Growers of butter beans are making handsome profits in Pwintbyu Township, Magway Region as the butter bean fetches higher prices at the beginning of the harvest season.
“The harvest season started. The butter beans cultivated with the irrigation network of the Maezali diversion weir and underground water are highly yielded. The butter bean price rises almost three times to K42,000 per basket at the beginning of the harvest season, whereas it was priced at only K16,000 per basket in the year-ago period. Growers are harvesting butter beans to grow summer sesame seeds. The workers are also happy with daily income,” said U Kyaw San, a grower from Nyaungpinsauk village of Pwintbyu Township.
Growers from Pwintbyu Township are relying on irrigation water and underground water. Last winter, they primarily grew butter beans, chickpeas and green peas and some were engaged in intercropping. The farmers reaped success from the access to irrigation water and favourable weather conditions.
The exports of butter beans exceeded 3,466 tonnes in the nearly past four months of the current mini-budget period (October 2021-March 2022), generating a revenue of US$2 million, as per the Ministry of Commerce’s data.
The exports of butter beans to China, Japan and European markets have been falling. Now, it is relying only on the domestic market, said a trader from the Mandalay market.
Normally, Myanmar exports about 75 per cent of butter bean production to foreign markets – Japan, China, Denmark, Singapore, the Republic of Korea, Malaysia, Taiwan (China Taipei) and Viet Nam, with an export volume of 15,000-30,000 tonnes per year.
There are over 160,000 acres of butter bean plantations both in winter and monsoon crop seasons. The butter beans are grown in June and July for the monsoon growing season and harvested in October and November. The winter season is in October/November and harvest time is from January to March.
The butter beans are primarily cultivated in Sagaing, Bago, Magway, Mandalay and Ayeyawady regions and Mon and northern Shan states. Magway Region produces good-quality butter beans and Japan buyers prefer them. — Ye Win Naing, KK/GNLM