1. About 70% of the population in Myanmar resides in rural area and agriculture is their main livelihood. While the agriculture sector contributes 30% of national GDP, both the benefits that are gained form farming as well as the socio-economic status of farmers are extremely low.
2. Furthermore, farmers’ the socioecnomic status has been adversely affected by the effects of climate change, and natural and man made disasters. In particular, the unpredictable weather changes that have taken place almost annually in the wake of Cyclone Nargis in 2008 have led to tremendous crop damage and losses in the agriculture sector. At the same time ,the failure to take effective actions on existing forest and soil conservation measures have exacerbated the soil quality and fertility. As a consequence, most farmers have not been able to break out of the economic down town they have experienced from chronically low productivity, low income, and rising indebtedness. In order to uplift the socio-economic condition of farmers and improve the performance of the agriculture sector, the Ministry of Agriculture, livestock and Irrigation(MOALI) has made it a priority to support the development of the national economy through effective implementation of a proactive portfolio far reaching policies and strategic thrusts.
3. The aim of these new policies and strategic thrusts, referred to as Agriculture Policy 2016, is to create the enabling environment that will promote the production of a greater and more diversified range of high value agricultural, livestock, and fishery products. A major intention of Agriculture Policy 2016 is to take advantage of the comparative advantage that Myanmar has in the production of these high value products that in increasing demand in both domestic and international markets.
4. The vision of Agriculture Policy 2016 is:
An inclusive, competitive, food and nutrition secured and sustainable agricultural system contributing to the socio-economic well being of farmers and rural people and further development of the national economy.
5. The mission of Agriculture Policy 2016 is:
To enable rural population and agribusiness enterprises that sustain themselves from the production and sales of diverse, safe and nutritious foods, and agricultural products to have access to innovative and sustainable production, processing, packaging, logistics, and marketing technologies to meet the growing domestic and global demands.
6. The following are the goals of the Ministry.
(a) improve food security, food safety ,and nutritional status of agricultural products of the people of Myanmar.
(b) Enhance agricultural diversification programmes in compliance withe changing market and the prevailing agro-climatic condition of the area.
(c) Satisfy the specified quality requirements and standard of agricultural, livestock and fishery products as dictated by the market.
(d) Improve the dissemination of market and price information.
(e) Prevent the incidence and spread of pests and diseases in crops and livestock by wide spread use of IPM measures of a preventative nature and through development and adoption of Good Agriculture Practices-GAP, Good Animal Husbandry Practices-GAHP and Good Aquaculture Practices-GaqP.
(f) Support the formation of crops, Livestock, and fisheries producer groups and cooperative societies that aim in sustaining the development of agriculture sector.
(g) Develop the seed industry and highly performing pure animal breeds and fish species, and conserve native breeds and species.
(h) Develop and enhance agro-based industries, small scale industries, and cottage industries traditional weaving and handicraft and the vocational education, and rural infrastructure that is needed to support the development of these industries.
(i) Improve and enhance research, the extension service , and human resorce programmes.
7. The following are the Objectives of the Ministry.
(a) To ensure food and nutrition security and food safety.
(b) To safeguard the rights of the farmers and to enhance their welfare and livelihood.
(c) To advance and upgrade the agricultural sector by organizing farmers’ associations and cooperatives inclusive of small holders and subsistence farmers with promotion of gender role.
(d) To attain sustainable rural development and to upgrade socio-economic conditions of rural people and farmers by improving rural infrastructure, enhancing access to markets, establishing small scale enterprises and designing participatory land use plans and management.
(e) To seek technical assistance and mobilize the financial resources from local and international agencies in support of crops, livestock, fisheries and rural development in the agriculture sector.
(f) To promote domestic and foreign direct investment in agriculture sector.
(g) To promote competitiveness and value-added production of exportable agricultural commodities.
(h) To encourage the development of ago-based industry, small scale enterprises, cottage industries, and income generation activities, including ten traditional artworks and crafts.
(i) To improve the livelihood and income generation of the rural people through the development of agricultural cooperative enterprises and the cooperative system.
(j) To develop effective linkage of production, trading, processing, services and consumer segments along the value chains of agricultural commodities.
(k) To improve coordination mechanism of iner-governmental agencies, to foster public-private partnership and to establish collaboration and connectivity among all stakeholders including public agencies, academia, farmers’ associations , civil societies, and private sector with a view to enhancing rural development and reducing poverty.
8. Myanmar’s agricultural policy is to improve food and nutrition security and food safety for all the people and to enable smallholder farmers to increase their incomes through higher productivity and diversifies production in response to market demand, as well as to enhance exports through and internationally competitive private agri-business sector.
9. These policies will provide consumers, producers, and businesses in the agricultural sector with a supportive legal and regulatory environment along with essential public investment, infrastructure and services as well as the mobilization of domestic and foreign investments. Specific policies to develop and utilize land, water and other natural resources in an inclusive, competitive, efficient, safe and sustainable manner can be organized into there categories: governance of land, water and other natural resources: access to inputs and technology for production: and value-added processing, marketing and export.
10. Policies related to agriculture sector of Myanmar are as follows:
(a) Land Use and Management Policy.
(b) water Use and Management Policy.
(c) Agricultural financing Policy.
(d) Agricultural Mechanization and Input Sector Policy.
(e) Cooperative Societies and Cooperative System Development Policy
(f) Rural Infrastructure Development Policy.
(g) Research, Dvelopment and Extension Policy.
(h) Marketing, Value-added Processing and Export Policy.
(I) Governance, Institutional and Human Resource Development Policy.
(J) Environmental Conservation and Climate Change Resilience Policy.