March 28, 2022
Cross-border restrictions between Myanmar and major top importing country China resulted in nearly 20 per cent drop of agricultural export group over the past five and a half months, according to the statistics released by the Customs Department.
The value of agricultural exports shrank to US$2.17 billion as of 18 March in the current mini-budget period (Oct 2021-March 2022), indicating a significant drop of $541.3 million as against the year ago period.
The agricultural exports topped $2.7 billion in the corresponding period of the 2020-2021 FY.
Following the closure of Sino-Myanmar border posts triggered by COVID-19 impacts and changes in China’s Customs regulations, the export sees a drastic drop in agriculture sector this year.
At present, some border posts are operating trade activities on a trial run.
Myanmar agricultural products are primarily exported to China, Singapore, Malaysia, the Philippines, Bangladesh, India, Indonesia, and Sri Lanka.
The country requires specific export plans for each agricultural product, as they are currently exported to external markets based upon supply and demand. The G to G pact also ensures the strong market for the farmers. Contract farming systems, involvement of region and state agriculture departments, exporters, traders, and some grower groups, are required in order to meet production targets, the Agriculture Department stated.
The Commerce Ministry is endeavouring to help farmers deal with challenges such as high input costs, procurement of quality seeds, high cultivation costs, and erratic weather conditions.
The agricultural exports jumped to $4.6 billion last financial year 2020-2021, despite the downward trend in other export groups.—KK/GNLM