- April 6, 2016
The Myanmar government’s new strategy for the agricultural and food sector uses a market-led, value-chain approach that has been tailored for Myanmar based on the approach’s success throughout Asia.
In preparation for the launch of Myanmar’s strategy, the USAID-funded Private Sector Development Activity supported the National Economic and Social Advisory Council to develop a white paper, From Rice Bowl to Food Basket: Three Pillars for Modernizing Myanmar’s Agricultural and Food Sector, published in April 2016.
The approach modernizes (1) input delivery, (2) agricultural production, and (3) output markets and supply chains. Together, these elements constitute the agrifood value chain. To achieve such modernization requires an agriculture policy that embraces diversified, high-value production instead of a unique focus on rice; investment in business environment reforms that promote access to finance; a national quality infrastructure that assures compliance of Myanmar agricultural and food products with international standards; appropriate applications using information and communications technology; trade facilitation; and a modern food-safety regime.
Still, these plans must be country-specific. The paper was informed by two roundtables in 2016 with Myanmar and international experts and feedback from more than 50 affiliated agriculture and food business associations, the media, and civil society through the Union of Myanmar Federation of Chambers of Commerce and Industry.
The Activity, implemented by Nathan, served as operational leader of the white paper’s development, working closely with agricultural specialists to integrate inputs into a policy-oriented format. It continues to work with stakeholders and advocacy partners on elements of the agrifood system to ensure the plan’s successful implementation.