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Agricultural Economics

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Date of publication: December 2016
Description/subject: "Recent evidence suggests that the mechanization of agriculture is proceeding rapidly in areas of Myanmar close to the country’s major city, Yangon, as farmers - driven by the need to remain profitable in the face of labor shortages and rising wage rates - adopt a variety of labor saving technologies (Win and Thinzar 2016 ). In this brief, we present findings from the first survey in Myanmar to analyze the supply side of agricultural mechanization..."
Author/creator: Myat Thida Win, Aye Mya Thinzar, and A Myint Zu
Language: English
Source/publisher: Michigan State University (MSU)
Format/size: pdf (1.1MB)
Date of entry/update: 12 March 2018

Date of publication: November 2016
Description/subject: "After nearly three decades of isolation from the world economy, Myanmar is moving forward with political and economic reforms. As a result of this political and economic transformation Myanmar has tremendous opportunities for growth. Although agriculture accounts for the largest share of employment in Myanmar, its contribution to GDP is small. Myanmar’s agriculture value chains are under developed; smallholder capacity is low and investment in the agriculture sector has been limited. At the same time, Myanmar’s geographic position and climate make agriculture a potential driver for growth and development. In particular, Myanmar is well positioned to become a large exporter of rubber.Large parts of the high rainfall areas in eastern and southeastern Myanmar are well-suited for rubber cultivation. Following a gradual liberalization of the agriculture sector in the 1990s and a surge in rubber prices in international markets in the 2000s, there was a surge in smallholder investment. Although yields remain low, they have risen substantially over the past two decades..."
Language: English
Source/publisher: Joanna van Asselt, Kyan Htoo, and Paul Dorosh
Format/size: pdf (383K)
Date of entry/update: 13 March 2018

Date of publication: October 2016
Description/subject: ""This research highlight presents findings from the Myanmar Aquaculture Agriculture Survey 2016 (MAAS) on the characteristics of off-farm em- ployment and the rural non-farm economy in four townships close to the city of Yangon. Two groups of village tract were selected to facilitate comparison of the impacts of aquaculture and agri- culture on the rural economy: an ‘aquaculture cluster’, located in areas with high densities of fish farms, and an ‘agriculture cluster’ located in areas nearby where cultivation of paddy and pulses was the main form of agricultural production. This research highlight fo- cusses on the characteristics of off-farm employment in the two clusters..." ... CONCLUSIONS: 1. Off-farm employment is extremely important, even among the wealthiest households and largest landholders. It provides work of 78% of all households surveyed and are the sole source of earnings for 56% of households. 2. Aquaculture appears to create additional off-farm employment opportunities compared to areas dependent on paddy and annual crop cultivation, in terms of both employment duration and numbers of jobs created. 3. Off-farm labor markets in the areas surveyed appear well integrated, as indicated by similar wage rates across clusters, but there is a large gender disparity in the wages paid for comparable forms of work. 4. Remittances are important for receiving households in the village tracts surveyed, but their contribution to off-income is small in comparison to that of non-farm enterprises and wage labor. However, the labor shortages created by migration appear to drive up rural wages, benefitting individuals employed off-farm. 5. Significant improvements have occurred in transport services and travel times, geographical connectivity and human mobility within the last five years, but there is still much scope for infrastructure development that would accelerate these further. 6. The rural non-farm economy is growing quickly and restructuring in response to these stimuli."
Author/creator: Aung Htun
Language: English
Source/publisher: Michigan State University (MSU)-Food Security Policy Project Research Highlights Myanmar
Format/size: pdf (933K)
Date of entry/update: 12 March 2018

Date of publication: September 2016
Description/subject: "...CONCLUSIONS The following conclusions can be drawn from this analysis: First, MADB is by far the most important source of loans for agriculture, and plays a crucial role in ensuring that most farmers have access to credit at affordable rates. Terms of repayment for MADB loans appear somewhat more flexible than is generally understood, particularly for monsoon loans, which have repayment periods that are two months longer on average than those for loans taken in dry season. (Repayment schedules for dry season loans are presumably more tightly restricted due to the Bank’s need to disperse the main tranche of monsoon loans from July onwards). Perhaps because a degree of flexibility exists, the share of farmers reporting the need to sell crops earlier than they preferred in order to meet MADB loan repayments was lower than expected. Second, informal lenders (predominantly relatives/ friends and moneylenders) are by far the most common sources of informal credit for agriculture, but are also among the most expensive. The least creditworthy agricultural households (those with the smallest landholdings and lowest per capita expenditures) are most heavily dependent on these sources, and thus face a double burden of limited resources and expensive debt. Loans from these two sources also dominate credit utilized for aquaculture. However, despite average operating costs much higher than those in agriculture, only 41% of households practicing aquaculture had accessed a loan for this purpose within the past 12 months, suggesting that the cost of informal credit may act as a disincentive to investment in the activity, likely resulting in sub-optimal productivity. Third, the prevalence of output-tied loans in agriculture is insignificant, with no loans of this type being provided by traders or input suppliers. In the case of aquaculture, such loans are available from fish traders, but only to large farms. Rather than being exploitative, as such arrangements are often perceived to be, these loans are advantageous to borrowers, because average loan sizes and loan durations are greater than for those from other informal sources, and average rates of interest are lower. Fourth, access to loans from microfinance institutions and cooperatives improved sharply between 2011 and 2016. The greater availability credit from these providers appears to be linked to a 12-percentage point reduction in the average rate of interest paid on loans taken from sources other than banks over this period. Although this is a very positive development, loans from these sources represent only a small share of that invested agriculture and aquaculture, suggesting potential to tailor them more effectively to meet the needs of farm households."
Author/creator: Lu Min Lwin and Khun Moe Htun
Language: English
Source/publisher: Michigan State University (MSU)-Food Security Policy Project Research Highlights Myanmar
Format/size: pdf (842k)
Date of entry/update: 19 March 2018

Date of publication: September 2016
Description/subject: "The purpose of this report is to provide information and analysis to government, civil society, and donors interested in improving the well-being of the rural population of Mon State. Specifically, the report analyzes the different sources of income for rural households, as well as their socioeconomic characteristics, with a view to identifying potential pathways to improving incomes, especially for poor households, and stimulating inclusive rural growth. The overall picture that emerges is one of an economy heavily dependent on services for local employment and on international migration for income. Like a two-legged stool, such an economy is potentially unstable in the face of external shocks. Diversification of the Mon State economy, including diversification and increased productivity within the agricultural sector, will lessen the relative dependence on external migration remittances and result in more resilient growth in the future. The analysis presented in this report is based on a sample of 1,632 rural households. The sample households were selected from village communities identified by rural enumeration areas (EAs) in the 2014 population census. All potential EAs were first stratified according to the primary agricultural activity (rice, rubber, orchard, or marine fishing). A total of 140 EAs (a little more than 6% of the sampling frame of rural EAs) were randomly selected, 35 from each of the four activity strata. For each selected EA, 12 households were randomly selected based on a household listing. The sample is designed to be representative of rural households in Mon State as a whole, as well as the major agricultural activities that rural households engage in..."
Author/creator: Aung Hein, Kyan Htoo, L. Seng Kham, Myat Th ida Win, Aye Mya Thinzar, Zaw Min Naing, Mi Win Thida, Ni Lei, Lu Min, Naw Eh Mwee, Zaw Oo , Mateusz Filipski, Ulrike Nischan, Joanna Van Asselt, Brian Holtemeyer, Emily Schmidt, Meka mu Kedir, Adam Kennedy,
Language: English
Source/publisher: Michigan State University (MSU) & Feed the Future Innovation Lab for Food Security Policy
Format/size: pdf (1.5MB
Date of entry/update: 13 March 2018

Title: Rural Livelihood and Agricultural Reform In Chiba Village, Shwebo Township, Sagaing Region, Myanmar
Date of publication: 26 July 2015
Description/subject: Introduction: "Rural community is one of the strengths in country building. In a nation-­‐state administrative policy changes are followed by economic policy changes, then by changes in livelihood strategies. To members of rural society mostly existing on agriculture livelihood strategies go different based on accessibility of assets. To become a modern, developed nation mainly means brisk economic development, in which increased rural production plays an important part. A bout (70) percent of Myanmar population are rural and farmers by the livelihood. Agriculture sector is the main prop to Myanmar's economic structure. Rice is the staple food of Myanmar people and paddy cultivation is the livelihood of majority of cultivators in the country. The Union Government is working for betterment of agriculture sector as well as farmers' life. In implementing with increased momentum rural development program aimed at enhancement of rural people’s socio-­‐economic development, it is necessary to know of their present status, needs and desires.".....Paper delivered at the International Conference on Burma/Myanmar Studies: Burma/Myanmar in Transition: Connectivity, Changes and Challenges: University Academic Service Centre (UNISERV), Chiang Mai University, Thailand, 24-­26 July 2015.
Author/creator: Shin Thynn Tun
Language: English
Source/publisher: International Conference on Burma/Myanmar Studies: Burma/Myanmar in Transition: Connectivity, Changes and Challenges: University Academic Service Centre (UNISERV), Chiang Mai University, Thailand, 24-­26 July 2015
Format/size: pdf (1.9MB)
Alternate URLs: http://rcsd.soc.cmu.ac.th/web/Burma/home.php#
Date of entry/update: 10 August 2015

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

Title: MYANMAR AGRICULTURAL DEVELOPMENT BANK: Initial Assessment and Restructuring Options
Date of publication: 2014
Description/subject: "Myanmar is an agricultural country. It is estimated that the agriculture sector represents between 35 to 40 percent of gross domestic product (GDP) and that up to 70 percent of the labor force (of 32.5 million) is directly or indirectly engaged in agricultural activities or depend on agriculture for their income. Moreover, it is estimated that agriculture products generate between 25 and 30 percent of total export earnings. Given agriculture’s important contribution to the economy, the modernization of the agriculture sector is a top priority in the economic and social development agenda of the Government of Myanmar. Looking forward, Myanmar’s agricultural potential is enormous given the country’s rich natu- ral resources and favorable geographical location. Myanmar’s diverse topography, climates, water resources, and eco-systems offer farmers and investors the opportunity to produce a wide range of cereals, pulses, horticultural products, fruits, livestock, and fish. Because of its strategic location between the two enormous regional markets of India and China, and easy access to buoyant markets in the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), Myanmar’s agriculture sector is well positioned to grow, develop a dynamic agribusiness industry, and provide people with the opportunity to improve their living standards...... 1.Diagnostic of MADB: 1.1 Overview of the Agriculture Sector and the Role of MADB... 1.2 MABD’s Mission and Policy Mandate... 1.3 Lending Operations: Seasonal Crop Production Loan (SCPL) and Term Loan (TL), Breakdown of the Loan Portfolio, Loan Guarantees, Loan Amount per Farmer... 1.4 Credit Policies... 1.5 Pricing and Funding... 1.6 Risk Management... 1.7 Corporate Governance: Board, Internal Control System, External Audit System... 1.8 Operations... 1.9 Legal, Regulatory, and Supervisory Regime... 1.10 Accounting and Financial Reporting... Human Resources..... 2.Options for the Transformation of MADB... 2.1 Strengthening MADB in the Short Term... 2.2 Issues to Consider for MADB’s Long-Term Transformation..... 3.Lessons from International Experience... 3.1 Bank for Agriculture and Agricultural Cooperatives... 3.2 Bank Rakyat Indonesia... 3.3 Financiera Rural of Mexico..... 4.Conclusions
Language: English
Source/publisher: The World Bank Group
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 08 September 2015

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

Title: Inle Lake Conservation and Rehabilitation Project
Date of publication: 2012
Description/subject: "... Inle Lake situated in Southern Shan State is well known by local populace and foreign visitors for the natural beauty of the lake waters, surrounding mountain ranges, tomato floating gardens and leg rowers of boats. The lake plays a vital role for the ecosystem and economy of Shan State, providing many important goods and services for the communities. It is an ASEAN heritage site and also on the tentative list of UNESCO World Heritage sites. It is the main water source for Lawpita hydroelectricity power plant, a major tourist attraction site and a habitant for rich biodiversity and traditional culture. The lake is now facing devastating effects of unsustainable practices in forestry, agriculture and fishing activities. The situation is accelerated by impact of climate change. Water surface area and sanitation is decreasing, fish and plant species are disappearing at a fast rate while water hyacinth species are increasing, blocking water ways and dominating other useful water cress that farmers use for building floating gardens. Therefore with the collaboration of Ministry of Environmental Conservation and Forestry (MOECAF), UNDP and UNESCO, a fund has been provided from Norwegian Government to implement conservation and rehabilitation activities in the area. UNDP acting as the funding agency is working together with implementing partners to restore the area with the assistance of local communities. Due to the need of the communities, organic farming and market linkages activity has been implemented by Doe Taung Thu, a local non-government organization. For Organic farming, farmers have been trained in compost making, vermiculture, production of agriculture organic inputs such as natural pesticides, plant juice, fruit juice containing indigenous micro-organisms. With these products farmers are utilizing natural resources in the area. In addition an attempt is made to utilize water hyacinth for agricultural use. Objectives  To collect water hyacinth from water ways and shred into small pieces for compost making  To decrease water hyacinth in the lake and clear water ways for easy access to villages  To use shredded water hyacinth for mulching crops in a form of composting  To conserve moisture in soil by mulching, protect soil erosion and slow down rain run off so that moisture can penetrate deep down to the roots  To prevent rain splashing onto leaves and minimize leaf diseases  To suppress weeds and minimize weeding  To use chopped water hyacinth to feed earth worms  To increase chicken and duck feed for communities..."
Author/creator: Heather Morris, U Myint Zaw
Language: English
Source/publisher: Ministry of Environmental Conservation and Forestry (MOECAF)
Format/size: pdf (405K)
Date of entry/update: 19 April 2016

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

Title: 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