Burma is looking at turning its rice-growing sector into a major source of income over the next five years, with plans to double rice production, according to officials.
|Burmese farmers collect paddy seedlings from flooded fields to replant in Irrawaddy Division outside of Rangoon. Photo: AFP|
Currently, Burmese rice is about US$ 10 to $20 per ton cheaper than a comparable quality from Vietnam, India and Pakistan, Jac Luyendijk, chief executive officer at SAT Swiss Agri Trading AG, which handles about $300 million worth of rice a year, said in a Bloomberg news agency story on Monday.
Overseas sales may climb to as much as 3 million metric tons by 2017 from 1.5 million tons in the year ending March 2013 as yields and infrastructure improve, Ye Min Aung, secretary-general of the Myanmar Rice Federation, according to Bloomberg news.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture has predicted that Burma will increase rice production by 25 per cent to 750,000 tons for this year.
Burma’s production push is expected to lead to oversupply on the world market, acting to hold prices steady or lower.
Robert Zeigler, the secretary-general of the International Rice Research Institute in the Philippines, was quoted as saying: “We see Myanmar as an extremely important source for rice production - there’s no question about it.”