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Agriculture
transferred here from Economy

  • Global resources on agriculture

    Websites/Multiple Documents

    Title: GRAIN
    Description/subject: "GRAIN is a small international non-profit organisation that works to support small farmers and social movements in their struggles for community-controlled and biodiversity-based food systems"
    Language: English
    Source/publisher: GRAIN
    Format/size: html
    Date of entry/update: 14 October 2012


  • Agriculture in Burma/Myanmar: general and research

    Websites/Multiple Documents

    Title: Agricultural Atlas of Union of Manmar
    Description/subject: A3 printed atlas (120 pages) collecting the most important maps, associated tables and derived charts extracted from the Digital Agricultural Atlas of the Union of Myanmar. The Atlas contains general datasets from international data providers and agricultural-related datasets generated from 2001-2002 statistics at State/Division and District level. Main maps are displayed at 1:6 000 000 scale while other ancillary maps are displayed around 1:12 000 000 scale. The atlas aims to act as reference and guide to those wishing to understand more clearly the opportunities and challenges facing the agricultural sector in Myanmar. Next is a selection of pages from the atlas. Click on the picture to open the full size (pdf, A3) file.
    Language: English
    Source/publisher: Digital Agriculture Atlas
    Format/size: html
    Date of entry/update: 25 October 2010


    Title: Agriculture in Burma (Wikipedia)
    Description/subject: Agriculture in Burma (officially Myanmar) is the main industry in the country, accounting for about 60 percent of the GDP and employing some 65 percent of the labor force. Burma was once Asia's largest exporter of rice, and it is remains the country's most crucial agricultural commodity. Other main crops include pulses, beans, sesame, groundnuts, sugarcane, lumber, and fish. Moreover, livestock is raised as both a source of food and labor.
    Language: English
    Source/publisher: Wikipedia
    Format/size: html
    Date of entry/update: 20 August 2012


    Title: FAO: Myanmar Agriculture page
    Description/subject: Biotechnology Country Profiles, FAO-BioDeC (Biotechnologies in Developing Countries), Maps,Reports and Statistical Data and some publications from FAO
    Language: English
    Source/publisher: Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO)
    Format/size: html
    Alternate URLs: http://www.fao.org/countryprofiles/index/en/?lang=en&ISO3=mmr&subj=4
    Date of entry/update: 02 September 2010


    Title: Ministry of Agriculture and Irrigation (MOAI)
    Description/subject: 3 sites for this ministry: last edited in 2010 (primary URL); 2004 and 2002 (Alternate URLs in these metadata). Tables, photos, statistics. Sections on: Location, Topogaphy, Climate, Rainfall, Land, Water, RuraL Population and Farm Families, General Agricultural situation, Inputs, Agro-base Industries, Export, NFIS Agri Statistice, Organisation of MOAI, Statistics. I couldn't get any of the site search engines to work.
    Language: English
    Source/publisher: Ministry of Agriculture and Irrigation (MOAI)
    Format/size: html
    Alternate URLs: http://myanmargeneva.org/e-com/agri/expind/agri-index/myanmar.com/ministry/agriculture/default_1.html (2004)
    http://www.modins.net/myanmarinfo/ministry/agriculture.htm (2002)
    Date of entry/update: 16 December 2010


    Individual Documents

    Title: Asian Development Bank Interim Country Partnership Strategy: Myanmar, 2012-2014 SECTOR ASSESSMENT (SUMMARY): AGRICULTURE AND NATURAL RESOURCES
    Date of publication: September 2012
    Description/subject: Interim Country Partnership Strategy: Myanmar, 2012-2014 SECTOR ASSESSMENT (SUMMARY): AGRICULTURE AND NATURAL RESOURCES: 5-pager... I. Sector Performance, Problems, and Opportunities... II. Government’s Sector Strategy... III. ADB Sector Experience... Problem Tree for Agriculture, Renewable Natural Resources and Environment Sector
    Source/publisher: Asian Development Bank (ADB)
    Format/size: pdf (63K)
    Alternate URLs: http://www.burmalibrary.org/docs14/mya-interim-agriculture.pdf
    Date of entry/update: 28 September 2012


    Title: Study on the Evolution of the Farming Systems and Livelihoods Dynamics in Northern Chin State
    Date of publication: August 2012
    Description/subject: Conclusions: "Chin State has been often characterized among all States and Regions by the highest poverty gap ratio, highest occurrence of food deficits, poor road connectivity, low population density but lowest percent availability of cultivable lands and high percentage of waste and scrub lands, adherence to the shifting cultivation system, lack of rural based industries, and higher rate of out migration. In order to pull the local people out of these traps, fundamental problems will have to be addressed. The public goods such as infrastructure, roads and electricity should receive the priority agenda for development. Without this development framework, attempts to address the issues of community development, food security, natural resources management and community empowerment will give no significant impact on the local communities. The government bodies and the development agencies should participate in and coordinate the formulation of the development agenda and afterwards respective organizations and institutions will focus on their relevant tasks with their set targets. Assuming that these preconditions have been or will be met soon or in parallel manner, the following agenda are suggested as far as the sustainable livelihood improvement and farming systems development with better natural resources management are concerned to us..." Table of Contents: I. INTRODUCTION: 1. Objectives of the Study... 2. Expected Mission Outcomes... 3. Methodology... II. Presentation of the survey cases: 1. Location and Geography... 2. Settlement Pattern... 3. Upland Ecology, Households, Land and Land Tenure Bounded by Tribal Community Culture... 4. Location of Village in Relation to Forests, Taun-yar (Lopils) and Paddy Land... 5. Farming Systems of the Study Areas... 6. Past and Present Situation of Taun-yar or Shifting Cultivation... III. Evolution of farming systems & Livelihood Dynamics: 1. Good Practices and Weaknesses in Taun-yar Farming... 2. Changing Process of Lowland Paddy Growing and Terrace Farming... 3. Process and Pattern of Terraced Farm Development... 4. Legal Aspects and Land Registration in Permanent Farming Plots... 5. Land Use Types in Relation to Wealth Classes in Sample Villages... IV. Food Security Attained by Different Livelihood Activities: 1. Sources of staple food... 2. Change in Dietary Habit over 20 Year- Period... 3. Demand and Supply Situation of Rice in Northern Chin State... V. Examination of the Population Dynamics and Land Cover changes: 1. Population status and evolution... 2. Migration Dynamics... 3. Assessing the Carrying Capacity of the Land Resources... 4. Land Cover Changes... VI. Activities and Programmes of the Developement Agencies and Local Initiatives for Livelihood Improvement and NRM in Northern Chin State: 1. Development Agencies... 2. The Government and Non-Government Activities for Crops Development... VII. Recommendations and Conclusions: VIII. ACKNOWLEDGEMENT: IX. REFERENCES: X. APPENDIX.
    Author/creator: U San Thein
    Language: English
    Source/publisher: Group of Research and Exchange of Technologies (GRET), LIFT
    Format/size: pdf (1.5MB)
    Date of entry/update: 10 March 2014


    Title: Agro-Based Industry in Myanmar - Prospects and Challenges
    Date of publication: 2003
    Description/subject: 400-page book in image files divided into chapters..... Title page, Content, etc...Acknowledgement...Chapter 1- Introduction...Chapter 2 - Agro-Based Industrializing Strategy...Chapter 3 - Rice Industry...Chapter 4 - Wheat Flour Industry...Chapter 5 - Pulses Industry...Chapter 6 - Feed Industry...Chapter 7 - Edible Oil Industry... Chapter 8 - Growth, Survival and and Prospects of Sugar Processing SMEs...Chapter 9 - Cotton textile Industry... Chapter 10 - Facts About Myanmar Jute Industries...Chapter 11 - Chapter 11 Rubber& Rubber Product Industry
    Author/creator: U Tin Htut Oo and Toshihiro Kudo
    Language: English
    Source/publisher: IDE- Institute of Developing Economies / JETRO - Japan External Trade Organization
    Format/size: html, pdf
    Date of entry/update: 25 September 2012


    Title: Moving Towards A New Research Paradigm for Myanmar: Community-based Natural Resource Management
    Date of publication: 30 May 2001
    Description/subject: Paper for presentation to the International Conference on Sustaining Upland Development in Southeast Asia: Issues, Tools and Institutions for Local Natural Resource Management, 28-30 May 2001, ACEED, Makati City, Philippines. ABSTRACT: " With agriculture as the prime mover of Myanmar’s national economic development, agriculture intensification had affected the farm population and the natural resource base. For years, agricultural researches had been addressed through the traditional commodity and farming systems research approach. However, to answer a wider problems of environmental and resource degradation, new approaches that extend beyond the crop and the farmers’ field have been employed. Hence, a new research paradigm focusing on a more collective, inter-disciplinary, community-level resource management was implemented in Myanmar. A community-based natural resource management research was established in three pilot sites in Myanmar, each representing a different ecosystem. Initially, a team of researchers conducted a Participatory Rural Appraisal (PRA) to gather information on the natural resource issues and problems. Several research issues were identified and research studies were conducted through farmers’ participatory trials and community activities. Research results and experiences are presented."
    Author/creator: Arnulfo G. Garcia, Aye Swe & Yolanda T. Garcia
    Language: English
    Source/publisher: SEARCA
    Format/size: PDF (41K)
    Date of entry/update: 03 June 2003


    Title: Agricultural diversification and rural industrialization as a strategy for rural income growth and poverty reduction in Indochina and Myanmar
    Date of publication: 1999
    Description/subject: Abstract: CONTENTS: Introduction; concepts and rationale; concept of diversification; rationale for diversification; significance for IMR; Structural features of IMR and their relevance to diversification; evidence of diversification in the IMR; trends in areas and production of crops and meat production; agricultural exports; future challenges and guiding principles; references....Keywords: Agricultural diversification Economic aspects.; Indochina Economic policy.; Poverty alleviation.; Myanmar Economic policy.; Meat industry and trade.
    Author/creator: Francesco Goletti
    Language: English
    Source/publisher: International Food Policy Research Institute
    Format/size: pdf (160K)
    Date of entry/update: 22 April 2008


    Title: The Role of Agriculture in the Development of Myanmar Economy
    Date of publication: 1999
    Description/subject: "...Myanmar is on the path of a progressive trend in food, agriculture and forestry sector and is fully committed to contribute its utmost towards global efforts on food for all. All-out efforts are thus made in the direction of developing the agriculture sector in Myanmar in accordance with one of the national economic objectives “ Development of Agriculture as the base and all-round development of other sectors of the economy as well” "
    Author/creator: Nyein Zin Soe
    Language: English
    Source/publisher: KDI School of Public Policy and Management (Seoul, ROK)
    Date of entry/update: 03 June 2003


    Title: Upland Agriculture, Myanmar
    Date of publication: 1999
    Description/subject: "Myanmar is the largest Asian mainland country excluding India and China. Its land area is 676 577 sq. km divided into seven states and seven divisions. The population is estimated at 46 million, of whom 75% live in rural areas. Agriculture dominates the economy constituting 36% of the GDP in 1998 and 35% of export earnings. There is great potential for expansion of arable land. In 1998 only 12 million of the available 18 million hectares were cultivated. Rice, beans, pulses and sugar cane are the principal crops. Rice alone accounts for 25% of the GDP in Myanmar. The per capita GDP is 220 USD (in 1995) and makes Myanmar one of the Least Developed Countries. But the country has substantial human resources and economic potential including underdeveloped arable lands, resources to expand irrigation and energy supply capacity as well as natural gas, marine resources and mineral wealth...Of all the GMS countries Myanmar has the greatest potential to expand its agricultural production area. There is also great potential for increasing exports of field and horticultural crops. The policy framework encourages foreign investment in the sector and promotes export-driven agricultural sector growth. This creates an enabling environment for diversifying and intensifying agricultural production, which is of benefit to the remote watershed development initiatives of concern to us. Major issues to consider in planning an upland development initiative relate to access to support services in the agricultural as well as social sectors. Access to production inputs (seed, fertilisers, livestock, machinery, etc.), and rural services such as credit, markets and agricultural extension vary and have a significant impact on the development potential of a community..."
    Author/creator: Eija Pehu
    Language: English
    Source/publisher: Regional Environmental Technical Assistance 5771 Poverty Reduction & Environmental Management in Remote Greater Mekong Subregion (GMS) Watersheds Project (Phase I).
    Format/size: html
    Date of entry/update: 03 June 2003


  • Agricultural land confiscation/grabbing, Agribusiness

    Websites/Multiple Documents

    Title: Displacement Solutions
    Description/subject: NGO working on housing, land and property rights (HLP) http://mebel-it.com.ua/shkafyi/dlya-odezhdyi http://getenergy.ru/?page_id=10
    Language: English
    Source/publisher: Displacement Solutions
    Format/size: html
    Date of entry/update: 29 August 2009


    Title: Food crisis and the global land grab (Burma)
    Description/subject: Several articles on land grabbing in Burma/Myanmar
    Language: English
    Source/publisher: farmlandgrab.org
    Format/size: html
    Date of entry/update: 14 October 2012


    Title: Rights and Resources Initiative
    Description/subject: A global coalition of 14 Partners and over 120 international, regional and community organizations advancing forest tenure, policy, and market reforms..... Core Beliefs: "Based on our experience, we find that empowerment of rural people and asset-based development are part of a process that is dependent on a set of enabling conditions, including security of tenure to access and use natural resources. As a coalition of diverse and varied organizations, RRI is guided by a set of core beliefs... Rights of Poor Communities Must Be Recognized and Strengthened: We believe it is possible to achieve the seemingly irreconcilable goals of alleviating poverty, conserving forests and encouraging sustained economic growth in forested regions. However, for this to happen, the rights of poor communities to forests and trees, as well as their rights to participate fully in markets and the political processes that regulate forest use, must be recognized and strengthened. ... Progress Requires Supporting and Responding to Local Communities: We believe that progress requires supporting, and responding to, local community organizations and their efforts to advance their own well-being... Now is the Time to Act: We believe that the next few decades are particularly critical. They represent an historic moment where there can be either dramatic gains, or losses, in the lives and well-being of the forest poor, as well as in the conservation and restoration of the world’s threatened forests... Progress Requires Engagement and Constructive Participation by All: It is clear that progress on the necessary tenure and policy reforms requires constructive participation by communities, governments and the private sector, as well as new research and analysis of policy options and new mechanisms to share learning between communities, governments and the private sector... Reforming Forest Tenure and Governance Requires a Focused and Sustained Global Effort: We believe that reforming forest tenure and governance to the scale necessary to achieve either the Millennium Development Goals, or the broader goals of improved well-being, forest conservation and sustained-forest-based economic growth will require a new, clearly focused and sustained global effort by the global development community."
    Language: English (French and spanish also available)
    Source/publisher: Rights and Resources Initiative
    Format/size: html
    Date of entry/update: 22 August 2012


    Individual Documents

    Title: The politics of the emerging agro-industrial complex in Asia’s ‘final frontier’ - The war on food sovereignty in Burma
    Date of publication: 03 September 2013
    Description/subject: "Burma's dramatic turn-around from 'axis of evil' to western darling in the past year has been imagined as Asia's 'final frontier' for global finance institutions, markets and capital. Burma's agrarian landscape is home to three-fourths of the country's total population which is now being constructed as a potential prime investment sink for domestic and international agribusiness. The Global North's development aid industry and IFIs operating in Burma has consequently repositioned itself to proactively shape a pro-business legal environment to decrease political and economic risks to enable global finance capital to more securely enter Burma's markets, especially in agribusiness. But global capitalisms are made in localized places - places that make and are made from embedded social relations. This paper uncovers how regional political histories that are defined by very particular racial and geographical undertones give shape to Burma's emerging agro-industrial complex. The country's still smoldering ethnic civil war and fragile untested liberal democracy is additionally being overlain with an emerging war on food sovereignty. A discursive and material struggle over land is taking shape to convert subsistence agricultural landscapes and localized food production into modern, mechanized industrial agro-food regimes. This second agrarian transformation is being fought over between a growing alliance among the western development aid and IFI industries, global finance capital, and a solidifying Burmese military-private capitalist class against smallholder farmers who work and live on the country's now most valuable asset - land. Grassroots resistances increasingly confront the elite capitalist class' attempts to corporatize food production through the state's rule of law and police force. Farmers, meanwhile, are actively developing their own shared vision of food sovereignty and pro-poor land reform that desires greater attention.... Food Sovereignty: a critical dialogue, 14 - 15 September, New Haven.
    Author/creator: Kevin Woods
    Language: English
    Source/publisher: Transnational Institute (TNI)
    Format/size: pdf (593K)
    Date of entry/update: 04 September 2013


    Title: National Updates on Agribusiness - Large Scale Land Acquisitions in Southeast Asia - Brief #8 of 8 : Union of Burma
    Date of publication: 04 August 2013
    Description/subject: Introduction: "Emerging from five d ecades of military dictatorship, civil turmoil and economic isolation, Burma has lately come to the attention of international investors keen to draw profits from the country’s vast natural resources which include fertile land, minerals, oil, natural gas and timber. Frequently touted as Asia’s next economic tiger, Burma’s new quasi - civilian government raises the prospect of fundamental reforms in national politics and economics for the first time in many decades, but the reform process is still in its very early stages, and significant challenges of implementation lie ahead. While oil, gas and coal mining, hydropower projects and logging have featured most prominently to date in terms of investments in Myanmar, agribusiness has emerged at the forefront of recent government development policies. The political transformations that Burma is undergoing could be a golden opportunity for the country to engage in agribusiness to achieve economic growth with sustainable and rights - based outcomes. However, a growing body of literature and studies suggests that Burma has instead become the ‘latest flashpoint in an alarming trend’ of global land grabs. Sources suggest that the land and resource rights of local communities are being undermined by legal reforms that seek to liberalize foreign direct investment and place all lands under the ownership of the State, with little indication that strengthened legal protections for the rights of communities will follow..." .....has an excellent set of online references.
    Author/creator: Sophie Chao
    Language: English
    Source/publisher: Forest People's Programme
    Format/size: pdf (589K-original; 511K-reduced version)
    Alternate URLs: http://www.forestpeoples.org/region/burma/publication/2013/agribusiness-large-scale-land-acquisitions-and-human-rights-southeast
    http://www.forestpeoples.org/region/asia-pacific/burma
    http://www.burmalibrary.org/docs16/FPP-agribusiness-briefing-8-8-burma-red.pdf
    Date of entry/update: 04 September 2013


    Title: Land not for sale! Letter of global solidarity against land grabs in Burma/Myanmar
    Date of publication: 09 October 2012
    Description/subject: "The current reforms in Burma/Myanmar are worsening land grabs in the country. Since the mid-2000s there has been a spike in land grabs, especially leading up to the 2010 national elections. Military and government authorities have been granting large-scale land concessions to well-connected Burmese companies. Farmers’ protests against land grabs have drawn recent public attention to many high profile cases, such as Yuzana’s Hukawng Valley cassava concession, the Dawei SEZ in Tanintharyi Region near the Thai border, Zaygaba’s industrial development zone outside Yangon, and the current Monywa copper mine expansion in Sagaing Division, among many others. By 2011, over 200 Burmese companies had officially been allocated approximately 2 million acres (nearly 810,000 hectares) for privately held agricultural concessions, mainly for agro-industrial crops such as rubber, palm oil, jatropha (physic nut), cassava and sugarcane. Land grabs are now set to accelerate due to new government laws that are specifically designed to encourage foreign investments in land. The two new land laws (the Farmlands Law and the Vacant, Fallow and Virgin Land Law) establish a legal framework to reallocate so-called ‘wastelands’ to domestic and foreign private investors. Moreover, the Special Economic Zone (SEZ) Law and Foreign Investment Law that are being finalized, along with ASEAN-ADB regional infrastructure development plans, will provide new incentives and drivers for land grabbing and further compound the dispossession of local communities from their lands and resources. Land conflicts that are now emerging throughout the country will worsen as foreign companies, supported by foreign governments and International Financial Institutions (IFIs), rush in to profit from Burma/Myanmar’s political and economic transition period..."
    Language: English
    Source/publisher: farmlandgrab.org,. Focus on the Global South et al
    Format/size: html
    Date of entry/update: 14 October 2012


    Title: Mine Protests Challenge Myanmar Reforms - Expansion Involving Farmland in 26 Villages Prompts Latest Eruption Over Chinese Investment (text and video)
    Date of publication: 24 September 2012
    Description/subject: WETHMAY, Myanmar—Anger over plans to expand a Chinese-backed mine near here is emerging as a test case of Myanmar's recent political reforms. Villagers have staged raucous protests in recent weeks over the giant copper mine near Monywa in northwestern Myanmar, owned jointly by Myanmar's military and a subsidiary of China North Industries Corp., an arms manufacturer. The subsidiary, Wanbao Mining Ltd., and its Myanmar partners are hoping to expand the mine, but that would require taking over huge tracts of land and moving as many as 26 villages, locals say..."
    Author/creator: Patrick Barta
    Language: English
    Source/publisher: "Wall Street Journal"
    Format/size: html. Adobe Flash (3 minutes 28 seconds)
    Date of entry/update: 14 October 2012


    Title: Complaint letter to Burma government about value of agricultural land destroyed by Tavoy highway
    Date of publication: 24 July 2012
    Description/subject: "The complaint letter below, signed by 25 local community members, was written in July 2011 and raises villagers' concerns related to the construction of the Kanchanaburi – Tavoy [Dawei] highway linking Thailand and the Tavoy deep sea port. Villagers described concerns that the highway would bisect agricultural land and destroy crops under cultivation worth 3,280,500 kyat (US $3,657). In response to these concerns, local community members formed a group called the 'Village and Public Sustainable Development' to represent villagers' concerns and request compensation."
    Language: English
    Source/publisher: Karen Human Rights Group (KHRG)
    Format/size: pdf (96K)
    Alternate URLs: http://www.khrg.org/khrg2012/khrg12b69.html
    Date of entry/update: 12 August 2012


    Title: Why peace and land security is key to Burma's democratic future - Interview with Tom Kramer
    Date of publication: May 2012
    Description/subject: Analysis of the social costs of large-scale Chinese-supported rubber farms in northern Burma suggests that the future for ordinary citizens will be affected as much by the country's chosen economic path as the political reforms underway.
    Language: English
    Source/publisher: Transnational Institute (TNI)
    Format/size: html
    Date of entry/update: 09 September 2012


    Title: Dooplaya Situation Update: August to October 2011
    Date of publication: 16 March 2012
    Description/subject: "This report includes a situation update submitted to KHRG in January 2011 by a villager describing events occurring in Dooplaya District, during the period between August and October, 2011. The villager who wrote this report provides information concerning increasing military activity in Kyone Doh Township, including the confiscation of 600 acres of farmland for building a camp in Da Lee Kyo Waing town by Border Guard Battalion #1021, and the construction of new military camps, one by LIB #208 in Htee Poo Than village and another by the KPF near to Htee Poo Than village. The villager who wrote this report also noted demands from the Burmese Army that local villagers cover half of the cost of the construction of two bridges in Kyone Doh Township, as well as ongoing taxation demands from various armed groups, including the KNU, SPDC, Border Guard, DKBA, KPF, KPC and a distinct branch of the KPC known as Kaung Baung Hpyoo, and expressed serious concerns about the intended use of villagers to provide unpaid labour on infrastructure projects that will be implemented by civilian and military officials, as well as the severe degradation of forest and agricultural land due to an expansion of commercial rubber plantations..."
    Language: English
    Source/publisher: Karen Human Rights Group (KHRG)
    Format/size: pdf (133K), html
    Alternate URLs: http://www.khrg.org/khrg2012/khrg12b28.html
    Date of entry/update: 12 April 2012


    Title: Dooplaya Interview: Saw Ca---, September 2011
    Date of publication: 03 February 2012
    Description/subject: "This report contains the full transcript of an interview conducted by a KHRG researcher in September 2011. The villager interviewed Saw Ca---, a 45-year-old rubber, betelnut and durian plantation owner from Kawkareik Township, Dooplaya District, who described the survey of at least 167 acres of productive and established agricultural land belonging to 26 villagers for the expansion of a Tatmadaw camp, transport infrastructure, and the construction of houses for Tatmadaw soldiers' families. This incident was detailed in the previously-published report, "Land confiscation threatens villagers' livelihoods in Dooplaya District;" as of the beginning of February 2012, a KHRG researcher familiar with the local situation confirmed that the land had not yet been confiscated and that surveys of that land were no longer ongoing. In this interview, Saw Ca--- described the planting of landmines in civilian areas by government and non-state armed groups, and described one incident in which a villager was injured by a landmine during the month before this interview, resulting in the subsequent amputation of part of his leg; Saw Ca--- said that KNLA soldiers had previously informed villagers they had planted landmines in the place where the villager was injured. Saw Ca--- also described an incident in which villagers were forced to wear Tatmadaw uniforms while accompanying troops on active duty, as well as the forced recruitment of villagers by non-state armed groups. Saw Ca--- noted that villagers respond to such abuses and threats to their livelihoods in a variety of ways, including deliberately avoiding attending meetings with Tatmadaw commanders at which they suspect they will be forced to sign over their land."
    Language: English
    Source/publisher: Karen Human Rights Group (KHRG)
    Format/size: pdf (360K), html
    Alternate URLs: http://www.khrg.org/khrg2012/khrg12b11.html
    Date of entry/update: 07 February 2012


    Title: Financing Dispossession - China’s Opium Substitution Programme in Northern Burma
    Date of publication: February 2012
    Description/subject: "Northern Burma’s borderlands have undergone dramatic changes in the last two decades. Three main and interconnected developments are simultaneously taking place in Shan State and Kachin State: (1) the increase in opium cultivation in Burma since 2006 after a decade of steady decline; (2) the increase at about the same time in Chinese agricultural investments in northern Burma under China’s opium substitution programme, especially in rubber; and (3) the related increase in dispossession of local communities’ land and livelihoods in Burma’s northern borderlands. The vast majority of the opium and heroin on the Chinese market originates from northern Burma. Apart from attempting to address domestic consumption problems, the Chinese government also has created a poppy substitution development programme, and has been actively promoting Chinese companies to take part, offering subsidies, tax waivers, and import quotas for Chinese companies. The main benefits of these programmes do not go to (ex-)poppy growing communities, but to Chinese businessmen and local authorities, and have further marginalised these communities. Serious concerns arise regarding the long-term economic benefits and costs of agricultural development— mostly rubber—for poor upland villagers. Economic benefits derived from rubber development are very limited. Without access to capital and land to invest in rubber concessions, upland farmers practicing swidden cultivation (many of whom are (ex-) poppy growers) are left with few alternatives but to try to get work as wage labourers on the agricultural concessions. Land tenure and other related resource management issues are vital ingredients for local communities to build licit and sustainable livelihoods. Investment-induced land dispossession has wide implications for drug production and trade, as well as border stability. Investments related to opium substitution should be carried out in a more sustainable, transparent, accountable and equitable fashion. Customary land rights and institutions should be respected. Chinese investors should use a smallholder plantation model instead of confiscating farmers land as a concession. Labourers from the local population should be hired rather than outside migrants in order to funnel economic benefits into nearby communities. China’s opium crop substitution programme has very little to do with providing mechanisms to decrease reliance on poppy cultivation or provide alternative livelihoods for ex-poppy growers. Chinese authorities need to reconsider their regional development strategies of implementation in order to avoid further border conflict and growing antagonism from Burmese society. Financing dispossession is not development."
    Author/creator: Tom Kramer & Kevin Woods
    Language: English
    Source/publisher: Transnational Institute (TNI)
    Format/size: pdf (2.7MB)
    Alternate URLs: http://www.tni.org/sites/www.tni.org/files/download/tni-financingdispossesion-web.pdf
    Date of entry/update: 23 February 2012


    Title: Pa'an Situation Update: September 2011
    Date of publication: 03 November 2011
    Description/subject: "This report includes a situation update submitted to KHRG in September 2011 by a villager describing events occurring in T'Nay Hsah Township, Pa'an District during September 2011. It details an incident in which a soldier from Tatmadaw Border Guard #1017 deliberately shot at villagers in a farm hut, resulting in the death of one civilian and injury to a six-year-old child. The report further details the subsequent concealment of this incident by Border Guard soldiers who placed an M16 rifle and ammunition next to the dead civilian and photographed his body, and ordered the local village head to corroborate their story that the dead man was a Karen National Liberation Army (KNLA) soldier. The report also relates villagers' concerns regarding the use of landmines by both KNLA and Border Guard troops, which prevent villagers from freely accessing agricultural land and kill villagers' livestock and pets, and also relates an incident in September 2011 in which a villager was severely maimed when he stepped on a landmine that had been placed outside his farm."
    Language: English
    Source/publisher: Karen Human Rights Group (KHRG)
    Format/size: pdf (219K), html
    Alternate URLs: http://www.khrg.org/khrg2011/khrg11b43.html
    Date of entry/update: 23 January 2012


    Title: Grabbing Land: Destructive Development in Ta'ang Region (Burmese)
    Date of publication: November 2011
    Description/subject: "This report validates the fact that multi-national and transnational companies are violating the Ta'ang ethnic nationals' fundamental human rights. The confiscation of Ta'ang peoples' land and the exploitation of their natural resources in which they depend for their subsistence and livelihood are outlined in this report. The Myanmar government continues to permit the persistence of business practices which are illegal under national and international laws. Massive displacements take place without the provisions of adequate compensation or relocation, let alone meaningful community consultations that left the affected people with no legal remedy to rebuild their lives and resume their collective activity. The situation of Ta'ang people in the Shan State is a classic example of land confiscation under the pretext of economic development while totally excluding the affected communities on the benefits of 'development' from foreign investment in the country. As a consequence of these activities the Ta'ang people have to bear the brunt of not only losing their land and source of livelihood, but as well as the practice of forced labor by the SPDC against the Ta'ang people. This forced labor facilitates private companies' projects at the expense of the already displaced community. In this situation, the women, children and the elderly are also disproportionately affected. This report lays testament to the sufferings of the Ta'ang people. This wanton violation of Ta'ang ethnic nationals' rights is representative of the emblematic and widespread disregard for the fundamental rights in Myanmar. It is an outright violation of a number of international laws which include the United Nations Convention on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (1966), the violation of the International Labor Organisation (1930, No. 29, Article 2.1). It is also a breach on their commitment as UN member state to the UN Declaration on the Right to Development adopted in 1986 and the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights (2011). Yet, international and regional intergovernmental body such as the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) is playing deaf and blind in addressing the situation to put an end to these illegal practices. It is hoped that this report could facilitate the necessary steps and concrete action in behalf of the Ta'ang ethnic nationals which are required from the relevant UN agencies, international and regional bodies, international financial institutions, and the bilateral and multi-lateral donor agencies. The stories collected in this report speak for the longstanding issues that beset the Ta'ang S ethnic nationals and the efforts of the Ta'ang Students and Youth Organisation in publishing this report is a very important step in trying to make a significant contribution to change that situation, now and for the generations to come. As this report shows, this situation could not continue as if it is business as usual. There is no way forward but for a multi-level dialogue to take place and agree on an amicable settlement which is in line with the national and international laws. Let this report which underlines concrete recommendations, encourages all concerned international and national stakeholders and the Ta'ang community to come together and agree to implement resolutions in ways that preserve the Ta'ang ethnic nationals' human rights while meeting the challenges of a sustainable economic development in Myanmar."
    Source/publisher: Ta’ang (Palaung) Working Group - TSYO, PWO, PSLF
    Format/size: pdf (7.7MB)
    Date of entry/update: 25 January 2012


    Title: Grabbing Land: Destructive Development in Ta'ang Region (English)
    Date of publication: November 2011
    Description/subject: "This report validates the fact that multi-national and transnational companies are violating the Ta'ang ethnic nationals' fundamental human rights. The confiscation of Ta'ang peoples' land and the exploitation of their natural resources in which they depend for their subsistence and livelihood are outlined in this report. The Myanmar government continues to permit the persistence of business practices which are illegal under national and international laws. Massive displacements take place without the provisions of adequate compensation or relocation, let alone meaningful community consultations that left the affected people with no legal remedy to rebuild their lives and resume their collective activity. The situation of Ta'ang people in the Shan State is a classic example of land confiscation under the pretext of economic development while totally excluding the affected communities on the benefits of 'development' from foreign investment in the country. As a consequence of these activities the Ta'ang people have to bear the brunt of not only losing their land and source of livelihood, but as well as the practice of forced labor by the SPDC against the Ta'ang people. This forced labor facilitates private companies' projects at the expense of the already displaced community. In this situation, the women, children and the elderly are also disproportionately affected. This report lays testament to the sufferings of the Ta'ang people. This wanton violation of Ta'ang ethnic nationals' rights is representative of the emblematic and widespread disregard for the fundamental rights in Myanmar. It is an outright violation of a number of international laws which include the United Nations Convention on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (1966), the violation of the International Labor Organisation (1930, No. 29, Article 2.1). It is also a breach on their commitment as UN member state to the UN Declaration on the Right to Development adopted in 1986 and the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights (2011). Yet, international and regional intergovernmental body such as the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) is playing deaf and blind in addressing the situation to put an end to these illegal practices. It is hoped that this report could facilitate the necessary steps and concrete action in behalf of the Ta'ang ethnic nationals which are required from the relevant UN agencies, international and regional bodies, international financial institutions, and the bilateral and multi-lateral donor agencies. The stories collected in this report speak for the longstanding issues that beset the Ta'ang S ethnic nationals and the efforts of the Ta'ang Students and Youth Organisation in publishing this report is a very important step in trying to make a significant contribution to change that situation, now and for the generations to come. As this report shows, this situation could not continue as if it is business as usual. There is no way forward but for a multi-level dialogue to take place and agree on an amicable settlement which is in line with the national and international laws. Let this report which underlines concrete recommendations, encourages all concerned international and national stakeholders and the Ta'ang community to come together and agree to implement resolutions in ways that preserve the Ta'ang ethnic nationals' human rights while meeting the challenges of a sustainable economic development in Myanmar."
    Language: English
    Source/publisher: Ta'ang Student and Youth Organization-TSYO
    Format/size: pdf (803K)
    Alternate URLs: http://www.palaungland.org
    Date of entry/update: 25 January 2012


    Title: Land confiscation threatens villagers' livelihoods in Dooplaya District
    Date of publication: 31 October 2011
    Description/subject: "In September 2011, residents of Je--- village, Kawkareik Township told KHRG that they feared soldiers under Tatmadaw Border Guard Battalion #1022 and LIBs #355 and #546 would soon complete the confiscation of approximately 500 acres of land in their community in order to develop a large camp for Battalion #1022 and homes for soldiers' families. According to the villagers, the area has already been surveyed and the Je--- village head has informed local plantation and paddy farm owners whose lands are to be confiscated. The villagers reported that approximately 167 acres of agricultural land, including seven rubber plantations, nine paddy farms, and seventeen betelnut and durian plantations belonging to 26 residents of Je--- have already been surveyed, although they expressed concern that more land would be expropriated in the future. The Je--- residents said that the village head had told them rubber plantation owners would be compensated according to the number of trees they owned, but that the villagers were collectively refusing compensation and avoiding attending a meeting at which they worried they would be ordered to sign over their land. The villagers that spoke with KHRG said they believed the Tatmadaw intended to take over their land in October after the end of the annual monsoon, and that this would seriously undermine livelihoods in a community in which many villagers depended on subsistence agriculture on established land. This bulletin is based on information collected by KHRG researchers in September and October 2011, including five interviews with residents of Je--- village, 91 photographs of the area, and a written record of lands earmarked for confiscation."
    Language: English
    Source/publisher: Karen Human Rights Group (KHRG)
    Format/size: pdf (453K), html
    Alternate URLs: http://www.khrg.org/khrg2011/khrg11b41.html
    Date of entry/update: 23 January 2012


    Title: Tenasserim Situation Update: Te Naw Th'Ri Township, April 2011
    Date of publication: 26 September 2011
    Description/subject: "This report includes a situation update submitted to KHRG in April 2011 by a villager describing events occurring in Te Naw Th'Ri Township, Tenasserim Division between June 2010 and April 2011. The report details abuses related to land confiscation by Union Solidarity and Development Party (USDP) officials; forced labour, including forced USDP membership; and attacks on villages in hiding, including the burning of houses, food stores, a school dormitory and supplies by Tatmadaw forces. This report also contains updated information concerning active Tatmadaw units in five areas of Tenasserim Division and relates health and education concerns of villagers in hiding in three areas of Te Naw Th'Ri Township."
    Language: English
    Source/publisher: Karen Human Rights Group (KHRG)
    Format/size: pdf (950K), html
    Alternate URLs: http://www.khrg.org/khrg2011/khrg11b32.html
    Date of entry/update: 31 January 2012


    Title: Farmers Take Land Seizure Cases to Parliament
    Date of publication: 30 August 2011
    Description/subject: "“I feel sad when our fields have been changed into a lake for the purpose of breeding fish. Since that happened, I became a worker in another field,” said Aye Thein. The 64-year-old was forced to abandon his eight acres of land in 1999 after it was confiscated by the Myanmar Billion Group company in Audsu village of Nyaungdon Township, Irrawaddy Division. Aye Thein is one of many victims in Burma where land seizures take place commonly through three different ways: seizures by the military commander-in-chief of the region, by private companies or by financiers who are allegedly backed by the Burmese Army. Aye Thein, and others in the area who lost nearly 63 acres of land between them, fruitlessly complained to the township and district authorities three times about their land confiscation. Confiscated land taken by the Burmese authorities and distributed to private companies includes approximately 10,000 acres in Rangoon Division, nearly 5,000 acres in Irrawaddy Division, 1,338 acres in Kachin State, 600 acres in Mon State and 500 acres in Maymyo in Mandalay Division. The affected farmers have filed lawsuits but no action has been taken..."
    Author/creator: Ko Htwe
    Language: English
    Source/publisher: "The Irrawaddy"
    Format/size: html
    Date of entry/update: 30 August 2011


    Title: Burma’s Navy Attacks Civilians’ Livelihood - An Account on Land Confiscation and Human Rights Violations on Kywe Thone Nyi Ma Island, Yebyu Township, Tenasserim Division
    Date of publication: July 2011
    Description/subject: "...Beginning in December 2010, Burmese Navy Unit No. 43, under the command of Ka Dike-based government navy regional command head quarters, began to confiscate the rubber plantations and household plots of villagers on Kywe Thone Nyi Ma Island, Yebyu Township, Tennaserim Division. Since then, all land on which red signboards were placed by the navy has been confiscated. This report documents the confiscation of over 1,000 acres of land on Kywe Thone Nyi Ma Island. However, HURFOM found that Navy Unit No. 43 has surveyed and marked out a total of another 3,000 acres of land to be consficated from the residents of Kywe Thone Nyi Ma Island and the easterly neighboring villages across the water in Yebyu Township. Officials from Navy Unit No. 43 explained that the land seized would be used as a training field for military skills training and constructing army barracks and hostels. Land was confiscated from around 240 rubber plantation owners without compensation, and a decree was issued banning landowners from cultivating or entering their plots. Seizures ranged from four to ten acres and consisted of already-in-production rubber plantations and paddy lands that provided villagers in the area with sustainable incomes and future monetary security. Without means to support themselves. they are unable to feed their families and send their children to school. And in some cases, they are forced from their homes..."
    Language: English
    Source/publisher: Human Rights Foundation of Monland - Burma
    Format/size: pdf (1.7MB medium-res - OBL version; 957K low-res, 10.3MB high-res - originals)
    Alternate URLs: http://www.rehmonnya.org/data/Landreport2011-HURFOM.pdf
    http://www.rehmonnya.org/data/Burma-Navy-Attacks-Civilians-Livelihood-2011.pdf
    Date of entry/update: 18 August 2011


    Title: The Burma-China Pipelines: Human Rights Violations, Applicable Law, and Revenue Secrecy
    Date of publication: 29 March 2011
    Description/subject: "...This briefer focuses on the impacts of two of Burma’s largest energy projects, led by Chinese, South Korean, and Indian multinational corporations in partnership with the state-owned Myanmar Oil and Gas Enterprise (MOGE), Burmese companies, and Burmese state security forces. The projects are the Shwe Natural Gas Project and the Burma-China oil transport project, collectively referred to here as the “Burma-China pipelines.” The pipelines will transport gas from Burma and oil from the Middle East and Africa across Burma to China. The massive pipelines will pass through two states, Arakan (Rakhine) and Shan, and two divisions in Burma, Magway and Mandalay, over dense mountain ranges and arid plains, rivers, jungle, and villages and towns populated by ethnic Burmans and several ethnic nationalities. The pipelines are currently under construction and will feed industry and consumers primarily in Yunnan and other western provinces in China, while producing multi-billion dollar revenues for the Burmese regime. This briefer provides original research documenting adverse human rights impacts of the pipelines, drawing on investigations inside Burma and leaked documents obtained by EarthRights and its partners. EarthRights has found extensive land confiscation related to the projects, and a pervasive lack of meaningful consultation and consent among affected communities, along with cases of forced labor and other serious human rights abuses in violation of international and national law. EarthRights has uncovered evidence to support claims of corporate complicity in those abuses. In addition, companies involved have breached key international standards and research shows they have failed to gain a social license to operate in the country. New evidence suggests communities in the project area are overwhelmingly opposed to the pipeline projects. While EarthRights has not found evidence directly linking the projects to armed conflict, the pipelines may increase tensions as construction reaches Shan State, where there is a possibility of renewed armed conflict between the Burmese Army and specific ethnic armed groups. The Army is currently forcibly recruiting and training villagers in project areas to fight. EarthRights has obtained confidential Production Sharing Contracts detailing the structure of multi-million dollar signing and production bonuses that China National Petroleum Corporation (CNPC) is required to pay to MOGE officials regarding its involvement in two offshore oil and gas development projects that, at present, are unrelated to the Burma- China pipelines. EarthRights believes the amount and structure of these payments are in-line with previously disclosed resource development contracts in Burma, and are likely representative of contracts signed for the Burma-China pipelines; contracts that remain guarded from public scrutiny. Accordingly, the operators of the Burma- China pipeline projects would have already made several tranche cash payments to MOGE, totaling in the tens of millions of dollars..."
    Language: English, Korean
    Source/publisher: EarthRights International (ERI)
    Format/size: pdf (1.23 - English; 1.9MB - Korean)
    Alternate URLs: http://www.earthrights.org/sites/default/files/documents/the-burma-china-pipelines-korean.pdf
    Date of entry/update: 29 March 2011


    Title: "The Mon Forum" No. 12/2010 (December 2010)
    Date of publication: 31 December 2010
    Description/subject: News: (1) Route to TPP closed sending up commodity prices... Commentary: The Regime and The Companies in Collaboration in Land Confiscations... Report: ‘When I became desperate’: Opinions of residents during forced land acquisition in Kyaikmayaw Township: Introduction; October to November; November, Opening Demands; December 3rd to the 6th; December 6th; December 7th; December 8th; December 9th; December 22nd; Opportunity for change; Conclusion
    Language: English
    Source/publisher: Human Rights Foundation of Monland (HURFOM)
    Format/size: pdf (456K)
    Date of entry/update: 22 January 2011


    Title: Tyrants, Tycoons and Tigers
    Date of publication: 25 August 2010
    Description/subject: Summary: "A bitter land struggle is unfolding in northern Burma’s remote Hugawng Valley. Farmers that have been living for generations in the valley are defying one of the country’s most powerful tycoons as his company establishes massive mono-crop plantations in what happens to be the world’s largest tiger reserve. The Hukawng Valley Tiger Reserve in Kachin State was declared by the Myanmar* Government in 2001 with the support of the US-based Wildlife Conservation Society. In 2004 the reserve’s designation was expanded to include the entire valley of 21,890 square kilometers (8,452 square miles), making it the largest tiger reserve in the world. Today a 200,000 acre mono-crop plantation project is making a mockery of the reserve’s protected status. Fleets of tractors, backhoes, and bulldozers rip up forests, raze bamboo groves and fl atten existing small farms. Signboards that mark animal corridors and “no hunting zones” stand out starkly against a now barren landscape; they are all that is left of conservation efforts. Application of chemical fertilizers and herbicides together with the daily toil of over two thousand imported workers are transforming the area into huge tapioca, sugar cane, and jatropha plantations. In 2006 Senior General Than Shwe, Burma’s ruling despot, granted the Rangoon-based Yuzana Company license to develop this “agricultural development zone” in the tiger reserve. Yuzana Company is one of Burma’s largest businesses and is chaired by U Htay Myint, a prominent real estate tycoon who has close connections with the junta. Local villagers tending small scale farms in the valley since before it was declared a reserve have seen their crops destroyed and their lands confi scated. Confl icts between Yuzana Company employees, local authorities, and local residents have fl ared up and turned violent several times over the past few years, culminating with an attack on residents of Ban Kawk village in 2010. As of February 2010, 163 families had been forced into a relocation site where there is little water and few fi nished homes. Since then, through further threats and intimidation, * The current military regime changed the country’s name to Myanmar in 1989 1 others families have been forced to take “compensation funds” which are insuffi cient to begin a new life and leave them destitute. Despite the powerful interests behind the Yuzana project, villagers have been bravely standing up to protect their farmlands and livelihoods. They have sent numerous formal appeals to the authorities, conducted prayer ceremonies, tried to reclaim their fi elds, refused to move, and defended their homes. The failure of various government offi cials to reply to or resolve the problem fi nally led the villagers to reach out to the United Nations and the National League for Democracy in Burma. In March 2010 representatives of three villages fi led written requests to the International Labor Organization to investigate the actions of Yuzana. In July 2010, over 100 farmers opened a joint court case in Kachin State. Although the villagers in Yuzana’s project area have been ignored at every turn, they remain determined to seek a just solution to the problems in Hugawng. As Burma’s military rulers prepare for their 2010 “election,” local residents hold no hope for change from a new constitution that only legalizes the status quo and the military’s placement above the law. Companies such as Yuzana that have close military connections are set to play an increasing role in the economy and will also remain above the law. The residents of Hugawng Valley are thus at the frontline of protecting not only their own lands and environment but also the rights of all of Burma’s farmers. The Kachin Development Networking Group stands fi rmly with these communities and therefore calls on Yuzana to stop their project implementation to avoid any further citizens’ rights abuses and calls on all Kachin communities and leaders to work together with Hugawng villagers in their brave struggle."
    Language: English and the other EU languages
    Source/publisher: Kachin Development Networking Group (KDNG)
    Format/size: pdf (2.6MB)
    Alternate URLs: http://www.aksyu.com/images/stories/tyrants_tycoons_n_tigers.jpg
    Date of entry/update: 25 August 2010


    Title: Overview of Land Confiscation in Arakan State
    Date of publication: June 2010
    Description/subject: Introduction: "The following analysis has been compiled to bring attention to a wider audience of many of the problems facing the people of Burma, especially in Arakan State. The analysis focuses particularly on the increase in land confiscation resulting from intensifying military deployment in order to magnify security around a number of governmental developments such as the Shwe Gas, Kaladan, and Hydropower projects in western Burma of Arakan State...Conclusion: "The SPDC's ongoing parallel policy of increasing militarisation while increased forced land confiscation to house and feed the increasing troop numbers causes widespread problems throughout Burma. By stripping people of the land upon which peopl's livelihoods are based, whilst providing only desultory compensation if any at all, many citizens face threats to their food security as well as water shortages, a decrease or abolition of their income, eradicating their ability to educate their children in order to create a sustainable income source in the future. Additionally, the policy of using forced labour in the Government's construction and development projects, coupled with the disastrous environmental effects of many of these projects, continues to create severe health problems throughout the country whilst simultaneously stifling the local economy so that varied or sustainable work is difficult to become engaged in. All of this often leads to people fleeing the country in search of a better life."
    Language: English
    Source/publisher: All Arakan Students' and Youths' Congress (AASYC)
    Format/size: pdf (2.3MB)
    Date of entry/update: 16 June 2010


    Title: Holding Our Ground: Land Confiscation in Arakan & Mon States, and Pa-O Area of Southern Shan State
    Date of publication: March 2009
    Description/subject: Introduction: "The following report has been compiled to bring to the attention of a wider audience many of the problems facing the people of Burma, especially its many ethnic nationalities. For many outside observers, Burma’s problems are confined simply to the ongoing incarceration of Nobel Laureate Daw Aung San Suu Kyi, the country’s democratically elected leader, and many other political prisoners. However, as we hope to show in the following report, this is only one of very many human rights abuses that provide obstacles to the people’s hope for democracy. This report concentrates in 3 specific areas of the country – Arakan State, Mon State and the Pa-O Area of southern Shan State. This is partly due to budget and time constraints, but, primarily because the brutal treatment received by the people of these areas at the hands of the military junta has received limited media attention in the past."...Conclusion: "The SPDC’s ongoing dual policy of increasing militarization and forced land confiscation, both to house and feed the increasing troop numbers, causes widespread problems throughout Burma. By robbing people of the land from which many make their livings, without any or providing only desultory compensation, many citizens face drastic problems such as food and water shortages, an inability to educate their children and an inability to find work. Additionally, the policy of using forced labour in the Government’s construction and development projects, coupled with the disastrous environmental effects of many of these projects, continues to create severe health problems throughout the country. All of this often leads to people fleeing the country in search of a better life."
    Language: English, Burmese
    Source/publisher: All Arakan Students’ and Youths’ Congress (AASYC), Pa-O Youth Organisation (PYO) and Mon Youth Progressive Organisation (MYPO)
    Format/size: pdf (2.2MB - English; 793K - Burmese)
    Alternate URLs: http://www.burmalibrary.org/docs07/HOLDING_OUR_GROUND(bu).pdf
    Date of entry/update: 21 April 2009


    Title: The role of coercive measures in forced migration/internal displacement in Burma/Myanmar
    Date of publication: 17 March 2008
    Description/subject: Conclusion: "Most relevant reports and surveys I have been able to access state essentially that people from all parts of Burma leave home either in obedience to a direct relocation order from the military or civil authorities or as a result of a process whereby coercive measures imposed by the authorities play a major role in forcing down household incomes to the point where the family cannot survive. At this point, leaving home may seem to be the only option. These factors, which include direct forced relocation, forced labour, extortion and land confiscation, operate in, are affected by and exacerbate a situation of widespread poverty, rising inflation and declining real incomes. In other words, people leave home due to a combination of coercive and economic factors. One has to consider the whole process leading to displacement rather than a single, immediate cause. Where coercive measures, as described in this article, are involved, the resulting population movement falls under the Guiding Principles even if the situation that actually triggers movement, frequently food insecurity, may also be described in economic terms."
    Author/creator: Andrew Bosson
    Language: English
    Source/publisher: Andrew Bosson
    Format/size: pdf (47K)
    Date of entry/update: 17 March 2008


    Title: Arbitrary Confiscation of Farmers’ Land by the State Peace and Development Council (SPDC) Military Regime in Burma
    Date of publication: February 2008
    Description/subject: Abstract" "This research was framed by a human rights approach to development as pursued by Amartya Sen. Freedoms are not only the primary ends of development but they are the principle means of development. The research was informed by international obligations to human rights and was placed within a context of global pluralism and recognition of universal human dignity. The first research aim was to study the State Peace and Development Council military regime confiscation of land and labour of farmers in villages of fourteen townships in Rangoon, Pegu, and Irrawaddy Divisions and Arakan, Karenni, and Shan States. Four hundred and sixty-seven individuals were interviewed to gain understanding of current pressures facing farmers and their families. Had crops, labour, household food, assets, farm equipment been confiscated? If so, by whom, and what reason was given for the confiscation? Were farmers compensated for this confiscation? How did family households respond and cope when land was confiscated? In what ways were farmers contesting the arbitrary confiscation of their land? A significant contribution of this research is that it was conducted inside Burma with considerable risk for all individuals involved. People who spoke about their plight, who collected information, and who couriered details of confiscation across the border into Thailand were at great risk of arrest. Interviews were conducted clandestinely in homes, fields, and sometimes during the night. Because of personal security risks there are inconsistent data sets for the townships. People revealed concerns of health, education, lack of land tenure and livelihood. Several farmers are contesting the confiscation of their land, but recognise that there is no rule by law or independent judiciary in Burma. Farmers and their family members want their plight to be known internationally. When they speak out they are threatened with detention. Their immediate struggle is to survive. The second aim was to analyse land laws and land use in Burma from colonial times, independence in 1948, to the present military rule by the State Peace and Development Council (SPDC). The third aim was to critically review international literature on land tenure and land rights with special focus on research conducted in post-conflict, post-colonial, and post-socialist nations and how to resolve land claims in face of no documentation. We sought ideas and practices which could inform creation of land laws, land and property rights, in democratic transition in Burma."
    Author/creator: Dr. Nancy Hudson-Rodd; Sein Htay
    Language: English
    Source/publisher: The Burma Fund
    Format/size: pdf (11MB)
    Date of entry/update: 29 March 2008


    Title: Displacement and Dispossession: Forced Migration and Land Rights in Burma
    Date of publication: 05 December 2007
    Description/subject: "According to COHRE's new report, 'Displacement and Dispossession: Forced Migration and Land Rights in Burma', land confiscation by Government forces is responsible for many serious housing, land and property (HLP) rights violations in Burma. These abuses occur during military counter-insurgency operations; to clear land for the construction of new army bases; to make way for infrastructure development projects; to facilitate natural resource extraction; and to cater for the vested interests of business. 'Displacement and Dispossession: Forced Migration and Land Rights in Burma' also reveals that control of land is a key strategy for the military regime, and a means of promoting the on-going expansion of the Burmese Army (Tatmadaw). In 1998, the SPDC issued a directive instructing Tatmadaw battalions to become self-sufficient in rice and other basic provisions. This prompted the Tatmadaw to 'live off the land' by appropriating resources (food, cash, labour, land) from the civilian population. This policy has exacerbated conflict and displacement across much of rural Burma. The Thai Burma Border Consortium (TBBC) and its partners estimate that during 2007, approximately 76,000 people have been newly displaced by armed conflict and associated human rights abuses. The majority of new incidents of forced migration and village destruction were concentrated in northeast Karen State and adjacent areas of Pegu Division. The total number of internally displaced persons (IDPs) in Eastern Burma in October 2007 was 503,000. These included 295,000 people in ceasefire zones, 99,000 IDPs 'in hiding' in the jungle and 109,000 in relocation sites. The estimates exclude hundreds of thousands of IDPs in other parts of Burma (especially Kachin and Shan States, and the west of the country, as well as in some parts of Karen State). Including these figures would bring the total to over a million internally displaced people. COHRE's Du Plessis said, "More than one million people have been dispossessed and are internally displaced in Burma -- not because of a natural disaster, but due to their own government's calculated and brutal actions. We have here a state monopoly which forcibly transfers property, income and assets, from rural, non-Burman ethnic nationalities to an elite, military Government. The HLP violations found in Burma today are the result of short-sighted and predatory policies that date back to the early years of Independence, and to the period of colonial rule. These problems can only be resolved through substantial and sustained change in Burma. Political transition should include improved access to a range of fundamental rights, as enshrined in international law and conventions -- including respect for HLP rights."
    Language: English
    Source/publisher: Coalition on Housing Rights and Evictions (COHRE)
    Format/size: pdf (3.21MB)
    Alternate URLs: http://www.cohre.org/news/documents/burma-displacement-and-dispossession-forced-migration-and-land-rights
    Date of entry/update: 01 December 2010


    Title: Forced migration/internal displacement in Burma - with an emphasis on government-controlled areas
    Date of publication: May 2007
    Description/subject: This report is a preliminary exploration of forced migration/internal displacement in Burma/Myanmar in two main areas. The first is the status in terms of international standards, specifically those embodied in the Guiding Principles on Internal Displacement, of the people who leave home not because of conflict or relocation orders, but as a result of a range of coercive measures which drive down incomes to the point that the household economy collapses and people have no choice but to leave home. Some analysts describe this form of population movement as "economic migration" since it has an economic dimension. The present report, however, looks at the coercive nature of the pressures which contribute to the collapse of the household economy and argues that their compulsory and irresistible nature brings this kind of population movement squarely into the field of forced migration, even though the immediate cause of leaving home may also be described in economic terms... The second area is geographic. The report looks at those parts of Burma not covered by the IDP Surveys of the Thailand Burma Border Consortium, which concentrate on the conflict and post-conflict areas of Eastern Burma. It hardly touches on conflict-induced displacement since most parts of Burma covered in these pages, including the major cities, are government-controlled, and there is little overt military conflict in these States and Divisions. Within these parts of the country, the report looks at the coercive measures referred to above. It also carries reports of direct relocation by government agents through which whole rural and urban communities are removed from their homes and either ordered to go to specific places, or else left to their own devices. The report annexes contain more than 500 pages of documentation on forced displacement and causes of displacement in Arakan, Chin, Kachin and Eastern and Northern Shan States as well as Irrawaddy, Magwe, Mandalay, West Pegu, Rangoon and Sagaing Divisions. It also has a section on displacement within urban and peri-urban areas.
    Author/creator: Andrew Bosson
    Language: English
    Source/publisher: Internal Displacement Monitoring Centre (IDMC)
    Format/size: pdf (717K)
    Alternate URLs: http://www.ibiblio.org/obl/docs4/IDMC-Burma_report_mai07.pdf
    Date of entry/update: 15 May 2007


    Title: Massive Abuse on Land, Environment and Property Rights
    Date of publication: August 2006
    Description/subject: Contents: 1. Introduction 1.1 Purpose of Discussion Paper 2. Background History 2.1 Ethnic Politics and Military Interference 3. Land tenure legislation (1948-62) 3.1 Earlier a brief period of Democracy (1948-1962) 3.2 Under BSBP rule (1962 - 1988) 3.3 Under Military ruling (1988 - Up to now) 4. Socio-Economic Poverty and Land Ownership 5. Summary of Findings 6. Analysis of Findings 7. Militarization and land confiscation 8. No rights to a fair Market price and food sovereignty 9. Abusing the environment and natural resources 10. New poverty due to illegal Tax payment
    Author/creator: Khaing Dhu Wan
    Language: English
    Source/publisher: Network for Environment and Economic Development (NEED)
    Format/size: pdf (200K)
    Date of entry/update: 06 January 2009


    Title: Pa’an District: Land confiscation, forced labour and extortion undermining villagers’ livelihoods
    Date of publication: 11 February 2006
    Description/subject: "Villagers in northern Pa'an District of central Karen State say their livelihoods are under serious threat due to exploitation by SPDC military authorities and by their Democratic Karen Buddhist Army (DKBA) allies who rule as an SPDC proxy army in much of the region. Villages in the vicinity of the DKBA headquarters are forced to give much of their time and resources to support the headquarters complex, while villages directly under SPDC control face rape, arbitrary detention and threats to keep them compliant with SPDC demands. The SPDC plans to expand Dta Greh (a.k.a. Pain Kyone) village into a town in order to strengthen its administrative control over the area, and is confiscating about half of the village's productive land without compensation to build infrastructure which includes offices, army camps and a hydroelectric power dam - destroying the livelihoods of close to 100 farming families. Local villagers, who are already struggling to survive under the weight of existing demands, fear further forced labour and extortion as the project continues."
    Language: English
    Source/publisher: Karen Human Rights Group (KHRG)
    Format/size: html
    Date of entry/update: 14 February 2006


    Title: Pa'an District: Food Security in Crisis for Civilians in Rural Areas
    Date of publication: 30 March 2005
    Description/subject: Released on March 30, 2005... This bulletin examines the factors causing many villagers in Pa'an district to say that they now face a deepening food and money shortage crisis which is threatening their health and survival. Based on villagers' testimony, the main factors appear to be recurring forced labour for both SPDC and DKBA authorities, made worse in some areas by orders for farmers to double-crop on their land and the encroachment of new SPDC military bases on villages and farmland.
    Language: English
    Source/publisher: Karen Human Rights Group (KHRG #2005-B3)
    Format/size: html
    Date of entry/update: 23 May 2005


    Title: Housing, Land, and Property Rights in Burma
    Date of publication: October 2004
    Description/subject: "...The main objective of this research is to examine housing, land, and property rights in the context of Burma’s societal transition towards a democratic polity and economy. Much has been written and discussed about property rights in their various manifestations, private, public, collective, and common in terms of “rights”. When property rights are widely and fairly distributed, they are inseparable from the rights of people to a means of living. Yet in the contemporary world, millions of people are denied access to the land, markets, technology, money and jobs essential to creation of livelihoods (Korten, 1998). The most significant worldwide problems of unjust property rights remain those associated with landlessness, rural poverty, and inequality (Hudson-Rodd & Nyunt, 2000)..."
    Author/creator: Nancy Hudson-Rodd
    Language: English
    Source/publisher: Edith Cowan University, Centre for Housing Rights and Evictions (COHRE)
    Format/size: pdf (741K)
    Date of entry/update: 26 February 2007


    Title: State-induced violence and poverty in Burma
    Date of publication: April 2004
    Description/subject: "...The objective of this research paper is to describe specific ways in which the State Peace and Development Council (SPDC) deprives the people of Burma of their land and livelihood. Confiscation of land, labour, crops and capital; destruction of person and property; forced labour; looting and expropriation of food and possessions; forced sale of crops to the military; extortion of money through official and unofficial taxes and levies; forced relocation and other abuses by the State..."
    Author/creator: Dr Nancy Hudson-Rodd, Dr Myo Nyunt, Saw Thamain Tun, Sein Htay
    Language: English
    Source/publisher: Edith Cowan University, National Council of Union of Burma (NCUB), Federation of Trade Unions-Burma (FTUB)
    Format/size: pdf (448K)
    Date of entry/update: 26 February 2007


    Title: The Impact of the confiscation of Land, Labor, Capital Assets and forced relocation in Burma by the military regime
    Date of publication: May 2003
    Description/subject: 1. Introduction 1; 2. Historical Context and Current Implications of the State Taking Control of People, Land and Livelihood 2; 2.1. Under the Democratically Elected Government 2; 2.1.1. The Land Nationalization Act 1953 2; 2.1.2. The Agricultural Lands Act 1953 2; 3. Under the Revolutionary Council (1962-1974) 2; 3.1. The Tenancy Act 1963 3; 3.2. The Protection of the Right of Cultivation Act, 1963 3; 4. The State Gains Further Control over the Livelihoods of Households 3; 4.1. Under the Burma Socialist Programme Party (BSPP) Rule (1974 - 1988) 3; 4.1.1 Land Policy and Institutional Reforms 3; 4.2 Under the Military Rule II - SLORC/SPDC (1988 - present) 4; 4.2.1. Keeping it Together: Agriculture, Economy, and Rural Livelihood 5; 5. Militarization of Rural Economy 8; 5.1. Land confiscation 8; 5. 2. Land reclamation 11; 5.3. Military Agricultural Projects 13; 5.4. The Fleecing of Burmese Farmers 15; 5.5. Procurement 17; 5.5.1. Other crops 20; 5.5.2. Farmers tortured in Mon State 23; 6. Forced Relocation and Disparity of Income and wealth 25; 7. Conclusion 29... APPENDICES NOT YET ACQUIRED Appendix 1. Summary Report on Human Rights Violations by SPDC and DKBA Troops in 7 Districts of KNU ( 2000 to 2002) 31; Appendix 2. Forced labor by SPDC troops on road construction from Pa-pun to Kamamaung in 2003 38; Appendix 3. Survey Questionnaires (Ward/village and Household - in Burmese) 45.
    Author/creator: Dr Nancy Hudson-Rodd, Dr Myo Nyunt, Saw Thamain Tun, Sein Htay
    Language: English
    Source/publisher: NCUB, FTUB
    Format/size: html (19K) pdf (649K, 812K, 413K)
    Alternate URLs: http://www.burmalibrary.org/docs17/land_confiscation-NHR+al-en-red.pdf
    Date of entry/update: 12 August 2003


  • Agricultural Economics

    Individual Documents

    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)
    Alternate URLs: http://www.ide.go.jp/English/Publish/Dp/pdf/043_okamoto.pdf
    Date of entry/update: 16 July 2006


    Title: Crop Choice, Farm Income, and Political Relations in Myanmar
    Date of publication: March 2005
    Description/subject: Abstract: "Myanmar's agricultural economy is in transition from a planned to a market system. However, the economy does not seem to capture the full gains of productivity growth expected from such a transition. Using a micro dataset collected in 2001 and covering more than 500 households in eight villages with diverse agro-ecological environments, this paper shows that policy interventions in land use and agricultural marketing underlie the lack of income growth. Regression analyses focusing on within-village variations in cropping patterns show that the acreage share under nonlucrative paddy crops is higher for farmers who are under tighter control of the local administration. Keywords: reform, food policy, transitional economies, Asia, Myanmar."
    Author/creator: Takashi Kurosaki
    Language: English
    Source/publisher: Hitotsubashi University Research Unit for Statistical Analysis in Social Sciences
    Format/size: pdf (227K)
    Date of entry/update: 22 April 2008


    Title: Agricultural Marketing Reform and Rural Economy in Myanmar
    Date of publication: 28 January 2004
    Description/subject: The purpose of this paper is to examine the impact of marketing reforms implemented in the late 1980s in Myanmar. Particular emphasis is placed on the impact of the reform on the rural economy and its participants, namely farmers, landless laborers and marketing intermediaries. The reform had a positive effect on all these participants through the creation of employment opportunities and increased income. The driving force of this success was "market forces,"absence of bad policy" is emphasized as a key for the success in the context of Myanmar, where excessive and murky government intervention often resulted in failure to induce private sector development.
    Author/creator: Ikuko Okamoto
    Language: English
    Source/publisher: IIDE ( Institute of Developing Economies)
    Format/size: pdf (98KB)
    Date of entry/update: 08 January 2005


    Title: Agro-Based Industry in Myanmar - Prospects and Challenges
    Date of publication: 2003
    Description/subject: 400-page book in image files divided into chapters..... Title page, Content, etc...Acknowledgement...Chapter 1- Introduction...Chapter 2 - Agro-Based Industrializing Strategy...Chapter 3 - Rice Industry...Chapter 4 - Wheat Flour Industry...Chapter 5 - Pulses Industry...Chapter 6 - Feed Industry...Chapter 7 - Edible Oil Industry... Chapter 8 - Growth, Survival and and Prospects of Sugar Processing SMEs...Chapter 9 - Cotton textile Industry... Chapter 10 - Facts About Myanmar Jute Industries...Chapter 11 - Chapter 11 Rubber& Rubber Product Industry
    Author/creator: U Tin Htut Oo and Toshihiro Kudo
    Language: English
    Source/publisher: IDE- Institute of Developing Economies / JETRO - Japan External Trade Organization
    Format/size: html, pdf
    Date of entry/update: 25 September 2012


    Title: Agricultural diversification and rural industrialization as a strategy for rural income growth and poverty reduction in Indochina and Myanmar
    Date of publication: 1999
    Description/subject: Abstract: CONTENTS: Introduction; concepts and rationale; concept of diversification; rationale for diversification; significance for IMR; Structural features of IMR and their relevance to diversification; evidence of diversification in the IMR; trends in areas and production of crops and meat production; agricultural exports; future challenges and guiding principles; references....Keywords: Agricultural diversification Economic aspects.; Indochina Economic policy.; Poverty alleviation.; Myanmar Economic policy.; Meat industry and trade.
    Author/creator: Francesco Goletti
    Language: English
    Source/publisher: International Food Policy Research Institute
    Format/size: pdf (160K)
    Date of entry/update: 22 April 2008


  • Agricultural policy

    Individual Documents

    Title: A NEW DAWN FOR EQUITABLE GROWTH IN MYANMAR? Making the private sector work for small - scale agriculture
    Date of publication: 04 June 2013
    Description/subject: "The new wave of political reforms have set Myanmar on a road to unprecedented economic expansion, but, without targeted policy efforts and regulation to even the playing field, the benefits of new investment will filter down to only a few, leaving small - scale farmers – the backbone of the Myanmar economy – unable to benefit from this growth...KEY RECOMMENDATIONS: If Myanmar is to meet its ambitions on equitable growth, political leaders must put new policies and regulation to generate equitable growth at the heart of their democratic reform agenda. Along with democratic reforms, and action to end human-rights abuses, these policies must: * Address power inequalities in the markets; * Put small-scale farmers at the center of new agricultural investments; * Close loopholes in law and practice that leave the poorest open to land-rights abuses..."
    Language: English
    Source/publisher: OXFAM
    Format/size: pdf (266K-OBL version; 314K-original)
    Alternate URLs: http://www.oxfam.org/sites/www.oxfam.org/files/ib-equitable-growth-myanmar-040613-en.pdf
    Date of entry/update: 01 July 2013


    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: Cultivating Inequality (Review of Ikuko Okamoto's "Economic Disparity in Rural Myanmar" )
    Date of publication: July 2008
    Description/subject: A Japanese study illustrates how farmers created an agricultural market in spite of the military government’s bureaucrats... "Economic Disparity in Rural Myanmar" by Ikuko Okamoto. National University of Singapore Press, 2008... "THE devastation caused by Cyclone Nargis and spiraling global food prices have placed even more pressure on the agricultural sector of Burma, once the world’s largest rice exporter and potentially one of Asia’s most prodigious producers of agricultural staples. The majority of the Burmese labor pool is in farming, and rice production remains not just a national priority but an obsession of the junta. Successive regimes have attempted a number of initiatives to increase agricultural production, first through disastrous socialist policies, and since 1988 with piecemeal open market reforms which have continued to stifle the true promise of the agricultural sector. Ikuko Okamoto’s book looks at one success story in this sad litany of state failure. Economic Disparity in Rural Myanmar is an academic analysis of the rapid increase in production of pulses in one township close to Rangoon. A pulse is a bean, in this case one called pedishwewar, or golden green gram, otherwise known as the mung bean. It is a close study of the relationship between Burmese farm laborers, rural traders, tractor dealers, some available land, rice paddy crops and a fortuitous gap in the global rice market that produced a pulse market where before there was none. The sting is that most of the people on the lower rungs—the farmer-laborers—profited least from their labors. Pulses brought in a total of 3.6 billion kyat (US $3 million) in 2007, mainly due to India, which reduced pulse cultivation, allowing farmers and traders in Burma to fill the demand. Okamoto, a researcher at Japan’s Institute for Developing Economies, spent several years studying production techniques in Thongwa Township, east of Rangoon and home to 64 villages and about 150,000 people. In this well-designed and detailed study, she looks at how the dramatic growth in green gram production produced an export success..."
    Author/creator: David Scott Mathieson
    Language: English
    Source/publisher: "The Irrawaddy" Vol. 16, No. 7
    Format/size: html
    Date of entry/update: 15 July 2008


    Title: Agricultural Policies and Development of Myanmar’s Agricultural Sector : An Overview
    Date of publication: June 2006
    Description/subject: Abstract "This paper reviews the development of the agricultural sector in Myanmar after the transition to an open economy in 1988 and analyzes the nature as well as the performance of the agricultural sector. The avoidance of social unrest and the maintenance of control by the regime are identified as the two key factors that have determined the nature of agricultural policy after 1988. A major consequence of agricultural policy has been a clear difference in development paths among the major crops. Production of crops that had a potential for development showed sluggish growth due to policy constraints, whereas there has been a self-sustaining increase in the output of those crops that have fallen outside the remit of agricultural policy."
    Author/creator: Koichi FUJITA, Ikuko OKAMOTO
    Language: English (also available in Japanese(?)
    Source/publisher: IDE Discussion Paper No. 63
    Format/size: pdf (344K)
    Date of entry/update: 16 July 2006


    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)
    Alternate URLs: http://www.ide.go.jp/English/Publish/Dp/pdf/043_okamoto.pdf
    Date of entry/update: 16 July 2006


    Title: Crop Choice, Farm Income, and Political Relations in Myanmar
    Date of publication: March 2005
    Description/subject: Abstract: "Myanmar's agricultural economy is in transition from a planned to a market system. However, the economy does not seem to capture the full gains of productivity growth expected from such a transition. Using a micro dataset collected in 2001 and covering more than 500 households in eight villages with diverse agro-ecological environments, this paper shows that policy interventions in land use and agricultural marketing underlie the lack of income growth. Regression analyses focusing on within-village variations in cropping patterns show that the acreage share under nonlucrative paddy crops is higher for farmers who are under tighter control of the local administration. Keywords: reform, food policy, transitional economies, Asia, Myanmar."
    Author/creator: Takashi Kurosaki
    Language: English
    Source/publisher: Hitotsubashi University Research Unit for Statistical Analysis in Social Sciences
    Format/size: pdf (227K)
    Date of entry/update: 22 April 2008


    Title: Myanmar in Economic Transition : Constraints and Related Issues Affecting the Agriculture Sector
    Date of publication: December 2004
    Description/subject: ABSTRACT: The paper proceeds from the widely held assessment that "Myanmar’s economy is handicapped by structural imbalance, instability, inefficient and imperfect markets, and distorted prices. The paper delineates how this general state of affairs is clearly evident in the agricultural sector. It then identifies the constraints retarding the development of agricultural growth. Among the factors blamed for blunting the sector’s competitiveness are policies on: land, production, procurement and price, foreign exchange, and subsidy. The excessive controls inherent in these policies, coupled with their erratic implementation, are seen to create a general atmosphere of uncertainty and unpredictability in the economy and an erosion of the government’s credibility. Based on the negative impact of the existing policies and on the need to strengthen the competitiveness of the agricultural sector and thus help it contribute to the sustainable development of the country’s economy, the paper recommends alternative policy options. Foremost among these alternatives suggested are the contracting out of land use rights; the shift of focus towards maximizing farmers’ incomes and profits, rather than merely output; the liberalization of trade; unification of the exchange rates; reduction of subsidy to, or privatization of state-operated enterprises (SOEs), and allowing the entry of private enterprises to compete freely with SOEs."
    Author/creator: Tin Soe
    Language: English
    Source/publisher: Asian Journal of Agriculture and Development. Vol. 1, No. 2
    Format/size: pdf (139K)
    Date of entry/update: 03 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: Agricultural Marketing Reform and Rural Economy in Myanmar
    Date of publication: 28 January 2004
    Description/subject: The purpose of this paper is to examine the impact of marketing reforms implemented in the late 1980s in Myanmar. Particular emphasis is placed on the impact of the reform on the rural economy and its participants, namely farmers, landless laborers and marketing intermediaries. The reform had a positive effect on all these participants through the creation of employment opportunities and increased income. The driving force of this success was "market forces,"absence of bad policy" is emphasized as a key for the success in the context of Myanmar, where excessive and murky government intervention often resulted in failure to induce private sector development.
    Author/creator: Ikuko Okamoto
    Language: English
    Source/publisher: IIDE ( Institute of Developing Economies)
    Format/size: pdf (98KB)
    Date of entry/update: 08 January 2005


    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: Power and Money: Economics and Conflict in Burma
    Date of publication: 31 October 2000
    Description/subject: "...The regime's persistent military targeting of ethnic peoples has significantly compounded the negative effects of economic mismanagement. Although the ethnic conflict in Burma is widely considered a human rights problem, many of the regime's tactics are economic; in an attempt to starve them into submission, ethnic groups are routinely denied the ability to secure an income sufficient for survival... Continued conflict and human rights abuses have severely weakened the economy, to the detriment of both ethnic peoples and the general population, and made economic reform a practical impossibility in Burma. Although gross human rights violations and cultural destruction seem not to bother Burma's government, perhaps the impossibility of sustaining the country on a continually deteriorating economic base will eventually force the ruling power to make concessions and respect the rights of Burma's ethnic nationalities."
    Author/creator: Laura Frankel
    Language: English
    Source/publisher: "Cultural Survival Quarterly" Issue 24.3
    Format/size: English
    Date of entry/update: 17 August 2010


    Title: Victories of the State, the People and the Tatmadaw
    Date of publication: September 1999
    Description/subject: The State Peace and Development Council is making energetic endeavors for ensuring the emergence of a new peaceful, modern and developed nation. The Government pays serious attention to the proportionate development of all States and Divisions. Accordingly, the education, health, economic, transportation and other affairs of all States and Divisions are developing. Emphasis has been paid on development of agriculture as our country is an agro-based one. The combined force of the State, the people and the Tatmadaw is collectively striving for the agricultural development. First published in "The New Light of Myanmar", 12 September 1999
    Author/creator: Tekkatho Tin Kha
    Language: English
    Source/publisher: "Burma Debate", Vol... VI, No. 3
    Format/size: pdf (150K)
    Date of entry/update: 03 June 2003


    Title: Myanmar-- Policies for Sustaining Economic Reform
    Date of publication: 16 October 1995
    Description/subject: Important report, which criticises the SLORC's economic and social policies, including paddy procurement policies."A significant program of economic reforms has been instituted in Myanmar since the State Law and Order Restoration Council (SLORC) assumed power in late-1988. This shift in economic policies followed almost a quarter century of economic decline during which the prevalent development paradigm was termed " the Burmese way of socialism " . Under that model, economic development was to be achieved through rapid industrialization and self sufficiency, and led by the State Enterprise (SE) sector. Economic performance under that policy regime was poor. During 1962-77, real GDP growth barely kept up with population expansion and, as a result, living standards stagnated. Investment levels remained low, agricultural output grew slowly, and the economy grew more inward looking. The initial attempts at economic reform in the mid-1970s succeeded at first but could not be sustained due to macroeconomic and structural factors, which were reflected in widening budget and current account deficits, rising inflation, and stagnant agricultural output and exports. Faced with these serious external and internal imbalances in the early-1980s the Government's stabilization attempts relied on tightening import controls, cutting public investment, and demonetization but were ineffective in reversing the economic decline. Following the anti-government demonstrations of 1988, the SLORC assumed power and announced that many key aspects of the earlier model would be abandoned in its economic reform program. With over seven years having elapsed since those reforms were initiated, it is an opportune time to take stock. Specifically, this report examines the impacts of the policy changes, with a view to identifying the areas in which progress has been made, as well as the gaps that still remain in the program. This analysis would then underpin the report's recommendations concernng areas in which additional reforms are required and how these measures should be phased. Keywords: Economic growth; Economic reform; Economic stabilization; Government role; Policy making
    Language: English
    Source/publisher: World Bank
    Format/size: Text (456K)or PDF (8416K) Page.
    Alternate URLs: http://www-wds.worldbank.org/servlet/WDSContentServer/WDSP/IB/1995/10/16/000009265_3961019103423/Rendered/PDF/multi0page.pdf
    http://www-wds.worldbank.org/servlet/WDSServlet?pcont=details&eid=000009265_3961019103423
    Date of entry/update: 03 June 2003


  • Agricultural marketing

    Individual Documents

    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)
    Alternate URLs: http://www.ide.go.jp/English/Publish/Dp/pdf/043_okamoto.pdf
    Date of entry/update: 16 July 2006


    Title: Agricultural market information service, Union of Myanmar (AG: TCP/MYA/8821)
    Date of publication: June 1999
    Description/subject: Consultancy Mission Report prepared for the Government of the Union of Myanmar by Jan Jansonius, FAO Consultant in Agricultural Market Information Service, Planning and Development (Lead Consultant) FAO. "Myanmar contains within its borders a wide range of agro-ecological zones. Rainfall varies from 5000 mm. in the Southern Coastal areas to about 800 mm. in the Central Dry Zone, altitude ranges from sea level to over 5000 meter and latitude from 10 to 29 degrees latitude. There is, consequently, a wide variety of crops, including rice, maize and wheat, many kinds of beans and peas, oilseeds, potato, onion and garlic, many types of temperate and tropical fruits and vegetables, spices and industrial crops like sugarcane, cotton, rubber, cashew and oil palm. Religion plays a very important role in life and in the economy, as large tracts of land are given over to pagodas, monasteries and meditation centers and flower cultivation (for temple offerings) occupies considerable agricultural land..." Bangkok, June 1999.
    Author/creator: Jan Jansonius
    Language: English
    Source/publisher: FAO
    Date of entry/update: 03 June 2003


  • Agricutural inputs (fertilisers, pesticides etc)

    Individual Documents

    Title: CURRENT STATUS OF PESTICIDES RESIDUE ANALYSIS OF FOOD IN RELATION WITH FOOD SAFETY
    Date of publication: 30 January 2002
    Description/subject: FAO/WHO Global Forum of Food Safety Regulators Marrakech, Morocco, 28 - 30 January 2002 "Being a developing agricultural country at least in a foreseeable future, Myanmar is inevitable the use of pesticides in agriculture food production although other parallel efforts of non-chemical nature are being endeavoured in pest control strategies. Although there is a low pesticide consumption rate in Mayanmar, the present data indicates the urgent need of a cautious control in the use through coordination and cooperation of various government agencies and the people themselves. In addition, agricultural pesticides use in the country is expected to be increased with the abrupt change of cropping pattern for high rice production and extension of various crops grown areas. The use of agro-chemical on food crops is estimated about 80% of the total. At that time the use of organo-chlorine insecticides (oc's) is decreasing but the percentage of those pesticides is total (about 10%) is still high. The use of pyrethroids is increasing..."
    Author/creator: Mya Thwin, Thet Thet Mar
    Language: English
    Source/publisher: FAO, WHO
    Format/size: html,pdf (27.14 KB)
    Alternate URLs: ftp://ftp.fao.org/docrep/fao/meeting/004/ab429e.pdf
    Date of entry/update: 03 June 2003


    Title: The Plant Pest Quarantine Law - SLORC Law No. 8/93 (English)
    Date of publication: 16 June 1993
    Description/subject: The State Law and Order Restoration Council... The Plant Pest Quarantine Law... (The State Law and Order Restoration Council Law No. 8/93)... The 12th Waning Day of Nayon, 1355 ME. (16th June, 1993)
    Language: English
    Source/publisher: State Law and Order Restoration Council (SLORC)
    Format/size: pdf (76K)
    Date of entry/update: 13 June 2013


    Title: The Pesticide Law - SLORC Law No. 10/90 (English)
    Date of publication: 11 May 1990
    Description/subject: The State Law and Order Restoration Council - The Pesticide Law - (The State Law and Order Restoration Council Law No. 10/90) - The 3rd Waning Day of Kason, 1352 M.E. (11th May, 1990)
    Language: English
    Source/publisher: State Law and Order Restoration Council (SLORC) via The Burma Lawyers' Council
    Format/size: pdf (83K), html
    Alternate URLs: http://web.archive.org/web/20110902222123/http://www.blc-burma.org/html/myanmar%20law/lr_e_ml90_10.html
    Date of entry/update: 09 December 2010


  • Agricultural Land

    Individual Documents

    Title: Case study on Land Degradation of Dry Zone of Myanmar
    Date of publication: 15 December 2003
    Description/subject: "According to the current land utilization, about 11 million hectares or 16% of the total land area is under cultivation. Since a total of about 18 million hectares is estimated as suitable for agricultural purposes, some 7 million hectares of new land can be brought under crop cultivation and livestock farming. In bringing new land under agricultural use, it is important that the use of scientific techniques of land evaluation and land use planning be made mandatory to ensure the suitability and optimum use of land. In agricultural planning, land evaluation sets up a link between the basic survey of resources and the making of decisions on land use. As part of land use planning, the Land Resources Information System is vital to ensure that environmentally valuable lands are not encroached upon and that adverse environmental impacts can be avoided. To ensure conservation of the resource base, the effective programmes should be designed to address the following constraints in agriculture; * Low productivity due to agro climatic conditions; * Low productivity due to water shortage; * Low productivity due to soil degradation, irrigation induced water logging and salinity in dry zone... A number of agricultural research stations and centres are presently carried out research on plant varieties, crop patterns, irrigation techniques, water storage techniques and soil analysis. The programmes and activities of those centres should be reviewed to ascertain their effectiveness and to assist in the formulation of new programmes that can address key productivity constraints... CONTENTS: 1. Topography; 2. Climate; 3. Land Utilization; 4. Soils in Dry Zone; 5. Land cover; 6. Generation of Slope Maps, Erosion Susceptibility Maps; 7. Regenaration Mapping; 8. Land Degradation, Environmental Conditions And Socio-Economic Impacts; 9. Conclusions.
    Language: English
    Source/publisher: FAO
    Format/size: html
    Date of entry/update: 17 August 2010


  • Agro-based industry

    Individual Documents

    Title: Agro-based Industries in Myanmar: The Long Road to Industrialisation
    Date of publication: March 2006
    Description/subject: Abstract: "The development objective of agro-based industry as one of policy instruments of industrialization had been and still continues to pursue over forty years in Myanmar. Yet its performance still stands stagnant, unable to transform the agrarian economy into agro-based industrial economy. It is estimated that agro-based industry contributes about 3 percent of GDP and 43 percent of industrial output value. The level of industrial formation in terms of the ratio of the manufacturing sector to GDP is also stagnant around 8 to 9 percent. This paper examines why Myanmar still could not have step up from the agrarian economy to the agro-based industrial economy and attempts to provide a policy framework how agro-industrial development is likely to occur. The industrial ownership structure consists of large number of small scale, scattered private enterprises and few number of large scale, capital intensive industries of state economic enterprises (SEEs). The major problem of most agro-based industries is found to be insufficient raw materials supply which could be ascribed to (i) the government's policy conflict of self-sufficiency vs. export (ii) raw materials procurement policy of SEEs at lower than market prices, and (iii) highly distorted exchange rate and macroeconomic instability affecting the costs of imported goods for import-dependent agro-based industries. Unless the correct course of actions are taken in dealing with these issues, the raw material supplies would decline to a crisis point and agro-based industries could be forced into a dead end -- a 'raw material trap'. In the mill areas of SEEs industry, declining raw material supply and poor performances of factories are often generating vicious circle. The paper points out how vicious circle could be converted into virtuous circle by adopting market-driven contractual linkage between farms and factories, and it calls for the management reforms of SEEs, strengthening the capacity of private entrepreneurs, managing macroeconomic stability and domestic capital formation. It also assesses the competitiveness and comparative advantages of the agricultural commodities as the raw materials of agro-based industries in its integration to the ASEAN Free Trade Area. The results indicate the gloomy prospect."
    Author/creator: San Thein
    Language: English
    Source/publisher: Institute of Developing Economies (VRF paper 414)
    Format/size: pdf (548.11 K)
    Alternate URLs: http://www.ide.go.jp/English/Search/result.html?cx=017478955533769994456%3A6h5i3wdxmue&cof=FORID%3A11&hl=en&oe=UTF-8&lr=lang_en&q=Agro-based+Industries+in+Myanmar%3A+The+Long+Road+to+Industrialisation&sa.x=0&sa.y=0&sa=Search#1270
    Date of entry/update: 17 August 2010


    Title: Agro-Based Industry in Myanmar - Prospects and Challenges
    Date of publication: 2003
    Description/subject: 400-page book in image files divided into chapters..... Title page, Content, etc...Acknowledgement...Chapter 1- Introduction...Chapter 2 - Agro-Based Industrializing Strategy...Chapter 3 - Rice Industry...Chapter 4 - Wheat Flour Industry...Chapter 5 - Pulses Industry...Chapter 6 - Feed Industry...Chapter 7 - Edible Oil Industry... Chapter 8 - Growth, Survival and and Prospects of Sugar Processing SMEs...Chapter 9 - Cotton textile Industry... Chapter 10 - Facts About Myanmar Jute Industries...Chapter 11 - Chapter 11 Rubber& Rubber Product Industry
    Author/creator: U Tin Htut Oo and Toshihiro Kudo
    Language: English
    Source/publisher: IDE- Institute of Developing Economies / JETRO - Japan External Trade Organization
    Format/size: html, pdf
    Date of entry/update: 25 September 2012


  • Irrigation

    Websites/Multiple Documents

    Title: Ministry of Agriculture and Irrigation (MOAI)
    Description/subject: 3 sites for this ministry: last edited in 2010 (primary URL); 2004 and 2002 (Alternate URLs in these metadata). Tables, photos, statistics. Sections on: Location, Topogaphy, Climate, Rainfall, Land, Water, RuraL Population and Farm Families, General Agricultural situation, Inputs, Agro-base Industries, Export, NFIS Agri Statistice, Organisation of MOAI, Statistics. I couldn't get any of the site search engines to work.
    Language: English
    Source/publisher: Ministry of Agriculture and Irrigation (MOAI)
    Format/size: html
    Alternate URLs: http://myanmargeneva.org/e-com/agri/expind/agri-index/myanmar.com/ministry/agriculture/default_1.html (2004)
    http://www.modins.net/myanmarinfo/ministry/agriculture.htm (2002)
    Date of entry/update: 16 December 2010


    Title: Results of a Google site-specific search of UNESCAP for irrigation Myanmar
    Description/subject: 139 results for irrigation Myanmar site:unescap.org
    Source/publisher: Google
    Format/size: pdf, html
    Date of entry/update: 18 August 2004


    Title: Search results for irrigat* in OBL
    Description/subject: 34 results
    Language: English
    Source/publisher: Online Burma/Maynmar Library
    Format/size: html, pdf
    Date of entry/update: 18 August 2004


    Title: Search results for irrigation Myanmar in Google
    Description/subject: 32,000 results
    Source/publisher: Google
    Format/size: html, pdf
    Date of entry/update: 18 August 2004


    Title: Search results of a Google site-specific search for irrigation Myanmar on the FAO site
    Description/subject: 783 results for Google search irrigation Myanmar site:fao.org
    Source/publisher: Google/FAO
    Format/size: pdf, html
    Date of entry/update: 18 August 2004


    Title: Search results of a site-specific Google search for irrigation Myanmar on the UNDP site.
    Description/subject: 71 results for irrigation Myanmar site:undp.org
    Source/publisher: Google/UNDP
    Format/size: pdf, html
    Date of entry/update: 18 August 2004


    Individual Documents

    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: Historical Geography of Burma: Creation of enduring patterns in the Pyu period
    Date of publication: October 2001
    Description/subject: "Pyu civilization flourished during most of the first millennium AD at an urban and complex level, and three patterns established by the Pyu were to leave major imprints on the historical geography of Burma that endured until the late nineteenth century, when the colonial conquest transformed the country demographically and economically. Firstly, the Pyu preferred settlement in the Dry Zone, particularly in the valleys of the tributaries of Burma's greatest rivers; secondly, there was development of a repertoire of Pyu irrigation works operating on a variety of scales and firmly imbedded in social structures as well as in these particular environments and economies; and thirdly, at a time of dominance of Mahayana sects in Indian Buddhism, the Pyus adopted Theravada Buddhism, thereby striking a note that has reverberated in Burma ever since..."
    Author/creator: Janice Stargardt
    Language: English
    Source/publisher: Newsletter, Issue 25, International Institute for Asian Studies (Leiden)
    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: Irrigation O & M and system performance in Southeast Asia: an OED impact study
    Date of publication: 27 June 1996
    Description/subject: Operations Evaluation Study. "This report discusses six gravity irrigation schemes supported by the World Bank in the paddy lands of Thailand, Myanmar, and Vietnam. Its main objective is to assess: (i) the agro-economic impacts of these schemes at least five years after completion of the investment operations, and (ii) the influence of operation and maintenance (O & M) performance on the sustainability of those impacts. The finding that dominates the study has little to do with O & M. Offering poor economics and low incomes, these paddy irrigation schemes face an uncertain future. Improved O & M performance will not rescue them. In fact, the study finds that this causality is being reversed. As the uncompetitiveness of paddy farming drives the younger members off farms and the older members to stay behind and concentrate on basic subsistence crops, social capital will erode and O & M standards are likely to suffer. Based on the study of the six schemes, several recommendations have been made and grouped into the following general categories, then expanded on: (1) to sharpen the response to O & M failures; (2) to simplify the technology of infrastructure and operations; (3) to promote the transfer of management to farmers and their Water User Groups; and (4) to improve household earnings." Keywords: Gravity irrigation; Paddyland; Competitiveness; Agricultural productivity; Household income; Subsistence farming; Traditional farming; Farm management; Rural infrastructure; Agro-economic impacts; Operation & maintenance; Water user groups
    Language: English
    Source/publisher: World Bank
    Format/size: Page, Text (609K), PDF (12415K)
    Alternate URLs: http://www-wds.worldbank.org/servlet/WDSContentServer/WDSP/IB/1996/06/27/000009265_3961214172549/Rendered/INDEX/multi_page.txt
    http://www-wds.worldbank.org/servlet/WDSContentServer/WDSP/IB/1996/06/27/000009265_3961214172549/Rendered/PDF/multi_page.pdf
    Date of entry/update: 03 June 2003


    Title: Sustainable Agricultural Development Strategies for the Least Developed Countries of the Asia-Pacific Region: Myanmar
    Date of publication: 1995
    Description/subject: Conclusion and recommendations: Myanmar, like any other developing country, needs to have sectoral policies, objectives and strategies in agriculture, forestry and fisheries which are based on the present socio-economic, political and administrative situation. The three sectors should be monitored, supervised, evaluated and revised as necessary. The ministries concerned should issue documents that formalize the commitment and intent of the government in ensuring sustainable development of the resources for economic and environmental purposes. Surveys and studies which have not been previously or properly carried out (e.g., water demand in industries, soil sedimentation and rehabilitation) should now be undertaken systematically as part of short- and long-term plans; the results should be officially documented and published. With regard to environmental affairs in Myanmar, the concept is: "Everything possible is being done to prevent environmental degradation and make it a heritage that future generations can enjoy". Myanmar, although included among the least developed countries, is well endowed with natural resources for agriculture, forestry and fisheries. Modern technology and capital investment, coupled with a well-prepared plan and proper management, will lead to sustainable utilization of those resources. Priority should be given to self-sufficiency in food in order to contain domestic prices. When any surplus is exported, proper processing, packaging, storage and transportation are prerequisites to meeting international market requirements and standards. The suggested policies in this report, which have been discussed in detail to bring about better comprehension and serious consideration, could be used as a base to modify and improve and, if found feasible, officially adopted. All government policies on the three sectors must be well-defined, officially and legally documented, published and have theirnotification issued by the government. 74 KB
    Author/creator: U Myint Thein, Director-General (Retd), Ministry of Agriculture and Irrigation, Yangon)
    Language: English
    Source/publisher: UNESCAP
    Date of entry/update: 03 June 2003


  • Sustainable agriculture

    Individual Documents

    Title: Sustainable Agricultural Development Strategies for the Least Developed Countries of the Asia-Pacific Region: Myanmar
    Date of publication: 1995
    Description/subject: Conclusion and recommendations: Myanmar, like any other developing country, needs to have sectoral policies, objectives and strategies in agriculture, forestry and fisheries which are based on the present socio-economic, political and administrative situation. The three sectors should be monitored, supervised, evaluated and revised as necessary. The ministries concerned should issue documents that formalize the commitment and intent of the government in ensuring sustainable development of the resources for economic and environmental purposes. Surveys and studies which have not been previously or properly carried out (e.g., water demand in industries, soil sedimentation and rehabilitation) should now be undertaken systematically as part of short- and long-term plans; the results should be officially documented and published. With regard to environmental affairs in Myanmar, the concept is: "Everything possible is being done to prevent environmental degradation and make it a heritage that future generations can enjoy". Myanmar, although included among the least developed countries, is well endowed with natural resources for agriculture, forestry and fisheries. Modern technology and capital investment, coupled with a well-prepared plan and proper management, will lead to sustainable utilization of those resources. Priority should be given to self-sufficiency in food in order to contain domestic prices. When any surplus is exported, proper processing, packaging, storage and transportation are prerequisites to meeting international market requirements and standards. The suggested policies in this report, which have been discussed in detail to bring about better comprehension and serious consideration, could be used as a base to modify and improve and, if found feasible, officially adopted. All government policies on the three sectors must be well-defined, officially and legally documented, published and have theirnotification issued by the government. 74 KB
    Author/creator: U Myint Thein, Director-General (Retd), Ministry of Agriculture and Irrigation, Yangon)
    Language: English
    Source/publisher: UNESCAP
    Date of entry/update: 03 June 2003


    Title: Myanmar Organic Agriculture Group
    Description/subject: Organic Training, Organic Certification, Organic Research Publication, Organic Research in the World
    Language: English
    Format/size: html
    Date of entry/update: 02 September 2012


  • Rural labour issues

    Individual Documents

    Title: Labor Contracts, Incentives, and Food Security in Rural Myanmar
    Date of publication: January 2006
    Description/subject: Abstract: "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
    Language: English
    Source/publisher: Hitotsubashi University Research Unit for Statistical Analysis in Social Sciences
    Format/size: pdf (1.6MB)
    Date of entry/update: 22 April 2008


  • Crops

    • Rice

      Websites/Multiple Documents

      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: 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: 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)
      Alternate URLs: http://www.ide.go.jp/English/Publish/Dp/pdf/043_okamoto.pdf
      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


    • Bio-fuels

      Websites/Multiple Documents

      Title: Agrofuels
      Description/subject: A collection of articles on bio-fuels
      Language: English
      Source/publisher: Foundation for Ecological Recovery
      Format/size: html
      Date of entry/update: 30 April 2008


      Individual Documents

      Title: Biofuel by Decree -- Unmasking Burma's bio-energy fiasco
      Date of publication: 01 May 2008
      Description/subject: Executive Summary: In December 2005, Burma's Senior General Than Shwe ordered the start of a nation-wide campaign to plant the toxic bush-like tree, Jatropha curcas, for biodiesel production. The country was to plant eight million acres, or an area the size of Belgium, within three years. Two years on, this report documents how Burma's people have endured forced labor, confiscation of farmlands, loss of income and threats to food security under the program. At the same time, testimonies of crop failure and mismanagement from all of Burma's states expose the campaign as a fiasco. Each of Burma's states and divisions, regardless of size, are expected to plant at least 500,000 acres. In Rangoon Division, 20% of all available land will be covered in jatropha. In Karenni State, to meet the quotas, every man, woman and child will have to plant 2,400 trees. Army commanders and state officials have organized mass meetings extolling the virtues of jatropha. Photos of senior officers with watering cans and shovels have appeared in the newspapers; progress reports from around the country have been announced daily. Signboards, advertisements, and pamphlets have bombarded the nation. Since 2006, all sectors of Burma's society have been forced to divert funds, farm lands, and labor to growing jatropha. Teachers, school children, farmers, nurses and civil servants have been directed to spend working hours planting along roadsides, at schools, hospitals, offices, religious compounds, and on farmland formerly producing rice. This radical program was started despite growing international concern about the negative impacts of biofuel production, especially when implemented rapidly or on a large scale. Field research from 32 townships in each of Burma's states, including 131 interviews with farmers, civil servants, and investors, reveals how people have been fined, arrested, and threatened with death for not meeting quotas, damage to the plants, or criticism of the program. One result of the excessive demands for farmlands and labor is a new phenomenon of "jatropha refugees" of whom nearly 800 have already fled from southern Shan State to neighbouring Thailand. Plantations up to 2,500 acres in size have ignored local climate and soil conditions and been planted haphazardly, leaving up to 75% of the plants dead. Improper processing of the oil has left engines damaged and raised serious questions about the existence of adequate infrastructure to realize domestic biodiesel production. A complete ignorance of harvest yields, price, or market for the oil has left farmers and even businessmen cynical about any potential benefits of the program. Burma's agricultural sector is the backbone of the country's economy and society. Policies impacting the sector should be considered carefully and implemented cautiously. However, with disturbing echoes of China's "Great Leap Forward" to increase steel production in the 1950s, Burma's generals are forging ahead with an ill-conceived draconian campaign, ignoring its negative impacts. This report highlights the urgent need for political reform in Burma so that agriculture is not left to the whims of generals. Sustainable agricultural policies are needed that can ensure land rights and human security and allow communities to manage their own natural resources.
      Language: English, Burmese
      Source/publisher: The Ethnic Community Development Forum (ECDF),
      Format/size: pdf (English - 1.2MB; Burmese, 2.67MB)
      Alternate URLs: http://www.terraper.org/file_upload/BiofuelbyDecree.pdf
      http://www.terraper.org/file_upload/BiofuelbyDecreeBurmese.pdf
      Date of entry/update: 30 April 2008


      Title: Ethnische Minderheiten im Würgegriff
      Date of publication: 01 May 2008
      Description/subject: Die ethnischen Minderheiten stellen rund 30 Prozent der 50 Millionen Bewohner Burmas. Sie leben überwiegend in den Bergregionen an den Grenzen zu den Nachbarländern. Seit 1948 ringen sie um mehr Selbstverwaltung und Menschenrechte. Während sich die internationale Gemeinschaft nun für die Freilassung der bei der Niederschlagung der Proteste in Rangun Festgenommenen einsetzt, nimmt kaum jemand wahr, dass in den Minderheitengebieten seit Jahren schwerste Menschenrechtsverletzungen andauern; Menschenrechtsverletzungen vor und nach 2007; Chin; Karen; Biosprit; Human rights violations before and after 2007; natural ressources, bio-fuels
      Author/creator: Ulrich Delius
      Language: German, Deutsch
      Source/publisher: Gesellschaft für bedrohte Völker
      Date of entry/update: 03 May 2008


    • Plantations

      • Rubber plantations

        Individual Documents

        Title: Hpa-an Situation Update: T'Nay Hsah Township, November to December 2012
        Date of publication: 29 March 2013
        Description/subject: This report includes a situation update submitted to KHRG in December 2012 by a community member describing events occurring in Hpa-an District, between November and December 2012. The report details the concerns of villagers in T'Nay Hsah Township, who have faced significant declines in their paddy harvest due to bug infestation. The community member also raises villagers' concerns regarding the cutting down of teak-like trees by developers, for the establishment of rubber plantations. The report describes how this activity seriously threatens villagers' livelihoods, and takes place via the cooperation of companies and wealthy individuals with the Burma government. The report goes on to detail demands placed upon villagers by the Border Guard Force (BGF) to contribute money to pay soldiers' salaries. Though the community member reports that these demands are not as forcibly implemented as in the past; villagers still face threats if they do not comply. Many villagers in the area, however, have chosen not to pay the money requested of them by the BGF.
        Language: English
        Source/publisher: Karen Human Rights Group (KHRG)
        Format/size: pdf (129K), html
        Date of entry/update: 01 May 2013


        Title: Situation Update | Moo, Ler Doh and Hsaw Htee townships, Nyaunglebin District (January to June 2012)
        Date of publication: 17 October 2012
        Description/subject: This report includes a situation update submitted to KHRG in July 2012 by a community member describing events occurring in Nyaunglebin District between January and June 2012. Specifically discussed are Tatmadaw demands, including new gold mining taxes imposed by Light Infantry Battalion #264 and their demands for sentries, and the construction of a bridge inside Na Tha Kway village, which has displaced many villagers without providing compensation. This report also includes information about 400 villagers who gathered together on March 12th to protest the construction of Kyauk N'Ga Dam on the Shwegyin River in Hsaw Htee and Ler Doh townships; the opening of a Karen Nation Union (KNU) liaison office in Ler Doh town on April 9th, during which over 10,000 villagers awaited government officials; the arrival of representatives from the Norwegian government to the internally displaced persons (IDP) area in Mu The; and a visit by a United States Senator on May 29th in Ler Doh town and subsequently in Nay Pyi Daw. The report also describes work and food security problems in Nyaunglebin, where some villagers have migrated to neighbouring Thailand and Malaysia for employment, or to work in Yangon's growing entertainment industry. The community member spoke with villagers in the area who expressed overall satisfaction with the peace and ceasefire process, and they hope that it will continue to be stable.
        Language: English
        Source/publisher: Karen Human Rights Group (KHRG)
        Format/size: pdf (438k), html
        Alternate URLs: http://www.khrg.org/khrg2012/khrg12b80.html
        Date of entry/update: 08 November 2012


        Title: White Gold Rush
        Date of publication: June 2010
        Description/subject: The junta is working closely with China to push rubber production in northern Burma, but small-scale farmers are getting bounced around so the rich can tap the market... "Shwe pyu—white gold—is the name for unprocessed rubber in Burma, and the regime is handing out land concessions for rubber production that are as valuable as gold to wealthy, well-connected businessmen. But for small-scale farmers in northern Burma, shwe pyu is as far beyond their reach as gold in the remote Hukawng Valley..."
        Author/creator: Zao Noam
        Language: English
        Source/publisher: "The Irrawaddy" Vol. 18, No. 6
        Format/size: html
        Date of entry/update: 29 August 2010


        Title: "Undercurrents" Issue 3
        Date of publication: April 2009
        Description/subject: this issue focuses on how the expanding influence of Chinese interests in the Golden Triangle region, from rubber plantations to wildlife trading, is bringing rapid destructive changes to local communities. There are also articles on opium cultivation, mining operations, the mainstream Mekong dams in China, and unprecedented flooding downstream..... Mekong Biodiversity Up for Sale: A new hub of wildlife trade and a network of direct buyers from China is hastening the pace of species loss... Rubber Mania: Scrambling to supply China, can ordinary farmers benefit?... Drug Country: Another opium season in eastern Shan State sees increased cultivation, mulitple cropping and a new form of an old drug... Construction Steams Ahead: A photo essay from the Nouzhadu Dam, one of the eight planned on the mainstream Mekong in China... Digging for Riches: An update on mining operations in eastern Shan State... Washed Out: Unprecedented flooding wreaks havoc in the Golden Triangle.
        Language: English
        Source/publisher: Lahu National Development Organization (LNDO)
        Format/size: pdf (3.6MB)
        Alternate URLs: http://www.burmalibrary.org/docs07/undercurrentsissue3.pdf
        Date of entry/update: 11 April 2009


    • Pulses

      Individual Documents

      Title: Cultivating Inequality (Review of Ikuko Okamoto's "Economic Disparity in Rural Myanmar" )
      Date of publication: July 2008
      Description/subject: A Japanese study illustrates how farmers created an agricultural market in spite of the military government’s bureaucrats... "Economic Disparity in Rural Myanmar" by Ikuko Okamoto. National University of Singapore Press, 2008... "THE devastation caused by Cyclone Nargis and spiraling global food prices have placed even more pressure on the agricultural sector of Burma, once the world’s largest rice exporter and potentially one of Asia’s most prodigious producers of agricultural staples. The majority of the Burmese labor pool is in farming, and rice production remains not just a national priority but an obsession of the junta. Successive regimes have attempted a number of initiatives to increase agricultural production, first through disastrous socialist policies, and since 1988 with piecemeal open market reforms which have continued to stifle the true promise of the agricultural sector. Ikuko Okamoto’s book looks at one success story in this sad litany of state failure. Economic Disparity in Rural Myanmar is an academic analysis of the rapid increase in production of pulses in one township close to Rangoon. A pulse is a bean, in this case one called pedishwewar, or golden green gram, otherwise known as the mung bean. It is a close study of the relationship between Burmese farm laborers, rural traders, tractor dealers, some available land, rice paddy crops and a fortuitous gap in the global rice market that produced a pulse market where before there was none. The sting is that most of the people on the lower rungs—the farmer-laborers—profited least from their labors. Pulses brought in a total of 3.6 billion kyat (US $3 million) in 2007, mainly due to India, which reduced pulse cultivation, allowing farmers and traders in Burma to fill the demand. Okamoto, a researcher at Japan’s Institute for Developing Economies, spent several years studying production techniques in Thongwa Township, east of Rangoon and home to 64 villages and about 150,000 people. In this well-designed and detailed study, she looks at how the dramatic growth in green gram production produced an export success..."
      Author/creator: David Scott Mathieson
      Language: English
      Source/publisher: "The Irrawaddy" Vol. 16, No. 7
      Format/size: html
      Date of entry/update: 15 July 2008


    • Other crops

      Websites/Multiple Documents

      Title: International Year of the Potato - 2008
      Description/subject: "As wheat and rice prices surge, the humble potato is being rediscovered as a nutritious crop that could cheaply feed an increasingly hungry world."
      Language: English,Francais, Russian, Espanol
      Source/publisher: FAO
      Format/size: html
      Date of entry/update: 10 May 2008


      Individual Documents

      Title: Monopoly Tea Farms (Burmese)
      Date of publication: 05 June 2011
      Description/subject: "The Ta’ang (Palaung) people are traditionally tea cultivators, however, they currently face economic hardship due to a decline in the tea market in 2011. Although the tea price was good and many tea traders bought tea during the Shwe Pyi Oo (first harvest), one week later the price of tea fell and just a few traders were buying tea. After that the tea market was very weak and tea production almost came to a halt. The Shwe Pyi Oo tea season occurs over one month from the end of March to the end of April, and is an important time for the livelihoods of the Ta’ang people. The majority of Ta’ang people who produce tea live in Namhsam, Mantong, Namtu, Namkham, Kutkai, western Kyaukmae and Thipaw in Northern Shan State. Tea production is the main source of income for over (600,000) six hundred thousand Ta’ang people. Because the main source of income of the Ta’ang people is in crisis and the monopoly of the regime, the local population is facing many related economic, social, educational and health problems. The new Burma’s military regime and other organizations have not addressed the crisis that the Ta’ang people are facing as a result of the decline of the tea industry. Therefore, the Ta’ang (Palaung) working group has produced this briefing paper about the problems that Ta’ang tea cultivators are facing. Our objective is to inform people and to help solve the problems that Ta’ang tea cultivators are facing in the Palaung area..."
      Language: Burmese
      Source/publisher: Ta’ang (Palaung) Working Group - TSYO, PWO, PSLF
      Format/size: pdf (396K-OBL version; 547K-original)
      Alternate URLs: http://www.palaungland.org/wp-content/uploads/2011/06/Tea%20Briefing%20Paper%20by%20%20Burmese%20Version.pdf
      Date of entry/update: 25 January 2012


      Title: Monopoly Tea Farms (English)
      Date of publication: 05 June 2011
      Description/subject: The Ta’ang (Palaung) people are traditionally tea cultivators, however, they currently face economic hardship due to a decline in the tea market in 2011. Although the tea price was good and many tea traders bought tea during the Shwe Pyi Oo (first harvest), one week later the price of tea fell and just a few traders were buying tea. After that the tea market was very weak and tea production almost came to a halt. The Shwe Pyi Oo tea season occurs over one month from the end of March to the end of April, and is an important time for the livelihoods of the Ta’ang people. The majority of Ta’ang people who produce tea live in Namhsam, Mantong, Namtu, Namkham, Kutkai, western Kyaukmae and Thipaw in Northern Shan State. Tea production is the main source of income for over (600,000) six hundred thousand Ta’ang people. Because the main source of income of the Ta’ang people is in crisis and the monopoly of the regime, the local population is facing many related economic, social, educational and health problems. The new Burma’s military regime and other organizations have not addressed the crisis that the Ta’ang people are facing as a result of the decline of the tea industry. Therefore, the Ta’ang (Palaung) working group has produced this briefing paper about the problems that Ta’ang tea cultivators are facing. Our objective is to inform people and to help solve the problems that Ta’ang tea cultivators are facing in the Palaung area.
      Language: English
      Source/publisher: Ta’ang (Palaung) Working Group - TSYO, PWO, PSLF
      Format/size: pdf (336K-OBL version; 503K-original))
      Alternate URLs: http://www.palaungland.org/wp-content/uploads/2011/06/Tea%20Briefing%20Paper%20by%20%20English%20Version.pdf
      Date of entry/update: 25 January 2012


      Title: Tea Production On the Periphery of the British Empire
      Date of publication: September 1991
      Description/subject: The political economy of Shan tea under British colonial rule. "...Tawngpeng State, the major tea-producing area in the Federated Shan States, contained an area of 938 square miles. As of 1939 the population of Tawngpeng was 59,398 and it had a revenue of Rs. 645,634. The State was divided into 16 circles which corresponded as closely as possible to clan-divisions. Geographic features were characterised by hills ranging from five to seven thousand feet in height interspersed with valleys that averaged approximately ten miles in length and from a few hundred yards to a few miles in width. Maurice Collis, a former Burma civil servant, noted that upon approaching Namhsan, the capital of Tawngpeng which lies at the centre of the State at a height of six thousand feet, 'there is a vale and in the midst, ten miles away, is a ridge, on one end of which stands the town of Nam Hsan with the palace over it on a circular hill....The vale is one vast tea garden'. On the lower levels of the hillsides, Palaungs and Shans grow tea whilst higher up Kachins and Lisus practice shifting agriculture. Shans predominate in the valleys where rice is the staple crop..."
      Author/creator: Robert Maule Department of History, University of Toronto
      Language: English
      Source/publisher: Thai-Yunnan Project Newsletter No. 14, September 1991
      Alternate URLs: ftp://coombs.anu.edu.au/coombspapers/coombsarchives/thai-yunnan-project/thai-yunnan-newsletter/thai-yunnan-nwsltr-14.txt
      The directory of the Thai-Yunnan Project Newsletters is on ftp://coombs.anu.edu.au/coombspapers/coombsarchives/thai-yunnan-project/thai-yunnan-newsletter/
      Date of entry/update: 03 June 2003