Sagaing Region supplies 60,000 rice bags beyond self-sufficiency

Ayeyawady, Bago and Yangon regions have been considered the leading rice-producing are­as in Myanmar before the year 2000 and then, Sagaing Region emerged as a rice bowl over a decade.


At present, Sagaing Re­gion became one of the rice bowls, with a supply of about 60,000 rice bags per month be­yond self-sufficiency. It helps strengthen the rice supply chain.


There was an inflow of ap­proximately 15,000 bags of rice to Yangon and 29,000 bags to Mandalay market in mid-July from Sagaing Region. About 15,000 bags of rice were sent to Nay Pyi Taw, Magway Re­gion and northern and south­ern Shan State from Sagaing Region as well.


Earlier, the lower regions had to supply rice to Sagaing Region. Thanks to the irriga­tion system, the region itself can supply rice to other regions now.


Agriculture is the backbone of the economy. There are 17 million acres of monsoon and summer paddy fields in the country.


Furthermore, Magway and Taninthayi regions are the main suppliers of edible oil crops. Thaphanseik Dam’s irrigation network covers 400,000 acres of monsoon paddy and 300,000 acres of summer paddy. The dam provided irrigation water supply since 2001.


Before 2015, rice from Ra­khine State flowed into Yangon’s market through the Pyay area. The supply from Rakhine State has become extremely low in a couple of years, said a rice trader engaged in Bayintnaung Com­modity Wholesale Centre.


The Ayeyawady Delta re­gions and western Bago area primarily supply rice to the Yan­gon market for local consump­tion and foreign markets. There is an influx of about 100,000 rice bags per day to Wahdan and Bayintnaung Wholesale centres utilizing road and sea trans­port, the Global New Light of Myanmar quoted a rice trader as saying.


Myanmar shipped 3.58 mil­lion tonnes of rice to foreign markets in the 2017-2018 finan­cial year and over two million tonnes in the 2022-2023 FY. The country aims to achieve a rice export target of 2 million tonnes for the current FY as well.


Rice export is estimated at 100,000 tonnes per month in the post-harvest season of mon­soon paddy this year. The high-grade Pawsan from Shwebo, Sagaing Region, is worth over K100,000 per bag and Shwe­bo paddy is valued at around K2.9 million per 100 baskets in mid-July 2023.


Shwebo Pawsan’s rice price was volatile in H2 last year. About hundreds of rice bags were reportedly stockpiled at Wahdan depot and there were stocks of 100,000 rice bags in the regions then.


The real-time market re­ports with price updates from the Sagaing Region help iden­tify fake rumours in the market for the price hike, a market ob­server pointed out. — TWA/EM