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Rural development in Burma/Myanmar

Websites/Multiple Documents

Title: Country Agency for Rural Development - Myanmar
Description/subject: "CAD (Country Agency For Rural Development) is a Catholic faith based local non-governmental and non-profitable organization working for remote villagers in 3 townships (Hakha, Matupi and Thangtlang) in the central part of Chin state and Monhla village in Ye Oo township of Sagaing division. The inception of CAD is propelled by the backward of Lautu tribe, one of FOUR tribes in Thang Tlang and Matupi Townships in the central part of Chin state. CAD has been spearheading development projects in this region since 2005. CAD has supported our development projects to 23,143 populations at 42 villages in the said townships for 2006. The area’s elevation ranges about 4,250 feet above sea level. Being surrounded by mountains and river fresh air and fish, organic vegetables and crops are available in this region. Furthermore, seasonable flowers are blooming and are exuding different sweet smell of their fragrance around the thick forest."
Language: English
Source/publisher: Country Agency for Rural Development
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 01 January 2010


Title: [JICA] Activities in Myanmar
Description/subject: Development Study on Sustainable Agricultural and Rural Development for Poverty Reduction Programme in the Central Dry Zone
Language: English
Source/publisher: Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA)
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 01 January 2010


Individual Documents

Title: Tin Mining in Myanmar: Production and Potential
Date of publication: 05 October 2015
Description/subject: "... In 2014, Myanmar(Burma)confounded industry analysts by emerging to become the World's third biggest tin producer, experiencing a 5-year tin production increase of ca.4900%. This surprise emergence of Myanmar as a major tin producer is a possible Black Swan event that potentially has significant re-percussions both for the future of global tin production, and for the economic development of Myanmar. This is a disruptive event that has likely contributed to a substantial drop in tin prices in 2015. The Myanmar production increase came from a new minesite in Wa State, and not from the traditional tin-producing areas in the South. We discuss tin mining and potential in Myanmar and consider whether it could provide a foundation for the economic rehabilitation of the country..."
Author/creator: Nicholas J. Gardiner, JohnP.Sykes, AllanTrench, LaurenceJ.Robb
Language: English
Source/publisher: Department of Earth Sciences, University of Oxford
Format/size: pdf (1.9MB)
Date of entry/update: 15 April 2016


Title: DEEPENING DEMOCRACY IN MYANMAR
Date of publication: September 2015
Description/subject: "What role for public financial management in deepening social accountability and promoting legitimate governance?...This discussion paper outlines so me of the challenges and opportunities for public financial management (PFM) reform in contributing to deeper social accountability and legitimate governance in the context of Myanmar’s wider decentralization and peace process. The paper poses a set of key questions for development actors to consider as they seek to support inclusive reform in Myanmar..."
Language: English
Source/publisher: OXFAM
Format/size: pdf (443K)
Date of entry/update: 10 October 2015


Title: Socio-­economic Changes in Livelihood of Htantaw Village Amarapura Township, Mandalay Region
Date of publication: 26 July 2015
Description/subject: Abstract: "Considering health in the broad term as well–being this study examines changes to villagers’ lives with the effect of privatization and modernization policies. It explores how their economy is related to the changing environment in both time and space. How these villagers cope, struggle and do their best to sustain their living in light of limited resources they had are also presented. This study is conducted in Htantaw Village in the area of Taungthaman Lake locating in the ancient Amarapura Township of Mandalay Division, Myanmar. Villagers, from different ages, occupations and economic status, were interviewed in their homes. Focus groups were used in the first section of the data collection stage. In addition, this study encouraged village leaders participation through the data collection process such as through drawing a Village map, talking through the geographic and social changes in the village and villagers’ struggle and survival strategies. Before 1990, Htantaw; Village is a typical agricultural based village where villagers worked on rice farming, wickerwork and livestock breeding such as duck and cow. Initial socio and economic changes began in 1996 when the water draining in and out was blocked to make a natural Taungthaman Lake as the huge fish–raising ponds by the military government which later issued concession of fishing in a nearby lake owned by a private company. This greatly impacted the villager’s livelihood not only the farming family but also duck and cow raising for milk too, including the rice farmers as their paddy field and agricultural land around the lake had been flooded. The other significant social change was in 2000 due to the establishment of Yadanabon University providing the education for more than twenty thousand students in total a year. The village has become crowded not only with students moving in and from other places but also people who had moved in as workers for the university. Villagers who have some savings started the room rental business and grocery shops. Some started small business es such as restaurants, mobile phone shops and café shops, beauty salon and dress making shops. The social tension between the local and new moving in has been mentioned as well as the increasing struggles in villagers’ life. As the study was conducted by university staff members with the participation of village leaders, its results will be used in further discussions to build a relationship between academic and community people in order to better support the economic and educational development of the village and suggest a model for peaceful learning society in the country.".....Paper delivered at the International Conference on Burma/Myanmar Studies: Burma/Myanmar in Transition: Connectivity, Changes and Challenges: University Academic Service Centre (UNISERV), Chiang Mai University, Thailand, 24-­26 July 2015.
Author/creator: Sandar Win
Language: English
Source/publisher: International Conference on Burma/Myanmar Studies: Burma/Myanmar in Transition: Connectivity, Changes and Challenges: University Academic Service Centre (UNISERV), Chiang Mai University, Thailand, 24-­26 July 2015
Format/size: pdf (3.4MB)
Alternate URLs: http://rcsd.soc.cmu.ac.th/web/Burma/home.php#
Date of entry/update: 01 September 2015


Title: Urbanization: The Structures of Sustainable Urban Landscape of Myanmar
Date of publication: 26 July 2015
Description/subject: Abstract: "With the major economic system changes, many new developments are observed in every sector of Myanmar. Urban landscaping is an integral part of modern urban construction and also presents the development of economic conditions. One of the most important factors of urbanization is population size. Urbanization is developed rapidly, based on rural-­‐urban migration and natural growth of cities and towns. As urban area develops changes occur in the landscape such as buildings, roads, recreational sites. etc. Although the country’s population remains largely rural because of Myanmar economy is based on agriculture, urban population growth was faster than spatial growth. Yangon is Myanmar’s largest urban area. However, spatially it grew between 2000 and 2010, increasing at a rate of 0.5% a year, from 370 square kilometers to 390. This paper studies many social (traffic congestion, waste disposal, water problems) and environmental issues (pollution) in urbanization and concludes that long-­‐term solutions to these problems. Therefore this paper presents the structure of urban landscape of some significant features within Myanmar and the controlling factors to this urban landscape. If population growth and urbanization are given sufficient attention in economic policies which must seek to manage for the sustainable future urban landscape of Myanmar.".....Paper delivered at the International Conference on Burma/Myanmar Studies: Burma/Myanmar in Transition: Connectivity, Changes and Challenges: University Academic Service Centre (UNISERV), Chiang Mai University, Thailand, 24-­26 July 2015.
Author/creator: Thin Thin Khaing
Language: English
Source/publisher: International Conference on Burma/Myanmar Studies: Burma/Myanmar in Transition: Connectivity, Changes and Challenges: University Academic Service Centre (UNISERV), Chiang Mai University, Thailand, 24-­26 July 2015
Format/size: pdf (2.2MB)
Date of entry/update: 26 August 2015


Title: Following the Money: An Advocate's Guide to Securing Accountability in Agricultural Investments
Date of publication: 2015
Description/subject: "... Large-scale agricultural investments – in plantations, processing plants or contract farming schemes, for example – have increased in recent years, particularly in developing countries. Investment in the agriculture sector can bring much needed support for rural development, but communities have also witnessed significant negative impacts. Some of the most serious involve local landholders being displaced from their lands and losing access to natural resources critical for their livelihoods and wellbeing. Instead of contributing to rural development, ill-conceived investments can undermine people’s rights to food, to water or to decent work. Improving accountability is essential in ensuring that investment processes respond to local needs and aspirations and respect human rights. Yet many deals struck between companies and governments to establish agricultural ventures are not fully transparent, making it difficult for the public and local communities to scrutinise projects before they materialise on the ground. Despite international human rights law and best practice requiring full transparency, public participation, and free prior and informed consent of local communities, civil society participation is often missing and once negative impacts have occurred citizens may struggle to have their voices heard or hold the company or the government to account. Weak governance is often accompanied by limited accountability to citizens. Yet, despite these challenges, many citizens have been able to hold companies and governments to account. For this to happen, local communities and the organisations that support them have to get organised, get informed and be strategic. Supporting affected communities to get organised so that they can collectively challenge or influence the project is essential to any successful advocacy. Success can take a long time – sometimes involving years of struggle – so ensuring strong community solidarity is key. Communities should be aware of their rights and what laws, regulations and policies are in place to protect them. An organised and informed community can then begin to devise a sophisticated advocacy strategy to achieve their goals. Usually the first step is to take complaints directly to local authorities, national authorities or the business operating on the ground. But when these approaches have limited success, communities and their supporters should not give up. There are other strategies that can be tried which reach beyond the borders of the project and the country where it is located. Behind most large-scale agricultural projects is a web of global actors that make the project possible. These actors include banks and companies that are funding the project and the companies that are buying the produce being grown or processed by it. All of these actors are necessary to the project’s success, and all are aiming to earn a profit from it in one way or another. They all have a relationship with the business operating on the ground and have the ability to influence it. All of these actors have some responsibility to ensure that the project does not harm communities. Knowing who is financing the project, who is buying the produce and who else is making the project possible and profitable – in other words, ‘following the money’ – opens up a range of opportunities for improved accountability. We call the web of actors involved in a project an ‘investment chain’. Within this chain there are ‘pressure points’. If affected communities can identify the strongest pressure points and take actions directed at effectively influencing key actors in the investment chain, they are more likely to achieve their goals. Understanding investment chains and pressure points, and effectively making use of them, can prove difficult. This Guide provides information, practical tips and exercises on how to map an investment chain behind a project, identify the strongest pressure points along the chain and then devise effective advocacy strategies that leverage those points. It explains what you need to know, the challenges you may face and the strengths and weaknesses of a range of advocacy options. Examples are provided from cases around the world where communities have tried to ‘follow the money’ and have used a number of strategies to hold investors and governments to account..."
Author/creator: Emma Blackmore, Natalie Bugalski, David Pred
Language: English
Source/publisher: International Institute for Environment and Development (IIED) and Inclusive Development International (IDI)
Format/size: pdf (7MB)
Date of entry/update: 18 April 2016


Title: Agrarian Transitions in Two Agroecosystems of Kayah State, Myanmar
Date of publication: November 2013
Description/subject: "... Located on Myanmar’s eastern border with Thailand, Kayah State has long been isolated because of conflicts between the minority groups there and the Burmese army; as a result, little is known about its agricultural systems. As a preliminary to NGO agricultural development projects, an agrarian diagnosis of two major types of agroecosystems in the state—lowlands alluvial plains and uplands—was conducted. The objective was to identify recent agrarian changes leading to the current presence of different types of farmers in each area and understand their development potential. Both agroecosystems have followed very different evolutionary trajectories, mainly because of politico-historical factors. In the lowlands, farmers with irrigated plots are administratively obliged to grow irrigated rice, while others who are forced to grow flooded rice but unable to irrigate can diversify into vegetable growing. In the uplands, communications infrastructures allowing access to the market are a source of differentiation between villages. Farmers who have this access are growing cash crops such as maize and pigeon peas, while those who do not have access continue with upland rice-based systems. The introduction of perennial crops such as rubber, non-perishable food production in the uplands, and horticultural diversification in the lowlands are waiting for future policies at the national level..."
Author/creator: Audrey Aldebert & Gauvain Meulle
Language: English
Source/publisher: Mercy Corps
Format/size: pdf (1.3MB)
Date of entry/update: 12 April 2016


Title: A NEW DAWN FOR EQUITABLE GROWTH IN MYANMAR? Making the private sector work for small - scale agriculture
Date of publication: 04 June 2013
Description/subject: "The new wave of political reforms have set Myanmar on a road to unprecedented economic expansion, but, without targeted policy efforts and regulation to even the playing field, the benefits of new investment will filter down to only a few, leaving small - scale farmers – the backbone of the Myanmar economy – unable to benefit from this growth...KEY RECOMMENDATIONS: If Myanmar is to meet its ambitions on equitable growth, political leaders must put new policies and regulation to generate equitable growth at the heart of their democratic reform agenda. Along with democratic reforms, and action to end human-rights abuses, these policies must: * Address power inequalities in the markets; * Put small-scale farmers at the center of new agricultural investments; * Close loopholes in law and practice that leave the poorest open to land-rights abuses..."
Language: English
Source/publisher: OXFAM
Format/size: pdf (266K-reduced version; 314K-original)
Alternate URLs: http://www.oxfam.org/sites/www.oxfam.org/files/ib-equitable-growth-myanmar-040613-en.pdf
Date of entry/update: 01 July 2013


Title: Myanmar Bio-Physical Characterization: Summary Findings and Issues to Explore
Date of publication: May 2013
Description/subject: This report provides a summary of key findings from research on food security and the agriculture sector in Myanmar. The focus is on material relevant for a bio-physical characterization of the country. As such, there is little emphasis on material primarily addressing socioeconomic, policy, or institutional aspects of agriculture and food security. This study is based solely on desk research, and it does not involve a field research component. The report is organized by topic, with each section including a bulleted list of significant summary points followed by a brief list of critical gaps or issues to explore during the field mission to Myanmar in November 2012.
Author/creator: Kye Baroang
Language: English
Source/publisher: Center on Globalization and Sustainable Development, Earth Institute at Columbia University
Format/size: pdf (1.8MB)
Date of entry/update: 12 April 2016


Title: Food and Nutrition Security in Myanmar
Date of publication: 05 March 2013
Description/subject: "... This background paper was commissioned by USAID as part of a Strategic Agricultural Sector and Food Security Diagnostic for Myanmar, led by Michigan State University and in partnership with the Myanmar Development Resource Institute ‐ Centre for Economic and Social Development (MDRI‐CESD). The broad objectives of the Diagnostic are to improve USAID’s understanding of the major constraints to agricultural sector performance and to food security of vulnerable households in Myanmar, and to outline core strategies USAID should consider as it designs policies and programs to stimulate broadbased agricultural growth and enhance food security. In support of these aims, this background paper synthesizes the best available data and information on poverty, nutrition, and vulnerability to food insecurity in Myanmar to identify key vulnerable populations, and outlines a set of strategic options to improve the food security of the most vulnerable households. This synthesis is based on a rapid assessment conducted during a three‐week field visit (October 28 to November 17, 2012), and pre‐ and post‐field visit desk research. The research draws from three broad types of information: 1) national surveys on poverty, malnutrition, and health outcomes; 2) food security assessments conducted by UN agencies, donors, and Non‐governmental Organizations (NGOs) in select geographic areas; 3) and semi‐structured qualitative interviews with key stakeholders across seven of the 14 states/regions in Myanmar’s Delta, Dry Zone, and hilly regions that the team accessed during the field visit. Data availability and reliability are major constraints to proper assessment in Myanmar. The Government of Myanmar (GOM) has not conducted a population census since 1983 and this inaction casts doubt on all other survey work since. The world’s longest running civil war and military‐government policies have restricted surveyors’ access to many parts of the country; even the two relatively reliable surveys intended to document poverty and nutrition conditions face these limitations. Very few surveys provide sex‐disaggregated data, which limits analysis of gender aspects of poverty and vulnerability. The authors fully recognize this obstacle and yet are in agreement with one long‐time observer of Myanmar; the data may not be rigorous but are “good enough to program against.” This synthesis therefore intends to provide a broad brush picture of the landscape of poverty, malnutrition, and vulnerability across Myanmar and focuses on providing a typology of vulnerability to inform USAID’s initial dialogue about possible program and policy design to improve household food security..."
Author/creator: Shannon Wilson and Naw Eh Mwee Aye Wai
Language: English
Source/publisher: Myanmar Development Resource Institute - Centre for Economic and Social Development (MDRI-CESD)
Format/size: pdf (1.6 MB)
Date of entry/update: 11 April 2016


Title: Current Situation and Future Opportunities in Agricultural Education, Research and Extension in Myanmar
Date of publication: March 2013
Description/subject: "... Myanmar is an agricultural based country and the agriculture sector is the backbone of its economy. The agriculture sector contributes 34% of GDP, 23% of total export earnings, and employs 63% of the labour force. About 75% of the total population reside in rural areas and are principally employed in the agriculture, livestock and fishery sectors for their livelihood. Rice is the most important dominating crop and is grown in saline area mostly found in lower Myanmar especially in Ayeyarwady, Yangon, Taninthayi Divisions and also in Yakhine and Mon States. Deep-water rice is usually grown in areas of some restricted belts in Ayeyarwady, Bago, Taninthayi Divisions and Rakhine, Mon and Kayin States. Out of the total crop sown area of 10 million hectares, about 13% is under irrigation. The rest of the land has to rely on the rain for crop production. The population will grow to about 60 million by the year 2010 and the demand for local rice consumption alone, will be in the proximate of 20 millions tons. To be able to supply enough food for the increasing population and export the surplus, rice production will have to be increased up to 25 millions tons, by expanding the rice growing area up to 6 millions hectare. This scheme will further be enhanced by the adoption of modern proven technologies and provision of the required inputs in full. The Ministry of Agriculture and Irrigation is making all-out efforts for the development of agriculture, taking measures as: efficient utilization of land and water resources; farm mechanization; introduction of new technologies; and supply of farm inputs. Agriculture being the largest economy of the country, the Ministry tries to stimulate public awareness and interest for better participation and investment in the sector. The government of the Union of Myanmar remains committed to the contribution of national as well as world food security. The Agriculture sector in Myanmar occupies a dominant position in the development of the national economy, and has a definite bearing on other socio-economic activities. Because of the high potential of land, water resources, man power resources and other mineral resources, Myanmar has been prominent as an agricultural country for many years and will continue to be so in the future. Given the importance of agriculture in Myanmar, agricultural education, research and extension are important priorities. In the process of developing the agricultural sector, conducting training and offering educational programs of international standard are crucial to the development of human resources..."
Author/creator: Khin Mar Cho
Language: English
Source/publisher: Myanmar Development Resource Institute - Centre for Economic and Social Development (MDRI-CESD)
Format/size: pdf (667K)
Date of entry/update: 11 April 2016


Title: Rice Productivity Improvement in Myanmar
Date of publication: March 2013
Description/subject: "... Rice productivity in Myanmar has stagnated in comparison with other rice producers in the region. Once the world’s largest rice exporter, Myanmar is now a relatively minor player exporting an average 631,000 MT annually over th past 4 years. However, the nation’s export potential remains high because of abundant land and water resources, recent indications of progressive policy reforms, increased agricultural investment, and constructive international engagement. Growing global demand for rice, increasing public and private investment in infrastructure, and the potential for significant yield increases, all point to a strong return on investments to improve rice productivity in the country..."
Author/creator: Glenn Denning, Kye Baroang, Tun Min Sandar and other MDRI and MSU colleagues
Language: English
Source/publisher: Myanmar Development Resource Institute - Centre for Economic and Social Development (MDRI-CESD)
Format/size: pdf (711K)
Date of entry/update: 11 April 2016


Title: Microfinance Supervisory Committee Notification - Government of Myanmar Notification No. 1/2011 (English)
Date of publication: 23 December 2011
Language: English
Source/publisher: Government of Myanmar
Format/size: pdf (7K)
Date of entry/update: 05 June 2014


Title: Market Research and Enterprise Development for Community Forestry in Myanmar
Date of publication: September 2011
Description/subject: "... Pyoe Pin is a programme aimed at strengthening civil society in Myanmar. The programme is supported by DFID, the British Department for International Cooperation and implemented through the British council in partnership with local NGOs. Community Forestry (CF) is a key element of the programme, as it is seen as pathway to increasing the participation of civil society in influencing policy and practice with regards to communities. access and sustainable use of forestry land. CF can also improve forestry conservation and enhance the livelihoods of communities. CF has been a national development tool since 1995, when the Ministry of Forestry issued instructions for the issuing of Community Forest certificates. In Kachin state in northern Myanmar bordering China, Pyoe Pin has been working with two local NGOs (ECODEV and Shalom Foundation), who are in turn engaging with forest villages, to increase their awareness of appropriate forest usage and management, through assisting these communities to apply for community forest certificates. These certificates provide community rights to forest products and tenure for 30 years. Working through 120 villages, 54 Forest User Groups (FUGs) consisting of about 40,000 people have been created, who are replanting degraded forest areas, and also balancing their livelihood needs with greater understanding of sustainability. So far, 31,445 acres have been prepared for CF, but aside from 3000 of these acres, the rest has not yet been granted the lease, largely a result of lack of institutional support for this process as government prioritizes commercial allocations of land over community allocations for CF. As yet, CF has not shown significant direct economic impacts, but it is hoped that income from forest products, produced by and for the communities engaged, will have an impact on the incomes of the communities and households involved. One of the challenges has been how to increase the commercial viability and impact of CF by bringing greater alignment between commercial and community priorities. Some parts of the CF Instruction have hindered the maximization of economic benefits that can be gained by CF as they limit community rights to harvesting and selling at minimal levels. In addition, both private sector and Government have not considered CF as a potential partner for sourcing raw materials. But the environment is ripe for undertaking analysis and piloting of alternative models. There is a new Minister of Forestry, formerly head of Myanmar Timber Enterprise, who has experience in extensive forest-based commercial ventures. In addition, a recent national CF workshop was the first of the kind to bring experts from around the region to discuss findings from a national-level appraisal of CF in Myanmar since inception 15 years ago. In this context, Pyoe Pin envisages to develop a pilot project that will seek to demonstrate: 1. the value of CF as a real national development tool for the poorest communities, and to increase institutional support for its realization. 2. CF can be a commercially viable business partner for private sector 3. that it is important that communities who apply for CF status should be supported with the expedient granting of leases 4. that CF Instructions need to be revised to allow communities to commercialize their CF Towards these objectives, Pyoe Pin started to identify CF products that could have the greatest market potential and feasibility of being taken up by community forestry, which can then supply the products to larger domestic and possibly even international markets. An initial brainstorming session with foresters from NGOs and research institutes and businessmen from the Timber Market Association in December 2010 identified a preliminary shortlist of forest products. This selection was mainly based on secondary sources of information on market potential to help narrow down a more appropriate list for additional value-chain analysis..."
Author/creator: Foppes, J., Moe Aung, Paing Soe
Language: English
Source/publisher: Pyoe Pin
Format/size: pdf (1.3MB)
Date of entry/update: 20 April 2016


Title: Will junta focus on agricultural reform?
Date of publication: 29 January 2010
Description/subject: New Delhi (Mizzima) 's report recently urged Burma to prioritize its agricultural sector in the fight against poverty, as it has considerable growth potential. However, economic experts have cast doubts that agricultural reform can be feasible under dictatorial rule. The Myanmar Humanitarian Partnership Group meeting, held Wednesday in Burma's former capital of Rangoon, was attended by over 70 experts, including heads of UN agencies, diplomats and aid workers, and highlighted the crucial need of promoting the agricultural sector to address the economic challenges faced by Burma. "Economic growth and poverty alleviation will depend on improvements in productivity and growth of agricultural crops, fisheries and livestock,"Over 70 percent of the population lives in rural areas, and all indicators suggest that the agricultural sector has considerable growth potential."..."
Author/creator: Salai Pi Pi
Language: English
Source/publisher: Mizzima
Format/size: html
Alternate URLs: http://www.mizzima.com/business/3457-will-junta-focus-on-agricultural-reform.html?tmpl=component&pr...
Date of entry/update: 31 January 2010


Title: Commentary on the visit by Professor Stieglitz and necesary follow-up
Date of publication: 09 January 2010
Description/subject: Commentary of 9 January 2010 by U Myint on the visit by Joseph Stiglitz and necessary follow-up. A major section of the address dealt with how to boost the rice economy in Burma
Author/creator: U Myint
Language: English
Source/publisher: "The Irrawaddy"
Format/size: pdf (108K)
Date of entry/update: 31 January 2010


Title: Regime Should Heed Advice
Date of publication: January 2010
Description/subject: Joseph Stiglitz offered a realistic assessment of Burma’s economic needs. But were the country’s rulers really listening?... "There is the hope that this is the moment of change for the country,” said Joseph Stiglitz, the Nobel Economics laureate and former chief economist of the World Bank, after his visit to Burma in December. Stiglitz was speaking at a press conference in Singapore organized by the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP) after attending an economics forum in the Burmese capital, Naypyidaw. During his visit, Stiglitz told Burmese military officials led by Agriculture and Rural Development Minister Maj-Gen Htay Oo and National Development Minister Soe Tha that revenues from oil and gas, if well used, could open up a new era for the country. He called specifically for an increase in spending on education, which he said was necessary because the country is aging and the next generation needs to be prepared to face the challenges of economic development. He especially urged the Burmese regime to improve the economic conditions of the rural poor. Around 75 percent of the country’s estimated 57 million people live in rural areas. Burmese farmers are especially hard hit by crippling loan charges. According to researchers, farmers pay as much as 7 to 10 percent interest a month in Burma—which Stiglitz described as a symptom of serious malfunctioning of the credit system. He stressed this point repeatedly and noted that productivity suffered because of the lack of capital to buy fertilizers..."
Author/creator: Kyaw Zwa Moe
Language: English
Source/publisher: "The Irrawaddy" Vol. 18, No. 1
Format/size: html
Alternate URLs: http://www2.irrawaddy.org/print_article.php?art_id=17483
Date of entry/update: 28 February 2010


Title: Credit vital to boosting development in Myanmar, economist says
Date of publication: 23 December 2009
Description/subject: "...With 70 per cent of Myanmar’s population dependent on agriculture, credit reform could help the Asian nation reach its full productivity potential and enhance development, Nobel Prize-winning economist Professor Joseph Stiglitz said after a United Nations-backed visit to the country. “If you’re going to reduce poverty and meet the Millennium Development Goals [MDGs], a focus on agriculture is absolutely essential,” Mr. Stiglitz told reporters after his trip. Surveys, he pointed out, have shown that the cost of credit is very high in Myanmar, with many farmers and casual labourers having to borrow money at interest rates of 10 per cent or more per month. The loans are reminiscent of “pay day” loans in the United States, he said, except that the interest rates charged in Myanmar are even more “usurious.” While in the country, the economist met with Government officials and academics, as well as visiting projects in rural areas. Farmers, he said, told him that while irrigation had increased their productivity, “because they could not get the credit to buy fertilizer and high quality seeds, the full potential was not being realized.”.."
Language: English
Source/publisher: UN News Service
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 01 January 2010


Title: Transcript of Press Conference on the ESCAP/Myanmar Second Partnership Development Roundtable and Forum
Date of publication: 21 December 2009
Description/subject: "...There was general consensus that there were seven issues where ESCAP and the international community could be helpful, and I can share a partial list with you of those priorities that were identified for immediate follow-up. First and foremost is an examination of the country’s credit policies. It is imperative that farmers have access to capital so they can buy seeds and fertilizers and other implements. Research was presented that indicated informal lenders are charging up to 10 per cent a month for credit, which in a matter of a few months, negates all the farmer’s income for that year. So we need to look at what kind of credit is needed and where it is needed. Second, we will look at employment and income security, and human capacity building. Myanmar needs to shift from a labour intensive system to one that is more technologically-based and knowledge-based, which requires education. We also need to look at how the large number of casual labourers is utilized as well as some forms of social protection for farmers, including things like crop insurance and employment guarantees. How do we build the social foundation of more resilient households and communities in Myanmar? And finally, there is a need to take a look at the national revenues, and how to ensure that financial systems are transparent, and revenue is allocated to where they are needed..."
Author/creator: Joseph Stiglitz, Noeleen Heyzer
Language: English
Source/publisher: UNESCAP
Format/size: pdf (59K)
Alternate URLs: http://www.unescap.org/unis/press/2009/dec/transcript%20ES-Stiglitz%20Press%20Confernece%20-%20revi...
Date of entry/update: 01 January 2010


Title: Myanmar's generals plow a rich furrow
Date of publication: 19 December 2009
Description/subject: "Joseph Stiglitz, the American Nobel economics laureate, advised Myanmar's military-run regime this week that political reform is necessary if the generals hope to revitalize the country's stagnant, mostly agriculture-based economy. Any reform of the rural sector, which employs 70% of the workforce and accounts for nearly half of gross domestic product (GDP), will run up against the widespread and largely institutionalized corruption of the military..."
Author/creator: Brian McCartan
Language: English
Source/publisher: Asia Times Online
Format/size: html, pdf (62K)
Alternate URLs: http://www.burmalibrary.org/docs08/Stigliltz03.pdf
Date of entry/update: 01 January 2010


Title: Second Development Partnership Roundtable and Development Forum held
Date of publication: 18 December 2009
Description/subject: Jointly organized by Ministry of Agriculture and Irrigation, Ministry of National Planning and Economic Development and United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (UNESCAP), Second Development Partnership Roundtable and Development Forum on economic policies for growth and poverty reduction: lessons from the region and beyond was held at the hall of the Ministry of Agriculture and Irrigation here on 15 December. Roundtable on enhancing Myanmar’s rural economy was held at 9 am...Since food security and rural livelihoods contribute to the income of the rural people, increasing agricultural productivity is the core policy for Myanmar. In order to increase agricultural productivity, promoting access to irrigation water and its sustainable uses are the main necessity. Myanmar has heavily invested and constructed 228 irrigation dams, 322 river water-pumping projects, constructing and repairing small irrigation tanks throughout the dryzone, enhancing underground water utilization through more than 7000 tube wells. In addition to promoting access to irrigation water for increasing crop production, rural electrification is also being promoted by installation of mini hydropower along canal drop structures of irrigation networks. On the other hand, regarding access to irrigation water, Myanmar is proactive rather than reactive to adapting climate change and mitigating its effects..."
Language: English
Source/publisher: "The New Light of Myanmar"
Format/size: pdf (66K)
Date of entry/update: 01 January 2010


Title: Stiglitz Advises Regime to Use Oil and Gas Revenues Wisely
Date of publication: 17 December 2009
Description/subject: "Nobel Economics Laureate Joesph Stiglitz has told a forum in the Burmese capital, Naypyidaw, that revenues from oil and gas, if well used, could open up a new era for the country. If not well used, valuable opportunities would be squandered, Stiglitz told the forum on “Restoring Burma as the Rice Bowl of Asia.” The forum on Monday was organized by the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP) and Burma's Ministry of Agriculture and Irrigation and Ministry of National Planning and Economic Development. A UN press release said the former World Bank chief emphasized the inseparable nature of economics and politics. Before his visit, some analysts questioned the wisdom of giving economic advice to military generals who had a bad reputation for ignoring the input of experts. For Burma to take a role on the world stage and to achieve true stability and security, there must be widespread participation and inclusive processes, Stiglitz said..."
Author/creator: Ba Kaung
Language: English
Source/publisher: IRROL
Format/size: pdf (58K)
Date of entry/update: 01 January 2010


Title: ESCAP brings Nobel Laureate Stiglitz to Myanmar to advise on economic policy and rural poverty reduction
Date of publication: 15 December 2009
Description/subject: "The United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP) and the Government of the Union of Myanmar today held a wide-ranging dialogue aimed at boosting the country’s agricultural sector and to help it reclaim its status as the rice bowl of Asia. At the invitation of ESCAP, Nobel Prize-winning economist Prof. Joseph Stiglitz and other eminent experts discussed strategies for Myanmar to cut poverty in light of Asia’s regional and subregional experiences. “It is my hope these ideas and analysis will open a new space for policy discussion and a further deepening of our development partnership,” UN Under-Secretary-General and ESCAP Executive Secretary Noeleen Heyzer said at the event held in Myanmar’s capital, Naypyitaw. “These development objectives can only be achieved through the successful engagement of local experts and people who know what is happening on the ground. This development partnership, requested by the Government of Myanmar, provides a unique platform for eminent international scholars and local researchers to exchange experiences and ideas with government agencies and civil society,” Dr. Heyzer added..."
Language: English
Source/publisher: UNESCAP News Services
Format/size: html
Alternate URLs: http://www.unescap.org/unis/press/2009/dec/g105.asp
Date of entry/update: 01 January 2010


Title: BURMA: Nobel Laureate Stiglitz to advise junta on poverty –
Date of publication: 30 November 2009
Description/subject: "...The list of high-profile foreigners heading to Burma to engage and advise the country’s military regime is about to get longer. The latest due to join that flow is Nobel economics laureate Joseph Stiglitz. The former chief economist of the World Bank will fly into Burma, or Myanmar as it is also known, on Dec. 14 for a mission aimed to examine and improve the South-east Asian nation’s rural economy, says Noeleen Heyzer, head of a United Nations regional body based in Bangkok. “He will share his ideas on what kind of economic decision making is critical for growth in the rural economy and poverty reduction,” adds the executive secretary of the Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP). “He will be there for a couple of days.”..."
Author/creator: Marwaan Macan-Markar
Language: English
Source/publisher: Inter Press News Service (IPS)
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 01 January 2010


Title: Rural Households
Date of publication: February 2009
Description/subject: "...This study will examine the food (rice) availability at the national level using the official and FAO data. Second, a case study in the rice deficit region (Dry Zone) will present the characteristics and food security status of the farm and non-farm rural households (landless) and the determinants of food security. The Dry Zone was chosen to study because the EC & FAO (2007) classified this region as the most vulnerable area of the country. Furthermore, the FAO projected that the Net Primary Production would be decreased significantly in the Dry Zone in the next two decades. It is essential to collect the primary and secondary data on food availability, access, stability and utilization for understanding the current reality of food security at both macro and micro level... Objectives of the Study: > To assess the food (rice) availability at the national level by using indicators of trend of production index, growth rate of sown area, production and yield, average availability of rice, average per capita rice consumption, rice surplus, dietary energy supply of rice, share of food expenditure in total budget, self-sufficiency ratio, trends in domestic prices of rice and the estimated effects of the Nargis cyclone on rice self-sufficiency. > To investigate the rural household's access to food in terms of human capital, food production, household income, asset ownership, and income diversification of farm and non-farm (landless) households. > To examine the farm and non-farm household's food security status by applying the national food poverty line and the index of coping strategies method along with some indicators such as food share in the household budget, percentage of food expenditure in the total household income, and nutrition security indicators of access to safe drinking water, sanitation, diseases, and number of children death.
Author/creator: Dolly Kyaw
Language: English
Source/publisher: Institute of Developing Economies, Japan External Trade Organization (V.R.F. Series No. 444)
Format/size: pdf (656K)
Alternate URLs: http://www.ide.go.jp/English/Publish/Download/Vrf/pdf/444.pdf
Date of entry/update: 10 August 2009


Title: Rural development and displacement: SPDC abuses in Toungoo District
Date of publication: 13 January 2009
Description/subject: "The SPDC has continued to militarise larger and larger swaths of Toungoo District under the false banner of 'development', subjecting local villagers to forced labour and extortion and forcing others to flee into hiding. Life is hard for villagers both under and outside of SPDC control: villagers living within SPDC-controlled areas are often forced to work for the SPDC rather than focus on their own livelihoods while villagers in hiding continue to struggle with a shortage of food. Ultimately, many residents of Toungoo face a mounting food crisis that is a direct result of SPDC policy. This report discusses incidents that occurred between May and September 2008..."
Language: English
Source/publisher: Karen Human Rights Group Field Reports (KHRG #2009-F1)
Format/size: html, pdf (850 KB)
Alternate URLs: http://www.khrg.org/sites/default/files/khrg09f1.pdf
Date of entry/update: 31 October 2009


Title: Status and Potential for the Development of Biofuels and Rural Renewable Energy: Myanmar
Date of publication: 2009
Description/subject: CONTENTS: v Abbreviations... vi Acknowledgment... 1 Introduction: 1 Agroecological Zones and Administrative Divisions... 1 Land Use... 1 Workforce in Agriculture... 3 Expansion of the Irrigation Network... 3 Food Security Situation... 4 Rationale and Objectives..... 6 Energy Market and Outlook: 6 Energy Supply and Demand... 18 Potential Alternative Sources of Energy... 21 Justification of Biofuel as an Alternative Energy Source... 22 Obstacles to the Development of Biofuels in Myanmar..... 23 Resource Base for Biofuels Production: 23 Energy Security and Sustainability... 23 Biofuel Options... 24 Biodiesel Production... 27 Bioethanol Production... 33 Biomass Energy Consumption from Wood Fuel..... 38 Prioritization of Feedstocks: 38 Priority Feedstocks for Biodiesel Production... 40 Priority Feedstocks for Bioethanol Production..... 42 Agribusiness Models: 42 Existing Biofuel Business Model... 42 Opportunities and Constraints to Biofuel Business Development... 45 Integration of Small Farmers into the Agribusiness Chain and Options... for Promoting Biofuel Business Ventures..... 47 Case Studies of Biofuel Ventures in Myanmar..... 56 Policy, Regulatory, and Institutional Support for Biofuel Development: 56 National Policies and Strategies for Biofuel Development... 57 Development Program and Plans to Address Agriculture Sector Objectives... 58 Institutional Analysis for Biofuel Development... 60 Investment and Financing Arrangements... 60 The Way Forward..... 61 Appendix 1: Oil Content of Different Land Races of Jatropha Curcas..... 62 Appendix 2: A Proposed Institutional Structure and Implementation Mechanism for Biofuels Development..... 63 Appendix 3: Indicative National Biofuel Program for Myanmar.
Author/creator: U Hla Kyaw, Thandar Kyi, San Thein, U Aung Hlaing, U Tin Maung Shwe
Language: English
Source/publisher: Asian Development Bank (ADB)
Format/size: pdf (1.8MB)
Date of entry/update: 17 December 2009


Title: Cultivating Inequality (Review of Ikuko Okamoto's "Economic Disparity in Rural Myanmar" )
Date of publication: July 2008
Description/subject: A Japanese study illustrates how farmers created an agricultural market in spite of the military government’s bureaucrats... "Economic Disparity in Rural Myanmar" by Ikuko Okamoto. National University of Singapore Press, 2008... "THE devastation caused by Cyclone Nargis and spiraling global food prices have placed even more pressure on the agricultural sector of Burma, once the world’s largest rice exporter and potentially one of Asia’s most prodigious producers of agricultural staples. The majority of the Burmese labor pool is in farming, and rice production remains not just a national priority but an obsession of the junta. Successive regimes have attempted a number of initiatives to increase agricultural production, first through disastrous socialist policies, and since 1988 with piecemeal open market reforms which have continued to stifle the true promise of the agricultural sector. Ikuko Okamoto’s book looks at one success story in this sad litany of state failure. Economic Disparity in Rural Myanmar is an academic analysis of the rapid increase in production of pulses in one township close to Rangoon. A pulse is a bean, in this case one called pedishwewar, or golden green gram, otherwise known as the mung bean. It is a close study of the relationship between Burmese farm laborers, rural traders, tractor dealers, some available land, rice paddy crops and a fortuitous gap in the global rice market that produced a pulse market where before there was none. The sting is that most of the people on the lower rungs—the farmer-laborers—profited least from their labors. Pulses brought in a total of 3.6 billion kyat (US $3 million) in 2007, mainly due to India, which reduced pulse cultivation, allowing farmers and traders in Burma to fill the demand. Okamoto, a researcher at Japan’s Institute for Developing Economies, spent several years studying production techniques in Thongwa Township, east of Rangoon and home to 64 villages and about 150,000 people. In this well-designed and detailed study, she looks at how the dramatic growth in green gram production produced an export success..."
Author/creator: David Scott Mathieson
Language: English
Source/publisher: "The Irrawaddy" Vol. 16, No. 7
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 15 July 2008


Title: Rural Credit Markets in Myanmar: A Study of Formal and Non-Formal Lenders
Date of publication: July 2007
Description/subject: ABSTRACT: "This paper conducts an empirical investigation of the rural credit market in Myanmar to help guide policy formulation on the microfinance operations in the country. Specifically, it looks into the determinants of credit demand and of rationing loans at the household level, and identifies the similarities, differences and relationships among the various segments of the rural credit market. Data are primarily gathered through a survey covering a total of 301 households among 7 villages in the Dry Zone. The results reveal the characteristics distinguishing the different types of credit sources, implying that the formal and semiformal credit are targeted towards different sets of clientele. The findings also suggest that promoting the semiformal credit sources likewise strengthens the development of formal credit sources".....N. B. there is a confusion about the issue and date of this article -- the header says it is Vol 4, No. 1 (June 2007), while the website gives it as Vol. 3, Nos. 2 & 3 (December 2006)
Author/creator: Tomoko Kaino
Language: English
Source/publisher: "Asian Journal of Agriculture and Development", Volume 4 No. 1
Format/size: pdf (378K)
Alternate URLs: http://www.searca.org/ajad/archives/v-03/01-02/ajad-v3-n1-n2-kaino-rural-credit-markets-in-myanmar....
Date of entry/update: 01 January 2010


Title: Agricultural Policies and Development of Myanmar’s Agricultural Sector : An Overview
Date of publication: June 2006
Description/subject: Abstract "This paper reviews the development of the agricultural sector in Myanmar after the transition to an open economy in 1988 and analyzes the nature as well as the performance of the agricultural sector. The avoidance of social unrest and the maintenance of control by the regime are identified as the two key factors that have determined the nature of agricultural policy after 1988. A major consequence of agricultural policy has been a clear difference in development paths among the major crops. Production of crops that had a potential for development showed sluggish growth due to policy constraints, whereas there has been a self-sustaining increase in the output of those crops that have fallen outside the remit of agricultural policy."
Author/creator: Koichi FUJITA, Ikuko OKAMOTO
Language: English (also available in Japanese(?)
Source/publisher: IDE Discussion Paper No. 63
Format/size: pdf (344K)
Date of entry/update: 16 July 2006


Title: Agriculture authorities forced farmers to grow subsidiary crops
Date of publication: 20 November 2004
Description/subject: "Mudon Township agriculture authorities forced farmers to grow subsidiary crops on farms irrigated by the Win-Pha-None Dam, according to villagers in the area. “A group of township agriculture authorities came to the villages and gathered villagers to grow subsidiary crops such as rice and beans,” a villager said. According to Nai Jorn, a reporter, villagers are dissatisfied with authorities because they were forced to grow crops in previous years and received no benefits for growing them..."
Language: English
Source/publisher: Independent Mon News Agency (Mon State)
Format/size: html (8K)
Date of entry/update: 24 December 2004


Title: Rich Periphery, Poor Center: Myanmar's Rural Economy
Date of publication: March 2004
Description/subject: Abstract: "This paper looks at the case of Myanmar in order to investigate the behavior and welfare of rural households in an economy under transition from a planned to a market system. Myanmar's case is particularly interesting because of the country's unique attempt to preserve a policy of intervention in land transactions and marketing institutions. A sample household survey that we conducted in 2001, covering more than 500 households in eight villages with diverse agro-ecological environments, revealed two paradoxes. First, income levels are higher in villages far from the center than in villages located in regions under the tight control of the central authorities. Second, farmers and villages that emphasize a paddy-based, irrigated cropping system have lower farming incomes than those that do not. The reason for these paradoxes are the distortions created by agricultural policies that restrict land use and the marketing of agricultural produce. Because of these distortions, the transition to a market economy in Myanmar since the late 1980s is only a partial one. The partial transition, which initially led to an increase in output and income from agriculture, revealed its limit in the survey period."...There are 2 versions of this paper. The one placed as the main URL, which also has a later publication date, seems to be longer, though it is about 30K smaller.
Author/creator: Ikuko Okamoto, Kyosuke Kurita, Takashi Kurosaki and Koichi Fujita
Language: English
Source/publisher: IDE ( Institute of Developing Economies) Discussion Paper No. 23
Format/size: pdf (213K)
Alternate URLs: http://www.econ.yale.edu/conference/neudc03/papers/1d-kurosaki.pdf
Date of entry/update: 05 December 2003


Title: Agricultural Marketing Reform and Rural Economy in Myanmar
Date of publication: 28 January 2004
Description/subject: The purpose of this paper is to examine the impact of marketing reforms implemented in the late 1980s in Myanmar. Particular emphasis is placed on the impact of the reform on the rural economy and its participants, namely farmers, landless laborers and marketing intermediaries. The reform had a positive effect on all these participants through the creation of employment opportunities and increased income. The driving force of this success was "market forces,"absence of bad policy" is emphasized as a key for the success in the context of Myanmar, where excessive and murky government intervention often resulted in failure to induce private sector development.
Author/creator: Ikuko Okamoto
Language: English
Source/publisher: IIDE ( Institute of Developing Economies)
Format/size: pdf (98KB)
Date of entry/update: 08 January 2005


Title: Agricultural diversification and rural industrialization as a strategy for rural income growth and poverty reduction in Indochina and Myanmar
Date of publication: 1999
Description/subject: Abstract: CONTENTS: Introduction; concepts and rationale; concept of diversification; rationale for diversification; significance for IMR; Structural features of IMR and their relevance to diversification; evidence of diversification in the IMR; trends in areas and production of crops and meat production; agricultural exports; future challenges and guiding principles; references....Keywords: Agricultural diversification Economic aspects.; Indochina Economic policy.; Poverty alleviation.; Myanmar Economic policy.; Meat industry and trade.
Author/creator: Francesco Goletti
Language: English
Source/publisher: International Food Policy Research Institute
Format/size: pdf (160K)
Date of entry/update: 22 April 2008