Agriculture, which includes crop production, hunting, fishing, and forestry, is the mainstay of the Myanmar economy. This sector is responsible for much of the income and employment in the country. About 60 percent of the GDP comes from agriculture, and as much as 65 percent of the labor force is employed in this sector alone. Myanmar produces enough food to feed its entire population. In the absence of purchasing power, however, many people go hungry. Further, about a third of the rural households do not have any land or livestock. Only half of the arable 45 million acres is under cultivation.
Rice is the most important agricultural commodity of Myanmar. Rice production increased from 5,200,000 metric tons in 1950 to 16,760,000 metric tons in 1993. The crop is cultivated along the river valleys, coastal areas, and in the Irrawaddy River delta. A wide variety of crops are cultivated in the northern dry zone. Rubber and other commercially useful products are cultivated in the Irrawaddy and Tenasserim regions. Agricultural products form the bulk of the export trade and include rice, teak, prawns, beans and pulses, and opiates.
Myanmar’s agriculture is heavily dependent on the monsoon rains. While some areas suffer from too much rain, other regions receive too little. Government efforts in the 1990s increased the amount of irrigated land to 2.2 million acres. Many agricultural products like tobacco, sugar, groundnut, sunflower, maize, jute and wheat, however, have not reached their pre-1985 production levels. This reduction is offset by higher production in rice, pulses and beans. Rice production increased due to supportive government policies as well as favorable market forces. According to Asian Development Bank estimates, however, real annual growth in agriculture declined from 5.0 percent in 1996-97 to 3.7 percent in 1997-98 and to 2.8 in the 1998-99 fiscal years. Further, per-acre yield of the crops has not increased because of inadequate application of fertilizers and pesticides. One factor that helped to improve production was the removal of government controls over the agricultural sector.
Contact Person: Mr. Lin Mwin
Contact Person: Mr. MaungMuang
Position: Secretary General
Agriculture and Farmers Federation of Myanmar (AFFM) – ftuburma.blogspot.com
No.86, 164 St, Tamwe kha Ward, Tamwe Township,1211, Yangon, Myanmar
Tel: +95-1-551526 | Fax: 01-8603691 (Local)
Contact Person: Mr. Than Swe
Contact Person: Mr. Michael Kiyarlin