Myanmar turns to marketable crops

Famers grow monsoon paddy in Khinoo Township.

Myanmar’s commerce ministry has announced plans to grow crops that can penetrate international markets.

Myanmar’s main agricultural exports at the moment are paddy, beans and pulses. Mung beans are a main export to India. However, bean exports have declined recently after India implemented some restrictions.

The ministry is discussing the new export plan with the Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock and Irrigation, along with entrepreneurs.

Khin Maung Lwin, commerce ministry’s assistant permanent secretary, said: “The agriculture department is discussing a detailed plan to grow green gram, summer paddy and perennial crops. We are thinking about growing marketable crops. For instance, we can produce high-quality bean. Japan re-exports green gram due to chemical residues. The agricultural department plans to grow crops in accordance with the GAP system. We also plan to educate farmers about chemical residues with the help of companies and agriculturalists.”

The commerce ministry has urged merchants to buy main export items such as paddy and beans based on product quality.

Dr Ye Tint Tun, the director-general of agricultural department under the Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock and Irrigation said: “We plan to grow other crops instead of mung beans. We are discussing strains and technologies.”