Myanmar's traders lower rice price to reduce households spending amid pandemic.
YANGON, Aug. 3 (Xinhua) -- Myanmar's rice producers and traders have retailed rice at lower prices in the country's commercial hub of Yangon starting from Wednesday as food prices are soaring.
In the commercial hub Yangon, the price of Emata rice, or the Myanmar long grain rice, a staple food for locals, and the special groundnut oil increased by about 5.8 percent and 6.4 percent on Wednesday respectively, compared to a week earlier, showed the Central Statistical Organization (CSO)'s data.
Daw Nwe, a woman from a family of eight, told Xinhua that she came from Mingaladon, a township located at the northernmost part of Yangon, to purchase the rice at the depot after hearing of the rice sales days ago.
"Commodity prices keep rising, and it is a tough time for us. It is very difficult even to make ends meet in these days," she said, adding that she has saved about 10,000 kyats (about 5.4 U.S. dollars) for her family by purchasing a 108-pound rice bag from the depot.
Although Myanmar is an agricultural country and a rice exporter, commodity prices including that of rice are on rise amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
The lower-priced rice sale is aimed at helping households in the country reduce their spending on rice as commodity prices soar, a rice trader from the sales group said.
"We are selling varieties of rice at lower prices for the public. We have planned to continue the sales for about three months until the next harvest season arrives," Zaw Khaing, a joint secretary of the Wahdan Rice And Paddy Wholesale Depot, told Xinhua.
"We have imposed a purchase limit of a rice bag for per household," he said, adding that the move is to prevent the buyers from reselling the rice.
YANGON, July 4 (Xinhua) -- Myanmar exported about 322,650 metric tons of rice and about 227,890 metric tons of broken rice in the first three months of the 2022-23 fiscal year, according to the Myanmar Rice Federation (MRF) on Monday.
In June, the Southeast Asian country exported 83,926 metric tons of rice and 62,168 metric tons of broken rice to countries including China, the Philippines, Belgium and France.
The country exported 94,691 metric tons of rice and 58,815 metric tons of broken rice in May, while it exported over 144,030 metric tons of rice and 106,912 metric tons of broken rice in April, official data showed.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Myanmar has shipped most of its exported rice and broken rice via sea routes, showed the MRF data.
In June, the country shipped 125,374 metric tons of rice and broken rice via sea routes, while it exported only 20,720 metric tons of rice and broken rice via land border gates.
In Myanmar, rice is the most cultivated crop followed by beans and pulses, according to the Ministry of Commerce.
Myanmar exported its rice to China, Japan, European Union countries, Indonesia, Bangladesh, Malaysia, Sri Lanka, African countries and Middle Eastern countries, according to the MRF.
Producing more with less labor and less water(LWI) - The Lutheran World Federation (LWF) is promoting long-term resilience in Myanmar by teaching farmers in the Kayin State new rice planting techniques that produces more rice with less labor and less water. This innovative method, called the System of Rice Intensification (SRI) has helped rice farmers increase production, improve the quality of seedlings and implement more sustainable practices. Despite the current conflict in Myanmar, farmers in less affected areas continue to strive towards creating opportunities for sustainable livelihoods. According to the Myanmar Humanitarian Response Plan 2022 issued by the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, over 14,4 Million people are in need of humanitarian assistance with 6,2 million requiring urgent lifesaving support. LWF has been in these communities for years, supporting long-term community-based empowerment as well as humanitarian support through shelters and Non-food Items (NFIs) “LWF continues to work with the resilient local communities to implement projects that bring hope for a better future despite times of uncertainty,” says Susan Muis, LWF Regional Program Coordinator for Asia. “Although the challenges of conflict persist, in places where the situation is less dire, such as Kayin, farmers strive to uphold a commitment to improve their livelihoods and mitigate the effects of climate change.”
Two times the rice with less waterSince 2019, the LWF has provided training on SRI for local farmers in Myanmar. Over 50 families have participated in the training. The technique is a climate-resilient agricultural practice that helps produce higher yields using organic methods including salt water, and cow manure. It requires a smaller investment than traditional rice production methods. The SRI technique uses less water than traditional rice planting. Rice seedlings are planted sooner, while they are young small plants and need less nutrients. Each seedling can yield two times more rice than the previously used techniques Local crops are vulnerable to the effects of climate change and insect infestation, affecting the living conditions of families who rely entirely on farming. Severe rainfall from the mountains floods the paddies, often located in lower altitudes, destroying the sprouting rice. In contrast, at the end of the rainy season paddies dry out due to the lack of moisture in the soil, decreasing the rice yield.
With the SRI method the rice plants are stronger, more resistant to flood, draught, heavy winds, pests, and diseases. Yields are also higher.“I was quite interested in the new method because I enjoy experimenting with technologies" says U Saw Htein Linn, one of the first farmers to train and adopt the technique. “I also joined a Facebook group called network of SRI friends to share experiences and knowledge.” He adds, “with the SRI method the rice plants are stronger, more resistant to flood, draught, heavy winds, pests, and diseases. Yields are also higher. 10 baskets of paddy from the traditional method would yield 3.5 baskets of milled rice, SRI yields 4.” SRI has allowed farmers to gain more independence in rice seed selection. Linn states, “in the past we would collect paddy from the harvest and replant the next year. It would last 5 to 6 years as seed quality decreased with each season. We would then go to the department of agriculture to buy new seeds. With SRI the quality of seeds is consistent in addition to selling for food, I now also sell my high-quality paddy as seeds. People are purchasing their paddy from me and don’t need to travel to the city.” Daw San San Chit, Linn’s wife shares that the improvement of the quality of their yields and living condition has allowed them to give back to the community and those most in need. “Our family has donated to the vulnerable elderly, orphans and the monastery. The profit has been enough that we can afford to purchase and donate food to our community. We are taking better care of our children and will continue to apply the SRI.”
Submitted by ttwin on Sun, 07/16/2017 - 17:46
The Myanmar Rice Federation (MRF) is working to push the government to prioritise making sure bilateral rice trade with China is unaffected by the freezing of Burmese traders' bank accounts.
The MRF’s chairman sent a letter to the Chinese ambassador and its general secretary met the Chinese economic attaché to discuss the matter.
The federation said it was asking the government to investigate the situation to prevent it happening again.
State-run TV reported that among the 349 bank accounts frozen by China in a bid to clamp down on smuggling and illegal gambling, there were 132 bank accounts owned by citizens of Myanmar.
Annual bilateral trade is around US$10 billion, according to the Ministry of Commerce.
The ministry said the country’s total foreign trade was around US$30 billion.
Normally Chinese banks can unlock a bank account within six months if it is frozen. However, some can be blocked for years. Muse accounted for about 70 per cent of total border trade and the government should prevent financial loss for its traders, business representatives said.
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