The agricultural sector is the backbone of Myanmar’s economy. The country’s economic development depends mainly on agricultural productivity, which sets the goals for the all-round development programmes.
Historically and at present, the agricultural sector is the main livelihood for the majority of the people.
As a result of an increase in investment, Myanmar’s agriculture sector has prospects for growth.
Myanmar’s rice exports this fiscal year was more than 3 million tons, the most in over 70 years. This will be remembered as the start of a return as one of the region’s top rice exporters.
Currently, Myanmar’s fruits and vegetables are flowing into Singapore and Taiwan, in addition to China. And we are making efforts for the fruits and vegetables market to gain access to Russia and the UAE (United Arab Emirates).
In addition to watermelons and muskmelons, the country exports grapes, pineapples, bananas, dragon fruit (pitaya) and mangoes.
Our country needs to expand the growing of crops as much as possible in areas throughout the country.
The Rakhine State Government is planning to cultivate ginger in Rakhine State as a pilot project with the cooperation of local entrepreneurs, according to the Union of Myanmar Federation of Chambers of Commerce and Industry (UMFCCI).
To be able to cultivate ginger in Rakhine State, the UMFCCI and Rakhine State Chambers of Commerce and Industry (RSCCI) will provide 1,000 viss of ginger seeds, while the Myanmar Fruit, Flower and Vegetable Producers and Exporters Association (MFVP) will provide technical assistance.
The groups are planning to cultivate several acres of ginger in four townships — Kyaukpyu, Ponnagyun, Buthidaung and Maungtaw — as a pilot project in Rakhine State with the investment of the Public Development Committee in Kyauktaw Township and the Cooperative Society in Rakhine State.
If the project is successful, they will extend the ginger cultivation project across the Rakhine State.
Myanmar exports the ginger to Bangladesh and earns around US$3 million annually. Currently, ginger is cultivated mainly in the southern part of Shan State. If our cultivation in Rakhine State is successful, we can export the ginger to Bangladesh directly, which can reduce transport costs.
Rakhine State has a favourable climate and environment for growing ginger. We have already had a ginger market in America, the Netherlands and Germany. But we could even fulfill demand from Bangladesh. An acre of ginger produces approximately 8,000 visses.
This can be an excellent model for our country. We need to make more efforts for growing crops which are currently gaining a foothold in the export market.
In addition to rice, various types of pulses such as mung beans, pigeon peas, green grams, peanuts, sesame seeds, and fruits and vegetables, including corn, watermelons, muskmelons, mangoes, as well as onion, ginger, dried tea leaves and coffee beans, among other things, are shipped to foreign countries.
Today is the time to support the farmers as the agriculture sector continues to play a large part in development of the country.