By Nyein Nyein
About 100,000 rice bags stuck in Kyalgaung town have brought back to Muse and they are being inspected Sanitary and Phytosanitary measures (SPS), Vice President U Min Thein of the Muse Rice Deport told the Global New Light of Myanmar yesterday.
“As the Agriculture Department cannot make Phytosanitary inspection and issue certificate in Kyalgaung town, they were brought back to Muse,” he continued.
Starting from 3 April, China allowed the rice bags with the Phytosanitary certificate issued only by the Agriculture Department to enter the country. As a result of this, about 100,000 rice bags were stuck in Kyalgaung area.
Earlier, China accepted the pest-free certificate issued at the Muse border. Now, they allow the rice bags with the certificates issued only by the Agriculture Department. The traders are facing difficulties with seeking the certificates, according to the Muse rice depot.
At present, the rice traders are losing additional costs such as storage fees and labour wages to undergo SPS inspection. “It approximately costs about K1,000 per bag, for transportation, storage and labour”, he said. China must follow 10 facts embodied in Protocol on Plant Inspection and Quarantine Requirements for Exporting Rice from Myanmar to China, as per MoU. The rice bags which are currently exported to China is a portion of the export quota for May (50,000 tonnes of rice through border trade).
Currently, about 15-20 trucks carrying 700 bags enter China every day, presenting new certificates issued by the Agriculture Department. A 50-kilo rice bag is priced 135-140 Yuan, he added. During the coronavirus pandemic, the Ministry of Commerce set to export 100,000 tonnes of rice through sea trade and 50,000 tonnes through border trade to external markets in May.
The exporters must sell 10 per cent of total export volume (well-milled and sorted rice), stated in the export declaration as country’s reserved rice.
The reserved rice must be sent to the state’s warehouse. Myanmar Inspection and Testing Service (MITS), the authorized organization of the State, will inspect and verify the quality and quantity. The Yangon Region government will receive the reserved rice proportioned by sea trade, while some per cent of the border export will be stored at the Consumer Affairs Department in Mandalay Region. Additionally, in order to ensure the self-sufficiency during the coronavirus pandemic, the government will spend K38 billion to purchase foodstuff (50,000 tonnes of rice and 12,000 tonnes of palm oil), said Union Minister Dr Than Myint of the Ministry of Commerce.
Between 1 October and 8 May in the current fiscal year 2019-2020, Myanmar exported 1.8 million metric tonnes of rice and broken rice, worth $527.86 million to foreign markets, whereas the country shipped over 2.3 million tonnes of rice in the previous fiscal year. (Translated by Ei Myat Mon)