Wednesday, 19 February 2014

Myanmar Rice Federation Calls for Improved Rice Policies, to Compete with Neighboring Countries

The Myanmar Rice Federation (MRF) has called for improved rice policies, to compete with neighboring rice exporting countries like India, Thailand, Vietnam and China. The General-Secretary of the MRF said the government needs to adopt more comprehensive rice policies, which allow foreign investors to invest freely in areas such as seed production, rice milling or industrial farming. 

He noted that the existing policy to ensure domestic production and export the surplus is too general and a more precise and strategic policy specifying the roles of rice millers, traders, companies and farmers as well as the insurance system is needed. The MRF will cooperate with the government, international organizations and civil society groups to work out new rice policies, he adds. The General-Secretary also said that the government and the MRF are working out on a draft of new rice policies and will shortly present it to the President and the public, as well as political parties and civil society organizations for their input and advice. 

The Democratic Voice of Burma, a non-profit media organization, also said that Myanmar lacks comprehensive policy governing foreign investment in agriculture and the export of rice despite scrapping the longstanding ban on private rice exports in 2010. The modernization needs of the country's agriculture sector are vast, says the media organization. Myanmar was the world's largest rice exporter from 1961 to 1963. 

The USDA estimates the country to produce 1.1 million tons of rice in the MY 2013-14, about 3% more than the 1.07 million tons in the MY 2012-13. The US agency estimates the country's consumption needs at 1.025 million tons, slightly up from last year's 1.02 million tons. The country's exports are estimated to remain at last year's level of around 750,000 tons.

source: Oryza

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