Myanmar’s total corn production is estimated to increase by 6% in the 2016-17 marketing year due to the expansion of rain fed corn growing areas and increased demand from neighboring countries in the region, said the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Foreign Agriculture Services (FAS) said in a Dec. 2 report.
Myanmar’s major corn production area is located in the central part of the country, particularly in Shan State, which has about 52% of total production. Most farmers use high-yielding hybrid seeds provided or purchased from foreign entities.
Myanmar corn farmers need about 5,000 to 6,000 tonnes of corn seeds annually to meet domestic demand. An estimated 90% of Myanmar farmers use hybrid seeds that are either purchased from commercial seed producers or the government, the report said. Other farmers use seeds saved from previous crops. Most of the seed companies in the country are owned by foreign investors from Thailand and China. According to industry sources, the Myanmar CP Livestock Co. (MCPLC), a subsidiary company of the Charoen Pokphand Group (CP) from Thailand, holds about 60% to 70% of the Myanmar corn seed market. The MCPLC produces hybrid corn seeds through contract farming with local growers, primarily in southern Shan State.
The Myanmar Department of Agriculture has developed its own corn seed varieties for research and commercialization. The government holds an estimated 8% share of the corn market. The government seeds are known as Yazin varieties, which are cheaper than the corn seeds sold by private seed companies.