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July 07, 2020

Agro-industry vital for development in Myanmar

A large number of Myanmar people depend on agricultural sector in terms of food security and jobs, while the country has a lot of potentials for full productivity and development in this sector.
Myanmar has seen a new wave of political reforms to boost economic expansions. In this effort, the agricultural sector remains a backbone of the country’s economy. Political leaders need to adopt new policies and regulations for the agricultural sector to generate equitable growth at the core of the democratic reform agenda.
The National Strategy on Rural Development and Poverty plan of the previous government aimed to reduce the poverty rate of Myanmar by half from 32 percent in 2005 to 16 percent by 2015. Assessment would be needed to examine strategies and policies under this plan.
Economic growth and poverty alleviation for the whole country will depend on improvements in productivity and growth of agricultural crops. Nobel Prize-winning economist Professor Joseph Stiglitz suggested five years ago that a focus on agriculture is absolutely essential for Myanmar to meet the Millennium Development Goals.
The cost of credit should be effective for Myanmar farmers to be able to avoid high interest. The Paris-based Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) released a report titled Multi-dimensional Review of Myanmar, urging to address the problems of poor rural infrastructure, inadequate farming skills, insufficient government services in promoting  exports and lack of access to finance in the agricultural sector.
It also said that increasing access to finance in rural areas and improving farming skills will be vital to boosting farm productivity, freeing up workers for manufacturing services, pointing out that resolving ambiguity over land rights, improving infrastructure and reforming the financial system would help create the right conditions for the wider economy to flourish.
Myanmar should sustain the momentum of the reform process, with the promotion of rural lives through agricultural sector.


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