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Agriculture in Burma

  • Contract farming

    Individual Documents

    Title: Alternative Development or Business as Usual? China’s Opium Substitution Policy in Burma and Laos
    Date of publication: November 2010
    Description/subject: Conclusions & Recommendations: • The huge increase in Chinese agricultural concessions in Burma and Laos is driven by China’s opium crop substitution programme, offering subsidies and tax waivers for Chinese companies. • China’s focus is on integrating the local economy of the border regions of Burma and Laos into the regional market through bilateral relations with government and military authorities across the border. • In Burma large-scale rubber concessions is the only method operating. Initially informal smallholder arrangements were the dominant form of cultivation in Laos, but the topdown coercive model is gaining prevalence. • The poorest of the poor, including many (ex-) poppy farmers, benefit least from these investments. They are losing access to land and forest, being forcibly relocated to the lowlands, left with few viable options for survival. • New forms of conflict are arising from Chinese large-scale investments abroad. Related land dispossession has wide implications on drug production and trade, as well as border stability. • Investments related to opium substitution plans should be carried out in a more sustainable, transparent, accountable and equitable fashion with a community-based approach. They should respect traditional land rights and communities’ customs.
    Language: English
    Source/publisher: Transnational InstituteDrug (Policy Briefing No. 33)
    Format/size: pdf (304K)
    Alternate URLs: http://www.tni.org/node/595/by-country/Burma
    Date of entry/update: 15 November 2010


    Title: Contract Farming In Burma
    Date of publication: 12 January 2009
    Description/subject: Summary: Since 2005, the Burmese Government has encouraged investors from China, Thailand, Bangladesh, and Kuwait to invest in contract farms; to date, only the Thais have a formal agreement to farm 120,000 acres along the Thai-Burma border. Over the past six months, several Burmese companies -- Tay Za's Htoo Trading, Zaw Zaw's Max Myanmar, Steven Law's Asia World, and Aung Thet Mann's Aye Ya Shwe Wa -- were given more than 100,000 acres of farmland in the Irrawaddy Delta and Rangoon Division for contract farming. The Ministry of Agriculture denies any land seizures associated with contract farming, saying the government is the sole owner of farmland and takes it away only if farmers do not use it for farming purposes. According to agricultural contacts, the GOB encourages contract farming because private investors help shoulder the costs of improving Burma's dilapidated agricultural infrastructure. There is no information on how much the contract farming investments in Burma are worth. End Summary.
    Language: English
    Source/publisher: US Embassy, Rangoon, via Wikileaks
    Format/size: pdf (108K)
    Date of entry/update: 04 April 2012


    Title: Thais See Economic Benefit From Contract Farming In Burma
    Date of publication: 20 November 2008
    Description/subject: Thai contract farming is a growing feature of the Thai-Burmese bilateral economic relationship. The activity remains concentrated in the border areas, however. Thai businesspeople who engage in contract farming in Burma are generally individuals who conduct their business informally with local Karen village leaders, not with the GOB or major Burmese companies. The Thai government views contract farming as an economic policy tool that lowers agricultural prices for Thai consumers, lessens the migrant pull in Thailand, and stimulates demand for Thai goods in Burma. However, the RTG at the national level is not currently engaged in activities to promote contract farming specifically, it is focused on agricultural development through vertical integration and greater control over quality standards, which contract farming helps to achieve.
    Language: English
    Source/publisher: US Consulate Chiangmai via Wikileaks
    Format/size: html
    Date of entry/update: 14 May 2012


    Title: Myanmar Steps up Contract Farming
    Date of publication: 06 October 2008
    Description/subject: "MYANMAR - The development of a contract farming zone in the suburban township of Yangon division is being stepped up, supported by private entrepreneurs. Almost one-third of farms there keep poultry. According to Chinese sources, a state-backed Myanmar newspaper describes the Yangon division special integrated farming zone, set up in Nyaunghnapin village, Hmawby township, as made up of some sub-zones where undertakings including the raising of poultry, growing of beans and pulses, and physic nuts as well as fish breeding, are carried out...."
    Language: English
    Source/publisher: The Poultry Site
    Format/size: html
    Date of entry/update: 19 May 2012


    Title: Capitalizing the Thai-Myanmar border
    Date of publication: 21 June 2007
    Description/subject: MAE SOT, Thailand - "The conflict-ridden Thai-Myanmar border has long been associated with drug smuggling, arms-dealing and human trafficking and other illicit trades. Now a new investment initiative aims to bring bilateral border trade above ground through the establishment of export-oriented special economic zones (SEZs) in the two countries' hinterlands. The two sides agreed last month in Mandalay to finalize a long pending agreement, which in the first phases will open the way for Thai agribusinesses to cultivate millions of acres of land tax-free in Myanmar's border areas. The ambitious plan to turn battlefields into marketplaces has the tacit backing of the Asian Development Bank (ADB), but at the same time has come under heavy criticism from rights organizations..."
    Author/creator: Clifford McCoy
    Language: English
    Source/publisher: "Asia Times Online"
    Format/size: html
    Date of entry/update: 14 May 2012