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Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO)

Websites/Multiple Documents

Title: FAO - Myanmar Emergency page
Date of publication: 27 May 2008
Description/subject: A major collection of maps of Burma/Myanmar, notably agricultural maps... "This web page provides an overview of resources prepared by the Natural Resources Department of FAO about the area, the people, the environment (soils, climate) and the agriculture of Myanmar. Whenever possible, information referring specifically to the area affected by cyclone NARGIS at the beginning of May was included. Since most of the material is not metadata, but actual products, they can be used directly by relief-workers, planners, and those responsible for reconstruction. House of a farmer/fisherman under floods during the monsoon season; Nyaungdone Island, Ayeyarwady Delta, October 1997, © J. Martinez-Beltran, FAO/NRL The information is organised in 5 sections (see box on the left): (1) the current page with some general data, tools, maps, etc.; (2) downloadable digital and printed atlases about the agriculture of Myanmar; (3) maps from the GeoNetwork digital library developed and maintained by FAO. Geonetwork transparently points to external as well as internal data sources; (4) agroclimatic charts and crop calendars and; (5) miscellaneous publications in the technical series of the Organisation, covering all the sectors from fisheries, forestry, food security, crops, livestock, and coast management..."
Language: English
Source/publisher: Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO)
Format/size: html, pdf
Date of entry/update: 28 May 2008

Title: FAO Country Information Systems and Country Profiles - Myanmar
Description/subject: General Information; Sustainable Development; Economic situation; Agriculture sector; Forestry sector; Fishery sector; Technical Cooperation.
Language: English
Source/publisher: FAO
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 27 November 2007

Title: Google site-specific search results on Fao.org for "Myanmar"
Language: English
Source/publisher: FAO/Google
Format/size: html, pdf
Date of entry/update: 29 January 2009

Individual Documents

Date of publication: 16 March 2016
Description/subject: Highlights: • Cyclone Komen made landfall in Myanmar at the end of July 2015 causing extensive flooding to agricultural land, which remained submerged in some areas until September. This caused severe localized losses to the 2015 monsoon season crops, especially p addy, in Chin, Rakhine, Ayeyarwaddy, Yangon, Sagaing and parts of Bago. However, once the water receded, a large portion of the flooded areas with paddy was replanted. Overall, the amount of irreversible damage was limited. • At 27.5 million tonnes, the aggregate national production of paddy, the country’s staple food, in 2015 (monsoon season 2015 and ongoing 2015 secondary season) would be 3 percent below the 2014 crop and 2 percent down from the average of the past three - years. • At subnational level, however, cereal production and livelihood of farming households and communities in remote areas, in particular Chin and Rakhine, which concentrate highly vulnerable populations with little resilience and low agricultural productivity, did not recover fully as in other areas affected by the flooding. These populations may face severe food shortages in the coming months and require relief assistance. • Livestock and fisheries were affected by the flooding in localized areas with losses of cattle, buffalo, sheep, goats, pigs and poultry, and damage to fish and shrimp farms, resulting in reduced animal protein intake in the most affected areas. • The country is a net exporter of rice and the 2015 paddy production, similar to previous years, will exceed domestic requirements, but tighter domestic supplies in marketing year 2015/16 (October/September) are expected to further underpin already high rice prices, raising concerns about food access by most vulnerable sections of the population. • Prices of rice reached record levels in August and September 2015, reflecting strong depreciation of the Kyat, increasing rice exports and concerns about the damage to paddy crop. Domestic rice prices declined with the harvest between October and December 2015 but remained at high levels. In February 2016, rice prices averaged 37 percent higher than a year earlier. • For the majority of farming households, the main impact of the July flooding was related to the increased costs for replanting and the delayed harvest. Households depending primarily upon day labour, and especially non-skilled day labour, re main among the most vulnerable. They faced a gap in wages during August and have difficulties in obtaining credit. • The July flooding was perceived to have moderate impact on children’s nutritional status and little impact on infant and young children feeding practices. • In view of the country’s adequate rice availabilities and generally well-functioning domestic markets, the Mission recommends that any eventual food assistance needs to be provided in the form of cash and/ or vouchers. • To cover immediate agricultural needs following the 2015 flooding, the Mission recommends the distribution of seeds for the next monsoon planting season; as well as water and pest-resistant storage containers to protect farmer’s seeds, along with drying nets and post-harvest equipment in the most affected areas. In Rakhine, Sagaing and Ayeyarwaddy, recording the highest livestock losses, urgent restocking of livestock is required to avoid a further fall in animal protein intake; while the rebuilding of fishing gear and boats and the rehabilitation of fish ponds is also needed in the most affected Rakhine State."
Author/creator: Swithun Goodbody, Guljahan Kurbanova, Cristina Coslet, Aaron Wise, Nuria Branders and Sophie Goudet
Language: English
Source/publisher: FAO, WFP
Format/size: pdf (1.2MB-reduced version; 2.2MB-original)
Alternate URLs: http://www.un.org/apps/news/story.asp?NewsID=53464#.Vut7ikAp5Kr (UN News Centre article)
Date of entry/update: 18 March 2016

Date of publication: 22 January 2009
Description/subject: Mission Highlights: • During the 2008 monsoon season, agricultural production suffered a significant decline in areas severely affected by Cyclone Nargis, as a result of poor quality seeds, salinity and iron toxicity, lack of agricultural labour and draught animals. Compared to the previous year, average paddy production is estimated to have decreased by 32 percent in 7 affected townships in the Ayeyarwady Division and by 35 percent in 3 affected townships of Yangon Division. At the divisional level, 2008 monsoon paddy output was down by 13 percent in Ayeyarwady, and 9 percent in Yangon. • Overall, aggretate food production in Myanmar is satisfactory, with positive outputs expected in most states/divisions, reflecting favourable weather and increasing use of F1 and HYV rice seeds. The Mission forecasts a 2008/09 (2008 monsoon and 2009 summer) cereal output of 21 million tonnes (rice at 19.8 million tonnes, maize at 1.11 million tonnes, and wheat at 0.147 million tonnes), 3.2 percent below the previous year, but approximately 10 percent above the five-year average. Cereal exports are expected to be high, with estimated rice exports of 477 000 tonnes and maize exports of 159 000 tonnes conversely, up to 64 000 tonnes of wheat are expected to be imported. • The cyclone-related damage to the livestock and fishing sectors in the Ayeyarwady Delta will continue to affect food supply and income generation in 2008/09. • Rats have damaged 685 hectares of rice and 400 hectares of maize in 121 villages of Chin State;localized food insecurity in these villages is expected. • Despite the increase in international rice prices, paddy prices in Myanmar remained low in 2008 due to domestic market and trade barriers. These low prices, combined with the rising cost of fertilizer and other major inputs, have significantly reduced farmers’ incentives profits, and may have negatively impacted agricultural productivity and the country’s agricultural exports. • The Mission received reports of high levels of malnutrition in northern Rakhine State and recommends that a joint UNICEF and WFP food security and nutrition survey be conducted to verify these reports and to plan appropriate interventions, if needed. • In areas with high percentages of food insecure and vulnerable populations, defined as people living below the food poverty line, baseline surveys are required to measure food security, vulnerability, and nutrition, and plan appropriate interventions. Chin and Rakhine States are of the highest priority for baseline surveys. • There are more than 5 million people below the food poverty line in Myanmar. States/divisions which the Mission found to be a priority for emergency food assistance are: cyclone-affected areas of Ayeyarwady Division (85 000 tonnes); Chin State (23 000 tonnes), particularly those areas affected by the rat infestation; Rakhine State (15 000 tonnes), particularly the north of the State; Kachin State (8 300 tonnes); north Shan State (20 200 tonnes); east Shan State (7 000 tonnes); and Magwe Division (27 500 tonnes). Most of the food commodities can be procured locally, with only a limited requirement for imported food aid. • The Mission recommends the following agricultural assistance in cyclone-affected Ayeyarwady and Yangon Divisions: distribution of seeds for the coming summer and next monsoon planting seasons; distribution of draught animals adapted to local climatic conditions; distribution of other livestock for increased meat availability; distribution of hand tractors with training on their usage and maintenance; distribution of fishing equipment; re-establishment of ice production plants; and training in boat-building, net-making and on drafting of fishery laws. • The Mission recommends the following actions in regard to national food policies: set up a market information and food security warning system; develop balanced food production and trade policies for both producers and consumers; remove domestic market/trade barriers; and improve market integration.
Author/creator: Cheng Fang, Maung Mar, Aye Mon, Thanda Kyi, Bernard Cartella, Jan Delbaere, Michael Sheinkman, Nang Seng Aye, Aaron Charlop-Powers, Siddharth Krishnaswamy, Raul Varela
Language: English
Source/publisher: FAO, WFP
Format/size: pdf (437K)
Date of entry/update: 22 September 2010

Date of publication: 2004
Description/subject: CONCLUSIONS AND RECOMMENDATIONS: The Government of Myanmar has made it clear that it recognises the crucial importance of a dynamic, liberalised agricultural sector to the country, describing it as the ‘base’ for national economic growth and calling for the evolution of a ‘market-oriented economic system’ as a key economic objective, while the first policy declaration of the MOAI is ‘to allow freedom of choice in agricultural production’. Yet more than a decade after the commencement of the transition from the previous Socialist regime, many aspects of the agricultural and rural economy remain substantially under Government control or influence, including the choice of crops to be planted, priorities for agricultural research and extension, access to inputs, processing and international trade... The enormous potentials inherent in the agricultural and rural economy of Myanmar outlined in this document will continue to go unrealised unless the liberalisation process started in the late 1980s is encouraged to fully evolve. Although moves such as the liberalisation of rice marketing in 2003 should be welcomed, their impact is often reduced by a subsequent tightening of state controls – as indeed has been the case with the reintroduction of the prohibition on private sector exports of rice just a few months later. This study has identified a number of important technical issues that need to be addressed in order to facilitate the growth of the sector1, however, it must be understood that the impact of investment in the rural sector will be greatly lessened in the absence of continued liberalisation measures... The three policy areas which are exerting the greatest influence on sector development at this time are those relating to rural financial services, international trade and directed production. The liberalisation of rural finances is critical because state-controlled structures (e.g. MADB) are currently unable to provide farmers and other rural entrepreneurs with access to the financing they need to increase productivity. This lack of financing reduces the use of inputs, limits the adoption of new technologies, constrains the development of unutilised land and encourages low cost/low output production. Furthermore, by forcing rural populations to use much higher cost credit from informal sources it is, without doubt, a major factor in increasing rural indebtedness and poverty. Limitations on access to international markets are almost equally important, as they prevent the sector from identifying, and responding to, those opportunities which will provide the greatest returns, both for their families and for the country as a whole. The result has been to distort production patterns towards perceived national priorities, at the expense of economic growth. Finally, the continued use of directed production for perceived strategic crops limits the ability of the agricultural sector to seek out and adopt the most productive and profitable activities, effectively preventing its evolution in a rapidly changing world... The temptation to solve economic problems through direct intervention is an age old one, and it is not surprising that the Government sees intervention as an effective instrument for achieving short-term goals, such as maintaining low consumer prices, guaranteeing supplies, or reducing expenditure of scarce foreign currency – even when this is in conflict with its own broader national policies. Nevertheless, action in one area has inevitable consequences elsewhere, many of which may not be anticipated. As many countries have discovered, one intervention often requires another intervention to resolve an unintended side-effect. Consequently, such intervention should be used very sparingly, if at all, and alternative approaches, which do not conflict with basic national policies should be sought instead... With ASEAN integration now a likely prospect in the medium term, growing pressures from international globalisation, and strong indications of increasing poverty in rural areas, a continuation of the partial liberalization regime effectively in place at the moment will prove difficult to maintain and is likely to further constrain economic growth and development. Myanmar may ultimately have to choose between broad choices: To return to the socialist model of the 1970s and 1980s, and in so doing effectively disconnect the country from the international and regional economic system; or to push forward with existing national policies of economic liberalisation and realize the great potential of Myanmar as an agricultural producer and exporter. While the second choice will bring with it many challenges, few doubt that the agricultural sector in Myanmar can be a competitive force in the world economy, and the growth that such competitiveness would bring could both reduce rural poverty and catalyse the development of the rest of the economy. 14.95 Finally, it is worth noting that experience across a broad spectrum of developing countries has shown that food security is most prevalent when national policies influencing the productive sectors of the economy have a marked pro-poor orientation. In a predominantly rural economy such as that of Myanmar, agricultural growth provides the most opportunities for pro-poor development, as long as the poor are central to the process. This requires not only access to appropriate technical, financial and physical resources for production, as well as associated services such as health, sanitation, water supply and education, but also an economic and policy environment which enables rural households to respond to market demand and benefit from their contribution to national growth.
Language: English
Source/publisher: Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO)
Format/size: pdf (2.1MB)
Date of entry/update: 27 November 2007

Title: The Dry zone project, Myanmar
Description/subject: Keywords: Community participation, Poverty alleviation, Awareness, Integrating stakeholders, Sustainabiltiy Location: Myanmar. FAO/UNDP project(?) "Awareness and visions: The Dry Zone project follows a conservation-based approach to rural development requiring the close integration of the agriculture, forestry and livestock sectors. The vulnerability of the environment and the intricate cause and effect relationships presume the need for balanced ecosystem development. Integrating stakeholders: The Dry Zone Project emphasizes on involvement of communities in project management to increase their capabilities in self management in which results from the programme has shown that communities are becoming more involved in the design, implementation and monitoring of their own initiatives. "
Language: English
Source/publisher: UN ESCAP
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 03 June 2003