Apr 30, 2012

Rice exporters target 1million tonnes in 2012-13

Myanmar Rice Industry Association (MRIA) has set an export target of one million tonnes for the 2012-13 financial year, the association’s secretary said last week.

He said the country exported about 850,000 tonnes of rice in the 2011-12 fiscal year, earning about US$324 million.

“We will start exporting rice after Thingyan and expect that we will easily surpass the amount we exported last financial year,” he said.

“We are going to expand our efforts in contract farming that helps farmers to boost yields by improving their techniques and giving them more inputs of fertiliser.”
About 90 percent of rice exported last year was low-quality ehmeta, which includes 25pc broken grains, MRIA statistics show.

“Our project for contract farming will include providing more inputs, such as money to pay for labour during planting, interest-free finance and the provision of export-quality seeds,” he said.

“We have agreements in place to pay the highest prices for crops after they are harvested.”
Dr Soe Tun, an MRIA central executive committee member, said: “We call this kind of project contract farming but it’s more like a prepaid system. We give money and assistance [to farmers] and they use their workforce,” he said.

“MRIA will manage for this project and special rice company will give loans to farmers. If they don’t have enough money to support farmers, they will take the loans from Myanmar Agricultural Development Bank at 12pc annual interest.

“I would like to say that this is the association cooperating with farmers, and hope that it’s more effective than just providing them with loans,” he said.

The contract farming system and loans will be managed by more than 50 special rice companies.

Source: Myanmar Business


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