Food Security in Burma - specialised groups, general reports and statistics
|Title:|| ||Permanent People’s Tribunal on the Right to Food and the Rule of Law in Asia
|Date of publication:|| ||April 2003|
|Description/subject:|| ||"Which is more important: a full stomach or equal protection under the law? Most people would hesitate to answer. It’s a false choice that ignores the interdependence of economic and civil rights, which proposes that the hungry will be nourished by law and order, while the well-fed are fortified against dysfunctional courts.
This May 2003, the Asian Legal Resource Centre announced the launch of the Permanent People’s Tribunal on the Right to Food and the Rule of Law in Asia. The Tribunal comes at a time when many governments still assert that economic and social rights can be addressed separately from civil and political rights. In fact, no rights are guaranteed without effective laws to secure them and ensure redress for victims. Without equitable and enforceable laws, the product of a farmer’s plough is no more secure than the product of a journalist’s pen... Read more..." This page also contains specific reports on violations of the right to food in Burma.|
|Source/publisher:|| ||Asian Legal Resource Centre|
|Format/size:|| ||pdf (672K)|
|Date of entry/update:|| ||03 June 2003|
|Title:|| ||Agriculture, Livelihoods & Food Security
|Description/subject:|| ||"Food security exists when all people, at all times, have physical and economic access to sufficient, safe and nutritious food to meet their dietary needs and food preferences for an active and healthy life”.
The broad aim of the Thematic Group on Food Security and Agriculture in Myanmar (TGFSA) will be to intensify efforts towards achieving MDG 1 and the World Summit Goal of halving the number of hungry people by 2015.
The aim of the Delta Livelihoods Working Group is to create a forum for discussion on livelihoods issues and facilitate the formulation of complementary Cyclone Nargis Recovery Programmes in order to support and ensure livelihoods of people in the Delta are restored and improved."|
|Source/publisher:|| ||Myanmar Information Management Unit (MIMU)|
|Format/size:|| ||html, pdf|
|Date of entry/update:|| ||07 October 2010|
|Title:|| ||Center of Globalisation and Sustainable Development
|Description/subject:|| ||"The world has witnessed significant, exciting and sudden political changes in Myanmar over the past couple years. The country is at a critical phase in its social and economic transformation, and there is enormous opportunity for development economic growth.
CGSD is building a Sustainable Development Program to provide policy support for the government, local NGOs and the donor community, accelerating growth that is both socially inclusive, sustainable and mindful of climate risks and opportunities..."|
|Source/publisher:|| ||Earth Institute | Columbia University|
|Date of entry/update:|| ||20 October 2013|
|Title:|| ||Food Security Working Group (Myanmar)
|Description/subject:|| ||Established in 2002 the FSWG has provided an effective forum for the networking, capacity building & knowledge sharing for organizations and individuals interested in working on food security and livelihood related issues...ONLINE PUBLICATIONS ON FOOD SECURITY IN VARIOUS LANGUAGES OF BURMA|
|Source/publisher:|| ||Food Security Working Group|
|Date of entry/update:|| ||24 April 2012|
|Title:|| ||HOUSEHOLD FOOD BASKET BULLETIN (WFP)
|Description/subject:|| ||Regular publication|
|Source/publisher:|| ||World Food Programme (Yangon)|
|Format/size:|| ||html, pdf|
|Date of entry/update:|| ||10 October 2010|
|Title:|| ||Improving Food Security Research and Analysis Capacity in Burma (Myanmar)
|Description/subject:|| ||Project Overview...Research Reports...Policy Presentations...MDRI Background and Papers ...Data [not much there]...Links [useful set of links to individual articles and papers, web portals with onward links to information on Myanmar (Burma)and networks]|
|Source/publisher:|| ||Michigan State University|
|Date of entry/update:|| ||20 June 2013|
|Title:|| ||WFP Food Security Update, September 2012: Key Events and Early Warning - Myanmar
|Date of publication:|| ||September 2012|
|Description/subject:|| ||Continuing concerns from previous Updates: Paddy harvest Ayeyarwady, Kayin and Bago: Local and regional rice prices are still being monitored after significant flooding severely affected 126,000 acres of paddy land and completely destroyed 55,000 acres. While the success of the harvest could be mitigated to an extent by post-flood seed distributions (for replanting), the harvest this year will likely be lower than normal in these areas, potentially impacting prices and rice exports..... Sesame, pigeon pea and groundnut harvest - Dry Zone: Harvests are being monitored after drought-like conditions damaged crops in August, leading to as much as a 25% reduction in yield. While replanting was possible, the success of this replanting may have been impacted by another dry spell in September (as pointed out above). Prices of groundnut oil and sesame oil are also being monitored as prices in August were reportedly 70% higher than normal.|
|Source/publisher:|| ||World Food Programme (WFP)|
|Format/size:|| ||pdf (167K)|
|Date of entry/update:|| ||12 October 2012|
|Title:|| ||Diagnosis: Critical – Health And Human Rights in Eastern Burma
|Date of publication:|| ||19 October 2010|
|Description/subject:|| ||Executive Summary: "This report reveals that the health of populations in conflict-affected areas of eastern Burma, particularly women and children, is amongst the worst in the world, a result of official disinvestment in health, protracted conflict and the abuse of civilians..."Diagnosis: Critical" demonstrates that a vast area of
eastern Burma remains in a chronic health
emergency, a continuing legacy of longstanding
official disinvestment in health, coupled with
protracted civil war and the abuse of civilians. This
has left ethnic rural populations in the east with
41.2% of children under five acutely malnourished.
60.0% of deaths in children under the age of 5 are
from preventable and treatable diseases, including
acute respiratory infection, malaria, and diarrhea.
These losses of life would be even greater if it were
not for local community-based health organizations,
which provide the only available preventive and
curative care in these conflict-affected areas.
The report summarizes the results of a large scale
population-based health and human rights survey
which covered 21 townships and 5,754 households
in conflict-affected zones of eastern Burma. The
survey was jointly conducted by the Burma Medical
Association, National Health and Education
Committee, Back Pack Health Worker Team and
ethnic health organizations serving the Karen,
Karenni, Mon, Shan, and Palaung communities.
These areas have been burdened by decades of civil
conflict and attendant human rights abuses against
the indigenous populations.
Eastern Burma demographics are characterized by
high birth rates, high death rates and the significant
absence of men under the age of 45, patterns more
comparable to recent war zones such as Sierra
Leone than to Burma’s national demographics.
Health indicators for these communities, particularly
for women and children, are worse than Burma’s
official national figures, which are already amongst
the worst in the world. Child mortality rates are
nearly twice as high in eastern Burma and the
maternal mortality ratio is triple the official national
While violence is endemic in these conflict zones,
direct losses of life from violence account for only
2.3% of deaths. The indirect health impacts of the
conflict are much graver, with preventable losses
of life accounting for 59.1% of all deaths and malaria
alone accounting for 24.7%. At the time of the
survey, one in 14 women was infected with Pf
malaria, amongst the highest rates of infection in
the world. This reality casts serious doubts over
official claims of progress towards reaching the
country’s Millennium Development Goals related to the health of women, children, and infectious
diseases, particularly malaria.
The survey findings also reveal widespread human
rights abuses against ethnic civilians. Among
surveyed households, 30.6% had experienced
human rights violations in the prior year, including
forced labor, forced displacement, and the
destruction and seizure of food. The frequency and
pattern with which these abuses occur against
indigenous peoples provide further evidence of the
need for a Commission of Inquiry into Crimes
against Humanity. The upcoming election will do
little to alleviate the situation, as the military forces
responsible for these abuses will continue to
operate outside civilian control according to the
The findings also indicate that these abuses are
linked to adverse population-level health outcomes,
particularly for the most vulnerable members of
the community—mothers and children. Survey
results reveal that members of households who
suffer from human rights violations have worse
health outcomes, as summarized in the table above.
Children in households that were internally
displaced in the prior year were 3.3 times more
likely to suffer from moderate or severe acute
malnutrition. The odds of dying before age one was
increased 2.5 times among infants from households
in which at least one person was forced to provide
The ongoing widespread human rights abuses
committed against ethnic civilians and the blockade
of international humanitarian access to rural
conflict-affected areas of eastern Burma by the
ruling State Peace and Development Council (SPDC),
mean that premature death and disability,
particularly as a result of treatable and preventable
diseases like malaria, diarrhea, and respiratory
infections, will continue.
This will not only further devastate the health of
communities of eastern Burma but also poses a
direct health security threat to Burma’s neighbors,
especially Thailand, where the highest rates of
malaria occur on the Burma border. Multi-drug
resistant malaria, extensively drug-resistant
tuberculosis and other infectious diseases are
growing concerns. The spread of malaria resistant
to artemisinin, the most important anti-malarial
drug, would be a regional and global disaster.
In the absence of state-supported health
infrastructure, local community-based organizations
are working to improve access to health services in
their own communities. These programs currently
have a target population of over 376,000 people in
eastern Burma and in 2009 treated nearly 40,000
cases of malaria and have vastly increased access
to key maternal and child health interventions.
However, they continue to be constrained by a lack
of resources and ongoing human rights abuses by
the Burmese military regime against civilians. In
order to fully address the urgent health needs of
eastern Burma, the underlying abuses fueling the
health crisis need to end."|
|Language:|| ||Burmese, English, Thai|
|Source/publisher:|| ||The Burma Medical Association, National Health and Education Committee, Back Pack Health Worker Team|
|Format/size:|| ||pdf (OBL versions: 5.3MB - English; 4.4MB Thai; 3.5MB-Burmese) . Larger, original versions on BPHWT site|
|Alternate URLs:|| ||http://www.burmalibrary.org/docs11/Diagnosis_critical(th)-red.pdf
|Date of entry/update:|| ||05 September 2011|
|Title:|| ||Burma Human Rights Yearbook 2008 - Chapter 8: Deprivation of Livelihood
|Date of publication:|| ||23 November 2009|
|Description/subject:|| ||"Once considered to be the rice bowl of Asia, in 2008 Burma continued to languish and suffer
under the corrupt military rule of the State Peace and Development Council (SPDC),
Burma’s authoritarian military regime. Burmese citizens faced countless human rights
violations aimed at destabilising and destroying livelihoods and building up the military, the
junta’s wealth and the wealth of state affiliated businessmen. As a result, the country
remained among the worst in the world in terms of inflation, poverty, health and education.
While approximately 40 percent of Burma’s annual spending goes toward funding the
military, only three percent is spent healthcare.1 (For more information, see Chapter 11:
Right to Health). The ruling junta has demonstrated a complete lack of will to implement
basic, sound economic principles, and maintains a system that continues to deny many
social and human rights to its people. The consequences of such negligence have been
dire, bringing the once prosperous nation another year closer to economic and social
collapse. In a report released in December of 2008, Burma ranked 135th out of 179
countries on the Human Development Index, down three places from the year before.
Moreover, the United Nations estimated that more than a third of Burmese children are
malnourished and more than 30 percent of the population lives below the poverty line..."|
|Source/publisher:|| ||Human Rights Docmentation Unit (HRDU)|
|Format/size:|| ||pdf (886K)|
|Date of entry/update:|| ||05 December 2009|
|Title:|| ||Improving the Food Security, Nutritional Status and Livelihoods of Vulnerable Populations in Myanmar -- Protracted Relief and Recovery Operations -Myanmar 200032
|Date of publication:|| ||14 October 2009|
|Description/subject:|| ||Executive Summary: "Myanmar has a population of 52 million divided among 135 ethnic groups; it is a food-surplus country with significant agricultural potential. But unfavourable economic policies, extreme weather, protection issues, poor social cohesion and marginalized population groups adversely affect livelihood opportunities, resulting in inadequate access to food. A recent nationwide household survey revealed that a third of the population live below the poverty line. National prevalence of underweight and stunting among children under 5 is 32 percent.
The proposed operation provides food assistance for the most vulnerable and food-insecure populations. It is based on assessments, results monitoring, a WFP mid-term review of protracted relief and recovery operation 100663 and a formulation mission.
This operation is designed to respond to shocks and enhance vulnerable households' resilience and coping capacity through food assistance. The objectives are to:
> respond to the immediate food needs of people affected by shocks (Strategic Objective 1);
> support and re-establish the livelihoods of the most vulnerable and food-insecure populations affected by shocks (Strategic Objective 3);
> increase levels of education and maintain and/or improve the nutrition status of targeted women, girls and boys (Strategic Objective 4); and
> increase food purchases from small farmers and improve their marketing opportunities while building government and partner capacity to address food insecurity (Strategic Objective 5).
The operation is also in line with Millennium Development Goals 1, 2, 3, 4 and 6.
WFP will implement activities directly or through its cooperating partners. It will continue its partnerships with United Nations agencies and non-governmental organizations to complement food assistance and maximize the benefit of its activities.
Strategies adapted to different contexts will support the hand-over of WFP assistance. As food security improves in operational areas, WFP will scale its assistance down. Increasing national capacity remains a challenge for the sustainability of the hand-over of WFP-supported activities..."|
|Source/publisher:|| ||World Food Programme, Myanmar|
|Format/size:|| ||pdf (278K)|
|Date of entry/update:|| ||10 October 2010|
|Title:|| ||On the Edge of Survival: The Continuing Rat Infestation and Food Crisis in Chin State, Burma
|Date of publication:|| ||24 September 2009|
|Description/subject:|| ||Executive Summary"
"Since late 2007, the people of Chin State have been struggling with massive food shortages and hunger after the vast bamboo forests that cover the mountainous landscape of Chin State began to flower and die- a process that occurs twice every century. Already struggling for their survival due to decades of severe economic repression and human rights abuses, this natural disaster has left the Chin people on the edge of survival.
This report is a follow-up to CHRO’s July 2008 report, “Critical Point: Food Scarcity and Hunger in Burma’s Chin State,” which first brought worldwide attention to the dire humanitarian conditions facing the Chin people. This report provides an update on the current conditions in Chin State, the effects of the food crisis, and responses taken to assist people in the affected areas of Chin State.
The bamboo of Chin State began to flower in late 2006. Attracted to the fruit produced by the bamboo, the flowering process triggered an explosion in the rat population. After exhausting the fruit supply, the rats turned on people’s crops and food supplies, causing massive food shortages for local villagers dependent on farming for their livelihood and subsistence. In 2008, CHRO estimated that as many as 200 villages were affected by severe food shortages associated with the bamboo flowering, and no less than 100,000 people, or 20 percent of the entire population of Chin State, were in need of immediate food aid. CHRO now believes those figures are much higher.
Since CHRO first reported on the crisis, food shortages spread to seven townships in Chin State as well as parts of Sagaing Division. Up to 82 percent of the farmland has been destroyed in certain affected regions of Chin State. In several villages, each and every household is in need of immediate food aid. The consequences of the food crisis are also more apparent now. Over 54 people are known to have died due to the effects of extreme malnourishment and famine-related disease; children comprise the majority of recorded deaths. As access to affected regions is limited, this number is likely to be an underestimate. Disease and malnourishment is widespread, particularly among women, children, and the elderly. Children with little ability to concentrate on studies due to hunger have been forced to drop out of school in order to help their families forage for food: school enrollment rates are down 50 to 60 percent from last year. Several thousand Chin have fled their villages to search for food elsewhere. More than 4,000 have already arrived to the India and Thailand border.
Villagers are now struggling with hunger and severe malnutrition due to food shortages in Chin State. Children are particularly at risk of malnourishment. (© CHRO, 2007)
Up to 82 percent of the farmland has been destroyed in certain affected regions of Chin State. (© CHRO, 2009) The situation has been made more acute by the ruling military regime’s utter neglect of the suffering, compounded by policies and practices of abuse and repression against Chin civilians. As thousands struggle with hunger, starvation, and disease, the SPDC continues practices of forced labor, extorting excessive amounts of money from villagers, confiscating people’s land and property, in addition to other severe human rights abuses. Such actions have strained the Chin people’s ability to cope with the impacts of the natural disaster.
Since the food shortages were first reported by CHRO, efforts have been made to respond to the food crisis. After initially dismissing the situation in Chin State, the WFP conducted a follow-up investigation and eventually acknowledged the existence of food shortages in Chin State. During a recent mission to the area, WFP reported “food consumption *to be+
worse than any other region visited by the Mission.” WFP and their coordinating partners initiated relief programs in early 2009 that continue to be implemented in various affected areas of Chin State. Chin community-based groups in India have also organized relief teams to deliver food aid to remote villages in Chin State. These teams are responsible for delivering over 30,000 kilograms of rice to 54 villages in six townships from May to July 2009 alone.
Despite concerted efforts from multiply fronts to assist the affected population, Burma’s military government, the State Peace and Development Council (SPDC), continues to do nothing to respond to the food crisis in Chin State. Rather, the SPDC has exacerbated the crisis through sustained human rights abuses and economic repression, further undermining the livelihoods and food security of the Chin people. Forced labor, extortion, and confiscations of land and property continue unabated within the affected areas. SPDC has denied repeated requests for food aid, even as it reports a rice surplus. Local authorities have banned villagers from receiving foreign aid, threatening reprisals against anyone who accepts foreign aid.
Government neglect and continued abuse; inadequately supported relief efforts; and pervasive hunger and food shortages have the potential for catastrophic humanitarian consequences. The effects of the bamboo flowering and rat infestation are expected to last three to five years. During the last bamboo cycle, half a century ago, 10,000 to 15,000 people reportedly died due to the associated effects of hunger and disease in neighboring Mizoram State. The people of Chin State today struggling with the same natural disaster have the added burden of military repression, abuse, and neglect. They are on the edge of survival now; but their struggle is far from over."|
|Source/publisher:|| ||Chin Human Rights Organization (CHRO)|
|Format/size:|| ||pdf (2.38MB)|
|Alternate URLs:|| ||http://www.burmalibrary.org/docs07/On_The_Edge_of_Survival-2.pdf|
|Date of entry/update:|| ||18 September 2009|
|Title:|| ||From Golden Triangle to Rubber Belt ? - The Future of Opium Bans in the Kokang and Wa Regions
|Date of publication:|| ||July 2009|
|Description/subject:|| ||"In the Kokang and Wa regions in northern Burma opium bans have ended over a century of poppy cultivation. The bans have had dramatic consequences for local communities. They depended on opium as a cash crop, to buy food, clothing, and medicines. The bans have driven poppy-growing communities into chronic poverty and have adversely affected their food security. Very few alternatives are being offered to households for their survival...
Conclusions & Recommendations:
• The opium bans have driven communities into chronic poverty and have adversely affected their food security and access to health care and education. • The Kokang and Wa authorities have promoted Chinese investment in mono-plantations, especially in rubber. These projects are unsustainable and do not significantly profit the population. • Ex-poppy farmers mainly rely on casual labour and collecting Non-Timber Forest Products as alternative source of income. • Current interventions by international NGOs and UN agencies are still limited in scale and can best be described as “emer-gency responses”. • If the many challenges to achieving viable legal livelihoods in the Kokang and Wa regions are not addressed, the reductions in opium cultivation are unlikely to be sustainable.
The Kokang and Wa cease-fire groups have implemented these bans following international pressure, especially from neighbouring China. In return, they hope to gain international political recognition and aid to develop their impoverished and war-torn regions. The Kokang and Wa authorities have been unable to provide alternative sources of income for ex-poppy farmers. Instead they have promoted Chinese invest-ment in monoplantations, especially in rubber. These projects have created many undesired effects and do not significantly profit the population.
The Burmese military government, the State Peace and Development Council (SPDC), has also been unwilling and unable to provide assistance. The international community has provided emergency aid through inter-national NGOs and UN agencies. However, current levels of support are insufficient, and need to be upgraded in order to provide sustainable alternatives for the population. The international community should not abandon former opium-growing communities in the Kokang and Wa regions at this critical time..."|
|Author/creator:|| ||Tom Kramer|
|Source/publisher:|| ||Transnational Insititute (Drug Policy Briefing Nr 29)|
|Format/size:|| ||pdf (217K)|
|Alternate URLs:|| ||http://www.tni.org/briefing/golden-triangle-rubber-belt
|Date of entry/update:|| ||11 August 2010|
|Title:|| ||Rural Households' Food Security Status and Coping Strategies to Food Insecurity in Myanmar
|Date of publication:|| ||February 2009|
|Description/subject:|| ||"...This study will examine the food (rice) availability at the national level using the official and FAO data. Second, a case study in the rice deficit region (Dry Zone) will present the characteristics and food security status of the farm and non-farm rural households (landless) and the determinants of food security. The Dry Zone was chosen to study because the EC & FAO (2007) classified this region as the most vulnerable area of the country. Furthermore, the FAO projected that the Net Primary Production would be decreased significantly in the Dry Zone in the next two decades. It is essential to collect the primary and secondary data on food availability, access, stability and utilization for understanding the current reality of food security at both macro and micro level...
Objectives of the Study:
> To assess the food (rice) availability at the national level by using indicators of trend of production index, growth rate of sown area, production and yield, average availability of rice, average per capita rice consumption, rice surplus, dietary energy supply of rice, share of food expenditure in total budget, self-sufficiency ratio, trends in domestic prices of rice and the estimated effects of the Nargis cyclone on rice self-sufficiency.
> To investigate the rural household's access to food in terms of human capital, food production, household income, asset ownership, and income diversification of farm and non-farm (landless) households.
> To examine the farm and non-farm household's food security status by applying the national food poverty line and the index of coping strategies method along with some indicators such as food share in the household budget, percentage of food expenditure in the total household income, and nutrition security indicators of access to safe drinking water, sanitation, diseases, and number of children death.|
|Author/creator:|| ||Dolly Kyaw|
|Source/publisher:|| ||Institute of Developing Economies, Japan External Trade Organization (V.R.F. Series No. 444)|
|Format/size:|| ||pdf (656K)|
|Date of entry/update:|| ||10 August 2009|
|Title:|| ||FAO/WFP CROP AND FOOD SECURITY ASSESSMENT MISSION TO MYANMAR: SPECIAL REPORT
|Date of publication:|| ||22 January 2009|
|Description/subject:|| ||Mission Highlights:
• During the 2008 monsoon season, agricultural production suffered a significant decline in areas
severely affected by Cyclone Nargis, as a result of poor quality seeds, salinity and iron toxicity, lack of
agricultural labour and draught animals. Compared to the previous year, average paddy production is
estimated to have decreased by 32 percent in 7 affected townships in the Ayeyarwady Division and
by 35 percent in 3 affected townships of Yangon Division. At the divisional level, 2008 monsoon
paddy output was down by 13 percent in Ayeyarwady, and 9 percent in Yangon.
• Overall, aggretate food production in Myanmar is satisfactory, with positive outputs expected in most
states/divisions, reflecting favourable weather and increasing use of F1 and HYV rice seeds. The
Mission forecasts a 2008/09 (2008 monsoon and 2009 summer) cereal output of 21 million tonnes
(rice at 19.8 million tonnes, maize at 1.11 million tonnes, and wheat at 0.147 million tonnes),
3.2 percent below the previous year, but approximately 10 percent above the five-year average.
Cereal exports are expected to be high, with estimated rice exports of 477 000 tonnes and maize
exports of 159 000 tonnes conversely, up to 64 000 tonnes of wheat are expected to be imported.
• The cyclone-related damage to the livestock and fishing sectors in the Ayeyarwady Delta will continue
to affect food supply and income generation in 2008/09.
• Rats have damaged 685 hectares of rice and 400 hectares of maize in 121 villages of Chin
State;localized food insecurity in these villages is expected.
• Despite the increase in international rice prices, paddy prices in Myanmar remained low in 2008 due
to domestic market and trade barriers. These low prices, combined with the rising cost of fertilizer and
other major inputs, have significantly reduced farmers’ incentives profits, and may have negatively
impacted agricultural productivity and the country’s agricultural exports.
• The Mission received reports of high levels of malnutrition in northern Rakhine State and
recommends that a joint UNICEF and WFP food security and nutrition survey be conducted to verify
these reports and to plan appropriate interventions, if needed.
• In areas with high percentages of food insecure and vulnerable populations, defined as people living
below the food poverty line, baseline surveys are required to measure food security, vulnerability, and
nutrition, and plan appropriate interventions. Chin and Rakhine States are of the highest priority for
• There are more than 5 million people below the food poverty line in Myanmar. States/divisions which
the Mission found to be a priority for emergency food assistance are: cyclone-affected areas of
Ayeyarwady Division (85 000 tonnes); Chin State (23 000 tonnes), particularly those areas affected
by the rat infestation; Rakhine State (15 000 tonnes), particularly the north of the State; Kachin State
(8 300 tonnes); north Shan State (20 200 tonnes); east Shan State (7 000 tonnes); and Magwe
Division (27 500 tonnes). Most of the food commodities can be procured locally, with only a limited
requirement for imported food aid.
• The Mission recommends the following agricultural assistance in cyclone-affected Ayeyarwady and
Yangon Divisions: distribution of seeds for the coming summer and next monsoon planting seasons;
distribution of draught animals adapted to local climatic conditions; distribution of other livestock for
increased meat availability; distribution of hand tractors with training on their usage and maintenance;
distribution of fishing equipment; re-establishment of ice production plants; and training in
boat-building, net-making and on drafting of fishery laws.
• The Mission recommends the following actions in regard to national food policies: set up a market
information and food security warning system; develop balanced food production and trade policies
for both producers and consumers; remove domestic market/trade barriers; and improve market
|Author/creator:|| ||Cheng Fang, Maung Mar, Aye Mon, Thanda Kyi, Bernard Cartella, Jan Delbaere, Michael Sheinkman, Nang Seng Aye, Aaron Charlop-Powers, Siddharth Krishnaswamy, Raul Varela|
|Source/publisher:|| ||FAO, WFP|
|Format/size:|| ||pdf (437K)|
|Date of entry/update:|| ||22 September 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|
|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:|| ||Food Security and National Disaster
|Date of publication:|| ||10 December 2008|
|Author/creator:|| ||Dr Toe Aung, Director-General, Department of Agricultural Research [Myanmar]|
|Format/size:|| ||Powerpoint presentation|
|Date of entry/update:|| ||10 August 2009|
|Title:|| ||Food Security and Natural Disasters: [Myanmar] Country Status Paper
|Date of publication:|| ||10 December 2008|
|Description/subject:|| ||"Myanmar has a total land area of 676,577 sq km with a population of 57.50 million. Total net sown area is 11.67 ml ha with the cropping intensity of 157.1%. Forest cover, 33.44 ml ha accounted for nearly half of Myanmar's land area. Presently, only 60% of the 17.19 ml ha classified for agricultural production is being exploited.
Myanmar has a predominantly agricultural economy and agriculture sector contributed 45% of GDP, 11% of export earning and employed 63% of its labour force..."|
|Format/size:|| ||pdf (35K)|
|Date of entry/update:|| ||10 August 2009|
|Title:|| ||Food Security Profile WA Special Region
|Date of publication:|| ||November 2008|
|Description/subject:|| ||This Report summarizes the findings of the Food Security Profiling assessment carried out across the Wa area in September 2008.|
|Source/publisher:|| ||World Food Programme (WFP)|
|Format/size:|| ||pdf (364K)|
|Date of entry/update:|| ||10 August 2009|
|Title:|| ||Critical Point - Food Scarcity and Hunger in Burma’s Chin State _ 2008 (Special Reports)
|Date of publication:|| ||July 2008|
|Description/subject:|| ||EXECUTIVE SUMMARY: "The military regime of Burma has been consistent in their inability and unwillingness to protect and provide for the people of Burma. Burma’s human rights record provides testimony of decades of widespread violations and abuses perpetrated largely at the hands of Burma’s military rulers and their agents against the Burmese people. Dissent is regularly silenced and opponents brutalized. In a country once known as the “rice-bowl of Asia,” Burma is now one of the poorest countries of Asia due to steady economic deterioration driven by the regime’s mismanagement. Many in Burma live without access to proper schools, healthcare facilities, reliable electricity, safe drinking water, and stable food supplies. Cowed by policies of extreme oppression and tactics of intimidation, life for much of the population in Burma is a struggle for daily survival. Add to that a natural disaster- and survival in Burma reaches a critical point. Western Burma’s Chin State is at such a point. Since 2006, the region has been plagued by a severe food crisis following a steep reduction in the local harvest and food production. The year 2006 marked the beginning of a new cycle of bamboo flowering, which occurs about every 50 years in the region, triggering an explosion in the population of rats and resulting in the destruction of crops. This has caused a severe shortage of food for local communities primarily dependent on subsistence farming through shifting cultivation. The phenomenon has been documented three times since 1862, and each past event ended in a disastrous famine for the communities in the area. Compounding the impending food crisis in Chin State due to the bamboo flowering is the continuation of severe human rights violations and repressive economic policies of the military regime, which serve to further undermine the livelihoods and food security of the Chin people. The use of unpaid civilian forced labour is widespread throughout Chin State, which consumes the time and energy of local farmers and reduces their crop yields. The regime also forcibly orders farmers to substitute their staple crops for other cash crops, and has confiscated thousands of acres of farmland from local farmers for tea and jatropha plantations. Meanwhile, arbitrary taxes and mandatory “donations” collected from Chin households by the Burmese authorities total up to as much 200,000 Kyats a year in major towns.2 This includes the unofficial collection of money from the Chin public by officials in various government departments at the local level to support such programs as tea and bio-fuel plantations; and extortion and confiscation of money, properties, and livestock by military units stationed at 33 locations across the state. The rising cost of living and skyrocketing food prices is also adding to the already dire humanitarian situation in Chin State. In the last four years, the price of rice has quintupled from 6,000 Kyats a bag in 2004 to as much as 30,000 Kyats today, an amount equivalent to the monthly salary of entry level public servants. The humanitarian consequences stemming from the dying bamboo and exacerbated by conditions imposed by the regime are enormous, and there are clear indications that unless urgent action is taken to address the crisis, the situation could soon turn into a large-scale catastrophe affecting all parts of Chin State. The hardest hit areas are in the southern townships of Matupi and Paletwa where bamboo grows heavily, but reports suggest that severe food shortages are a state-wide phenomenon with many villages in the northern townships of Tonzang and Thantlang, for example, having already run out of food supplies. Based on the latest field surveys conducted in the affected areas, Chin Human Rights Organization (CHRO) estimates that as many as 200 villages may be directly affected by severe food shortages associated with the bamboo flowering, and no less than 100, 000 people or 20 percent of the entire population of Chin State may be in need of immediate food aid.3 Food scarcity is more severe in remote areas, where families are being reduced to one meal a day or have nothing left to eat at all. CHRO recently visited four border villages in India’s Mizoram State where it found 93 families from 22 villages in Paletwa Township, Chin State who fled across the border in search of food.
To date, Burma’s State Peace and Development Council (SPDC) has done nothing positive to counter the food scarcity, nor has the SPDC provided any kind of help to communities affected by the food crisis. Repeated requests by affected communities for food aid were denied, even as 100,000 metric tonnes of rice was exported to Sri Lanka.4 Rather, Burma Army soldiers have seized food aid donated by private donors and church groups.5 In contrast to the situation in Burma, India’s Mizoram and Manipur States, both adjacent to Chin State, are facing a similar food crisis related to the bamboo flowering, and have received millions of dollars in aid from the central government as well as international aid agencies, including USAID of the United States government, to support emergency programs to combat and manage the food crisis.6
In early May, when Cyclone Nargis ripped through lower Burma and the Irrawaddy delta destroying entire regions of land and leaving thousands homeless, hungry, and helpless, the regime clearly demonstrated their complete indifference to the plight of the Burmese people. In response to this natural disaster, they did shamefully little to ease the suffering of the victims and much to hamper relief efforts. As a result, the people of Burma paid a heavy price in the loss of life and continue to struggle under a regime that fails to protect or provide for its people. As another natural disaster unfolds in western Burma without hope of internal protections or provisions, the Chin people, like the cyclone victims, will be sure to pay a heavy toll unless action is taken immediately.
The critical point for action is now."|
|Source/publisher:|| ||Chin Human Rights Organization (CHRO)|
|Format/size:|| ||pdf (731K, 640K)|
|Alternate URLs:|| ||http://www.chro.ca/publications/special-reports.html|
|Date of entry/update:|| ||09 July 2008|
|Title:|| ||Labor Contracts, Incentives, and Food Security in Rural Myanmar
|Date of publication:|| ||January 2006|
"This paper develops an agency model of contract choice in the hiring of labor and then uses the model to estimate the determinants of contract choice in rural Myanmar. As a salient feature relevant for the agricultural sector in a low income country such as Myanmar, the agency model incorporates considerations of food security and incentive effects. It is shown that when, possibly due to poverty, food considerations are important for employees, employers will prefer a labor contract with wages paid in kind (food) to one with wages paid in cash. At the same time, when output is responsive to workers' effort and labor monitoring is costly, employers will prefer a contract with piecerate
wages to one with hourly wages. The case of sharecropping can be understood as a combination of the two: a labor contract with piecerate
wages paid in kind. The predictions of the theoretical model are tested using a crosssection
dataset collected in rural Myanmar through a sample household survey which was conducted in 2001 and covers diverse agroecological
environments. The estimation results are consistent with the theoretical predictions: wages are more likely to be paid in kind when the share of staple food in workers' budget is higher and the farmland on which they produce food themselves is smaller; piecerate
wages are more likely to be adopted when work effort is more difficult to monitor and the farming operation requires quick completion...
JEL classification codes: J33, Q12, O12.
Keywords: contract, incentive, selection, food security, Myanmar.|
|Author/creator:|| ||Takashi Kurosaki|
|Source/publisher:|| ||Hitotsubashi University Research Unit for Statistical Analysis in Social Sciences|
|Format/size:|| ||pdf (1.6MB)|
|Date of entry/update:|| ||22 April 2008|
|Title:|| ||"Health Messenger" Magazine No. 26 -- special issue on Nutrition
|Date of publication:|| ||December 2004|
|Description/subject:|| ||General Health:
Underlying causes of malnutrition --
Why health workers should feel concerned by nutritional issues? Misconceptions Concerning Nutrition: Voices of Community Health Educators and TBAs along the Thai-Burmese Border;
Micronutrients: The Hidden Hunger; Iron Deficiency Anaemia; The Vicious Circle of Malnutrition and Infection;
Treatment: IDENTIFYING MALNUTRITION; MANAGEMENT OF ACUTE SEVERE MALNUTRITION;
GROWTH MONITORING: THE BEST PREVENTION;
Fortified Flour for Refugees living in the camp;
Making Blended Flour at Local Level;
The example of MISOLA Flour in Africa.
Health Education: Pregnancy and Nutrition;
WHEN RICE SOUP IS NOT ENOUGH:
First Foods - the Key to Optimal Growth and Development;
BUILDING A BALANCED DIET FOR GOOD HEALTH;
From the Field:
How Sanetun became a malnourished child?|
|Language:|| ||Burmese, English|
|Source/publisher:|| ||Aide Medicale Internationale (AMI)|
|Format/size:|| ||pdf (5.2MB)|
|Date of entry/update:|| ||01 July 2007|
|Title:|| ||Promoting household food and nutrition security in Myanmar
|Date of publication:|| ||2001|
|Description/subject:|| ||"Myanmar has a policy of promoting food and nutrition security and, at the national level, food production is
more than that required to meet the country’s needs. Nevertheless, food and nutrition surveillance has revealed
that malnutrition still exists in the country, despite economic growth and national food self-sufficiency. The
National Plan of Action for Food and Nutrition, formulated in 1994 and adopted in 1995, accorded priority to
household food and nutrition security. Accordingly, in 1996, in partnership with the World Health Organization
(WHO), the National Nutrition Centre embarked on a study of household food and nutrition security in
Myanmar. A preliminary situation analysis revealed that transitional changes in the economic, demographic and
social sectors have driven dramatic changes in people’s lifestyles, behaviour and practices and that these
changes affect food and nutrition security. The present paper explores household and intrahousehold
determinants of nutrition problems in Myanmar.".....Results
Preliminary descriptive analysis demonstrated more acute
malnutrition in the urban area than in the rural area for both
the pre- and post-harvest periods. Furthermore, nutritional
problems were more acute in both the urban and rural areas
during the preharvest period than during the post-harvest
period. Urban children consumed fewer calories than rural
children during both the pre- and post-harvest times, while
children in both rural and urban areas consumed fewer
calories during the preharvest period than during the postharvest
period, although all the differences were not statistically
significant......Keywords: care of the vulnerable, food security, malnutrition, Myanmar, National Plan of Action for Food and Nutrition.|
|Author/creator:|| ||Aye Thwin MPH (NUTRITION), DFs&N, MB, BS|
|Source/publisher:|| ||Asia Pacific J Clin Nutr (2001) 10(Suppl.): S34–S39|
|Format/size:|| ||pdf (231`K)|
|Date of entry/update:|| ||25 October 2009|
|Title:|| ||Voice of the Hungry Nation
|Date of publication:|| ||October 1999|
|Description/subject:|| ||This document presents the findings, conclusions and recommendations of the People's Tribunal on Food Scarcity
and Militarization in Burma. The Tribunal’s work will appeal to all readers interested in human rights and social
justice, as well as anyone with a particular interest in Burma. The Asian Human Rights Commission presents this
report in order to stimulate discourse on human rights and democratization in Burma and around the world.|
|Source/publisher:|| ||People's Tribunal on Food Scarcity and Militarization in Burma|
|Format/size:|| ||English version|
|Alternate URLs:|| ||http://www.burmadebate.org/archives/fall99bttm.html#hungry|
|Date of entry/update:|| ||03 June 2003|
|Title:|| ||Voice of the Hungry Nation
|Date of publication:|| ||September 1999|
|Description/subject:|| ||an edited version of a report by the People's Tribunal on Food Scarcity and Militarization in Burma, which was published by the Asian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) in October 1999.|
|Author/creator:|| ||People's Tribunal on Food Scarcity and Militarization in Burma|
|Source/publisher:|| ||"Burma Debate", Vol. VI, No. 3|
|Date of entry/update:|| ||03 June 2003|