Assessment of the Myanmar Agricultural Economy

Abstract:

Vietnam Program, March 2009

During two weeks in January 2009 a team from the Rajawali Foundation Institute for Asia, International Development Enterprises (IDE), and the Ministry of Agriculture and Irrigation of the Union of Myanmar conducted a humanitarian assessment of food production and the agricultural economy in Myanmar. This report summarizing the team's findings and focuses on paddy production, because rice is the country's staple crop. Based on field work in cyclone-affected areas of the Ayeyarwady River Delta and in Upper Myanmar, the report concludes that paddy output is likely to drop in 2009, potentially creating a food shortage by the third quarter. Estimates are based on imperfect data, and this scenario may not materialize, but the avoidance of a food shortage this year would represent a temporary reprieve, not a recovery.

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