Global Partnership Initiative for Plant Breeding Capacity Building (test)

Plant breeding programs in Myanmar

Geographical situation of Union of MyanmarThe Union of Myanmar is the poorest nation in Asia in terms of GDP per capita. As a predominantly rural country, however, Myanmar is self-sufficient in food. Agriculture therefore plays a strong role in the nation’s future development planning. The principal exports are hardwoods and rice. Myanmar accounts for roughly three-quarters of the world’s teak exports. Other important crops are maize, peanuts, beans, oilseeds, and sugarcane.

The agricultural research activities were initiated in Myanmar soon after the Department of Agriculture (DA) was founded in 1906. The Department of Agricultural Research Institute (DARI) is the only plant breeding centre and manages breeding of all the major crops grown in the country. Private sector involvement in agricultural R&D in Myanmar is minimal. It is completely absent in plant breeding and in the seed industry.

Various plant breeding activities take place for a range of crops, including crossing, selection in segregating populations, evaluating fixed lines and evaluating lines introduced from elsewhere. The main crops concerned by these activities are rice, maize, wheat, groundnut, sesame and sunflower. Most crop improvement programmes rely on germplasm from international genebanks and germplasm networks such as IRRI, CIMMYT, ICRISAT and AVRDC.

The most limiting factors for the success of the breeding programs are the inadequate number of breeders for each crop and an inadequate knowledge of general plant breeding strategies. These deficiencies are the consequences, amongst others, of having only one agricultural university in the country.

Research and education institutes with activities in plant breeding


Ministry of Agriculture and Irrigation

Department of Agricultural Research Institute (DARI)
Website available in English

The Agriculture Research Institute (ARI) was established in 1954 at Yangon under the DA. In 1973, ARI was moved to Yezin, strengthened with more crop research divisions and renamed as Central Agriculture research Institute (CARI). It was strengthened in 2004 as a separate department under the Ministry of Agriculture and Irrigation (MOAI). The major tasks of DAR are to develop new improved crop varieties for yield, quality and biotic, abiotic stress. Remarkable successes of crops breeding were achieved in rice, maize and pulses during the past decades. The biotechnology section under DAR is also contributing to plant breeding capacity to some extent.

Yezin Agriculture University

Yezin Agricultural University (YAU)
Website available in English

YAU is the only agricultural university to offer graduate and post-graduate and thesis research and degrees as a collaborative research program with DAR, MEDCE and MAS under MOAI. Research related to breeding has been carried out with the collaboration between YAU and DAR for post graduate studies.



No Website available

Seed Bank in Myanmar
No Website available

The Seed Bank of Myanmar is located under the Department of Agricultural Research. It was established in 1990 with the support of JICA. Current status of ex situ conservation:

Collected samples
Short term (10˚C) Medium term(-5˚C)
Rice 7595 6302 6250
Willd Rice
317 141 141
Cereal crops
2434 2079 1945
Food legumes
1914 906
Oil seed crops
1246 638
Industrial crops
320 42
Horticulture 667 -
TOTAL 14493 10108 9905


Information by Khin Than Nwe (2004) - Information based on the Myanmar's full report from the PBBC survey. Last revised, 15-03-10, GIPB.