August 19, 2016

Yangon’s organic produce lacks own market

A worker waters muskmelon plants in an organic farm in Nay Pyi Taw. Photo: Aye Min Soe
A worker waters muskmelon plants in an organic farm in Nay Pyi Taw. Photo: Aye Min Soe

ORGANICALLY cultivated produce is failing to reach consumers because of a lack of a separate market, according to sellers of organic produce.
It is known from U Kyaw Htun Win, CEO of Agarwin Keystone, that commerce of organic produce is mainly conducted through consumers picking their own produce in the organic crops fields themselves as there are good connections between agriculture produce companies and those consumers wishing to purchase organic products.
“There are people out there wishing to purchase and eat [organic food] having come to a real understand of what organic food means. There are also those who want to sell organic produce. There’s still some discrepancies between consumers and traders – consumers are only from one class of society. There isn’t an established area of trading yet and one can’t go and sell produce in the outskirts of town. A bundle of watercress can be bought for K100-200 but if it’s organic then whatever the vegetable, it’s not going to cost less than K500.” he said.
There is currently neither educational awareness, on the health benefits of cultivating crops sprayed without chemicals or pesticides, nor the market to directly sell organic produce to consumers in Yangon, it is known.
Furthermore, as organic produce is over thirty percent more expensive than regularly cultivated crops, despite an interest from consumers, high prices have prevented the market from expanding, according to U Hla Min, chair of the Myanmar Organic Organization.
“Organic produce is rarely found in supermarkets or food stores because of few consumers. A lack of purchasers of organic produce because of price differences means that sellers have to sell to customers directly.” he said.
The Myanmar Organic Organisation has made it known that they will strive to make a submission to the Yangon City Development Committee (YCDC) for space to be provided for the establishment of a separate organic-only produce market in a bid to resolve the issue of a lack of connection between consumers and traders. It is known that organic produce are currently sold every Saturday in Yangon on Myay Paday Thar Island.
Organic produce is not sprayed with chemicals or fertilizers during cultivation, resulting in a short shelf life after purchase of just a couple of days. Natural fertilizers, animal manure and bio polymer are used while mulch acts as an organic pesticide, it is known.—Myitmakha News Agency


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