Myanmar agricultural sector accounts for some 38% of the country’s gross domestic product (GDP), but yields are low due to farmers being cut-off from modern technology under the previous regime for decades.
The agricultural sector employs 70% of its labor force and generates 25% to 30% of total export earnings. (Source: FAO)
Myanmar earned over 3.61 billion U.S. dollars from agricultural exports in over 11 months of the present fiscal year (FY) 2019-2020 which started in October, increased by 500 million U.S. dollars from 2018-2019 value of 3.51 billion U.S. dollars. (Source: Ministry of Commerce)
Rice and broken rice, pulses and beans, and maize are the main items of export in the agricultural sector while fruits and vegetables, sesame, dried tea leaves, sugar, and other agricultural products are also exported to other countries. Myanmar mainly exports agricultural products to China, Singapore, Malaysia, the Philippines, Bangladesh, India, Indonesia, and Sri Lanka. (Source: Ministry of Commerce)
Compared to other rice-yielding nations in the region, rice paddy generation is also low in Myanmar at 23kg a day as opposed to Cambodia (62kg), Vietnam (429kg), and Thailand (547kg) respectively. (Source: World Bank)
The Myanmar government aims to achieve the export target of 2 million tons of rice and broken rice in fiscal year (FY) 2020-2021 beginning October. Myanmar surpassed its rice export target of 2.5 million tons in last FY 2019-2020. Myanmar has exported 232,841 tons of rice and 117,418 tons of broken rice, earning over 131 million U.S. dollars as of Nov. 27 this fiscal year. of the total rice exports, 41.17 percent is achieved through border gates, and the rest through the sea route. (Source: Ministry of Commerce, Myanmar Rice Federation)
Myanmar has a huge land area and a wide variety of growing conditions. It has more than 65 million hectares of terra firma, among the highest in Southeast Asia. But, only about 20% of its land area (12.6 million hectares) is actually used for agriculture.
Food Security Index (2019)
- Myanmar: 57 (77/122)
- Cambodia: 90
- Lao PDR: X
- Viet Nam: 54
- Thailand: 52