy. Last April, the regime declared an end to its direct procurement of paddy from farmers at fixed prices. It later said civil servants and soldiers would no longer be given rice but would get cash allowances to buy it. The junta also decided to permit private rice exports, ending its long monopoly over the small but essential international rice trade..."
Author/creator: Amy Kazmin
Language: English
Source/publisher: Financial Times
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 24 February 2004


Title: RECLAIMING THE RIGHT TO RICE: FOOD SECURITY AND INTERNAL DISPLACEMENT IN EASTERN BURMA
Date of publication: October 2003
Description/subject: TABLE OF CONTENTS:- 1. Food Security from a Rights-based Perspective; 2. Local Observations from the States and Divisions of Eastern Burma:- 2.1 Tenasserim Division (Committee for Internally Displaced Karen Persons); 2.2 Mon State (Mon Relief and Development Committee); 2.3 Karen State (Karen Human Rights Group) 2.4 Eastern Pegu Division (Karen Office of Relief and Development); 2.5 Karenni State (Karenni Social Welfare Committee); 2.6 Shan State (Shan Human Rights Foundation)... 3. Local Observations of Issues Related to Food Security:- 3.1 Crop Destruction as a Weapon of War (Committee for Internally Displaced Karen Persons); 3.2 Border Areas Development (Karen Environmental & Social Action Network); 3.3 Agricultural Management(Burma Issues); 3.4 Land Management (Independent Mon News Agency) 3.5 Nutritional Impact of Internal Displacement (Backpack Health Workers Team); 3.6 Gender-based Perspectives (Karen Women’s Organisation)... 4. Field Surveys on Internal Displacement and Food Security... Appendix 1 : Burma’s International Obligations and Commitments... Appendix 2 : Burma’s National Legal Framework... Appendix 3 : Acronyms, Measurements and Currencies.... "...Linkages between militarisation and food scarcity in Burma were established by civilian testimonies from ten out of the fourteen states and divisions to a People’s Tribunal in the late 1990s. Since then the scale of internal displacement has dramatically increased, with the population in eastern Burma during 2002 having been estimated at 633,000 people, of whom approximately 268,000 were in hiding and the rest were interned in relocation sites. This report attempts to complement these earlier assessments by appraising the current relationship between food security and internal displacement in eastern Burma. It is hoped that these contributions will, amongst other impacts, assist the Asian Human Rights Commission’s Permanent People’s Tribunal to promote the right to food and rule of law in Burma... Personal observations and field surveys by community-based organisations in eastern Burma suggest that a vicious cycle linking the deprivation of food security with internal displacement has intensified. Compulsory paddy procurement, land confiscation, the Border Areas Development program and spiraling inflation have induced displacement of the rural poor away from state-controlled areas. In war zones, however, the state continues to destroy and confiscate food supplies in order to force displaced villagers back into state-controlled areas. An image emerges of a highly vulnerable and frequently displaced rural population, who remain extremely resilient in order to survive based on their local knowledge and social networks. Findings from the observations and field surveys include the following:..."
Language: English
Source/publisher: Burmese Border Consortium
Format/size: pdf (804K)
Alternate URLs: http://www.ibiblio.org/obl/docs/BBC-Reclaiming_the_Right_to_Rice.pdf
Date of entry/update: 07 November 2003


Title: Lifting Rice Controls: More Questions Than Answers
Date of publication: May 2003
Description/subject: "Burma’s new rice trading policy change is a step in the right direction but several questions remain unanswered... On April 24, one week after the Burmese Buddhist New Year, Secretary Two of the ruling State Peace and Development Council (SPDC) Lt-Gen Soe Win issued a statement that scrapped Burma’s 30-year-old state rice procurement policy which was introduced by Ne Win’s regime on Oct 10, 1973. Beginning from the next harvest, before the end of this year, the government will no longer buy paddy directly from farmers. At the same time, the government announced a new trading policy, which stipulates: "All nationals have a right to trade rice. The price will be according to the prevailing rates, and monopolizing the rice trade will not be allowed for anyone or any organization." Citizens are now free to participate in the domestic rice trade. As far as rice exports are concerned, however, citizens will have to follow the three guidelines set by the newly formed Myanmar Rice Trading Leading Committee (MRTLC): rice will only be exported when it is in surplus, exporters must pay a ten percent export tax, and the net export earnings after taxes will be shared between the government and rice exporters on a 50-50 basis. Rice trading associations will buy rice directly from farmers and then sell to the Myanmar Agricultural Produce Trading (MAPT), which then distributes rice to the armed forces at cost. The MRTLC comprises ministers from related economic sectors with participation from private sector representatives from organizations such as the Union of Myanmar Federation of Chambers of Commerce and Industry (UMFCCI), the Myanmar Rice Traders Association and the Myanmar Rice Millers Association. The junta is optimistic this policy change will put Burma’s rice sector back on its feet..."
Author/creator: Min Htet Myat
Language: English
Source/publisher: "The Irrawaddy" Vol 11, No. 4
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 02 July 2003


Title: Empty Bowl: Rice in Burma
Date of publication: March 2003
Description/subject: "Rice farming in Burma has become a precarious enterprise, as stepped-up government intervention is stifling profits while stressing the land and the lives of the farmers... There are few ways to express displeasure with the government in Burma, but farmers have been voicing their discontent with their feet. And gauging by the steady flow of rice farmers fleeing Burma for neighboring Thailand, Bangladesh and India, farmers are fed up with working conditions under authoritarian rule. "Less and less people want to farm," says a veteran Shan political analyst. "Even if you grow vegetables they will not end up in your kitchen, but in the military’s kitchen." In Burma, prices of commodities, particularly rice, have skyrocketed over the last 12 months, leaving individuals in both urban and rural areas able to afford only one meal a day. This inflation has further fueled existing hunger woes. Farmers, human rights workers, and diplomats say the government’s incoherent policy making—such as the government’s drive to boost exports and increase the quota system requiring farmers to sell rice at a subsidized rate—as well as the lack of infrastructure, has created an army of disenfranchised rice farmers and scores of hungry citizens..."
Author/creator: Tony Broadmoor
Language: English
Source/publisher: "The Irrawaddy" Vol. 11, No. 2
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 03 June 2003


Title: Burmese Near End of Tether as rice supply shrinks and prices rocket
Date of publication: 23 October 2002
Description/subject: "In Rangoon, it is often said that the long-suffering Burmese people can bear almost any hardship, as long as they still have enough rice to eat. Such endurance stems from an acute awareness of the price to be paid for open expression of discontent. In 1988, the army slaughtered thousands of pro-democracy protesters, who took to the streets after months of skyrocketing food prices and shortages. But 14 years on, Burmese patience again appears to be wearing thin, as the spiralling price of rice, cooking oil, and medicine puts basic necessities out of the reach of many common people, including the country's growing number of landless labourers and urban poor..."
Author/creator: Amy Kazmin
Language: English
Source/publisher: Financial Times via Global Policy Forum
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 03 June 2003


Title: Effects of Increasing Cropping Intensity on Rice Production in Myanmar
Date of publication: 11 January 2002
Description/subject: Keywords: Cropping systems, field survey, nutrient use efficiency, rice diseases. "Rice (Oryza sativa L.) growing under irrigated (28%), rainfed (70%) and upland (2%) conditions is by far the most important staple for Myanmar�s 48 million people of which 75% directly depend on farming. Following the Land Utilisation and Tenancy Acts (1953) the number of farmers with large holdings has substantially decreased and today�s average farm size equals 2 ha with a paddy yield of merely 2.8 t ha-1. As a result of rising internal demand due to population increases, the quantity of rice Myanmar exported to neighbouring countries steadily declined despite increased efforts to intensify rice production by the introduction of early-maturing, N-responsive, non-photosensitive, semidwarf cultivars. Double and triple cropping systems of rice, as increasingly practised throughout Southeast Asia, require optimum control of water and nutrients both of which are major impediments to higher rice yields in Myanmar where annual average inputs of mineral fertilisers amount to only 17.8 kg ha-1..."
Author/creator: Soe Soe Thein, Tin Aye Aye Naing, M. Finckh, A. Buerkert
Language: English
Source/publisher: International Symposium: Sustaining Food Security and Managing Natural Resources in Southeast Asia - Challenges for the 21st Century
Format/size: pdf (47K)
Date of entry/update: 03 June 2003


Title: An Economic Assessment of the Myanmar Rice Sector: Current Developments and Prospects
Date of publication: February 1998
Description/subject: ARKANSAS AGRICULTURAL EXPERIMENT STATION Division of Agriculture University of Arkansas February 1998 Research Bulletin 958 2.0 STATUS OF AGRICULTURAL DEVELOPMENT: IN MYANMAR; 2.1 Natural Resources of Myanmar; 2.2 Social and Economic Conditions in Myanmar; 2.3 General Overview of Rice Sector Development; 2.3.1 Historical Development of Rice Production; 2.3.2 Current Development of Rice Production; 3.0 RICE POLICY IN MYANMAR: 3.1 British Colonial Policy, 1885-1948; 3.2 Post-Independence Policy, 1948-1962; 3.3 Socialist Republic Government Policy, 1962-1988; 3.4 State Law and Order Restoration Council, 1988 to Present; 4.0 DESCRIPTION OF RICE PRODUCTION SYSTEMS IN MYANMAR: 4.1 Methods of Rice Cultivation; 4.2 Rice Variety Use and Production Constraints; 4.3 Risks in Deep-Water Rice Farming; 4.4 Problems in Input Supply. 5.0 RICE MARKETING IN MYANMAR: 5.1 Farm Marketing; 5.2 Rice Milling; 5.3 Transport and Storage; 5.4 Production Costs and Marketing Margins; 5.5 Rice Consumption; 5.6 Rice Exports. 6.0 CAPACITY OF LAND AND WATER RESOURCES TO INCREASE RICE PRODUCTION: 6.1 Capacity of Land Resources to Increase Rice Production; 6.2 Capacity of Water Resources to Increase Rice Production; 6.3 Importance of Developing Irrigation. 7.0 COMPARATIVE ADVANTAGE OF MYANMAR RICE PRODUCTION: 7.1 Production Response to New Technology; 7.2 Constraints to Increase Technology Use in Rice Production; 7.3 Rice Supply Cost; 7.3.1 Farm Gate Cost; 7.3.2 FOB Export Cost. 8.0 PROJECTIONS FOR THE FUTURE: 8.1 Factors Determining Growth of Rice Production; 8.2 Evidence of Possible Short-Term Increased Production ; 8.3 Outlook for Myanmar Export Market...
Author/creator: Kenneth B. Young, Gail L. Cramer and Eric J. Wailes
Language: English
Source/publisher: Division of Agriculture University of Arkansas
Format/size: pdf (382K) 88 pages
Alternate URLs: http://arkansasagnews.uark.edu/958.pdf
Date of entry/update: 03 June 2003


Title: A Century of Rice Improvement in Burma
Date of publication: 1991
Description/subject: Preface: "Rice is Burma’s most important crop. It dominates the agricultural sector, which is the largest and most productive part of the economy; changes in rice production have a direct and profound influence on the entire population. Burma’s rice output must continually increase to feed the growing populations and boost the country’s economy. Studies of rice production over the last 100 yr have shown both periods of rapid growth and periods of stagnation. There is growing awareness among agricultural development workers that production is still short of its potential. Considering the complexities of agricultural development, the various forces that have influenced rice production need examination. An understanding of long-term rice production trends will be useful in the formulation of future development strategies. As a visiting scientist at the International Rice Research Institute, I was assigned to analyze Burma’s experience in rice production. This led me to study the country’s long-term rice production profile and, in the process, to examine significant aspects that contributed to various changes since 1830. The development process that took place before World War II was well-documented. I was personally involved in the agricultural development process in the years after the war (a total of 37 yr) in various capacities as a researcher, extension worker, and administrator. This book is the outcome of my personal experiences, which have influenced the inferences I have made about available statistical data. The book is a comprehensive treatment of rice production in the past 100 yr. It presents important critical issues in production and other related areas. Chapter I gives background information about the country. Chapter II describes rice production under the British Government, with emphasis on the various forces that generated growth. Chapter III presents the situation after the country gained independence from the British, and the problems that prevented progress. Chapter IV details research development and technology transfer activities, focusing on an extension strategy that dramatically increased rice production in the last decade. The development, implementation, and evaluation of this extension strategy take a considerable part of this chapter. In all these chapters, the impact of rice production on the social and economic conditions of the population is discussed. Chapter V presents the farmer participatory research and extension approach and proposes a methodology for applying it. This analysis is by no means exhaustive, but all available data related to the rice industry have been collected and collated. I trust that the study brings forth some significant aspects of rice production performances that will lead students of agricultural development to initiate appropriate action..."
Author/creator: U Khin Win
Language: English
Source/publisher: International Rice Research Institute (IRRI),
Format/size: pdf (3.9MB)
Alternate URLs: http://dspace.irri.org:8080/dspace/bitstream/10269/214/2/9712200248_content.pdf
Date of entry/update: 01 May 2008


Title: Burmese Economist Urges Greater Rice Exports
Description/subject: "While Burma continues to count the cost of the 2008 Cyclone Nargis disaster and international aid agencies struggle to help hundreds of thousands of desperate farmers, a leading Burmese economist has called for the restoration of the country as "major rice exporter" in order to stave off poverty..."
Author/creator: Yeni
Language: English
Source/publisher: "The Irrawaddy"
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 31 January 2010


Title: FACTS ABOUT COOPERATION: Myanmar and IRRI
Description/subject: Rice research... Myanmar and rice... Myanmar-IRRI collaboration... Accomplishments... Table 1. Rice varieties released in Myanmar, 1966 to 1997.... Table 2. Myanma participants in IRRI’s training programs, 1969-97.... IRRI in Myanmar
Language: English
Source/publisher: IRRI
Format/size: pdf (21K)
Date of entry/update: 06 October 2012