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Myanmar at a glance

FAO has recognized Myanmar for its progress in fighting hunger after the country dramatically slashed the number of hungry people by a 2015 deadline. Myanmar was one of 72 countries to achieve the Millennium Development Goal target of halving the proportion of hungry people, or bringing it below a five percent threshold.

Myanmar was also among 29 countries to meet the more stringent goal of halving the number of hungry people, as laid out by governments at the World Food Summit in Rome in 1996. Myanmar Minister for Agriculture and Irrigation U Myint Hlaing accepted the award from FAO Director-General José Graziano da Silva at the ceremony on behalf of President U Thein Sein.

Myanmar Economy and the role of Agriculture

Myanmar is an agricultural country, and the agriculture sector is the backbone of its economy. The agriculture sector contributes to 37.8 percent of gross domestic product (GDP), accounts for 25 to 30  percent  of total export earnings and employs 70 percent of the labour force.  Myanmar has established 12 political, economic and social objectives in its efforts to establish a peaceful, modern and developed country.  One major economic objective is “Development of agriculture as a base and all-round development of other sectors of the economy as well.”

Myanmar Agriculture Policies

  • To emphasize production and utilization of high-yielding and good quality seeds.
  • To conduct training and education for farmers and extension staff on advanced agricultural techniques.
  • To implement research and development activities for sustainable agricultural development.
  • To protect farmers rights and benefits.
  • To assist farmers to get fair price on their produce.
  • To assist in lowering production costs, increasing high quality crop production, developing and strengthening of markets.
  • To encourage transformation from conventional to mechanized agriculture, production of crops appropriate with climate and extension of irrigated area.
  • To undertake renovation and maintenance works on old irrigation, pumping and underground water systems.
  • To support rural development and poverty reduction activities through development of agriculture sector.
  • To encourage local and international investment in agriculture sector for the development of advanced agricultural technology and commercial agricultural production.
  • To justify and amend existing agricultural laws and regulations in line with current economic situation.

Myanmar Forest Policies

In recognition of the economic importance of the Myanmar forestry sector and the need for environmental sustainability, the Myanmar Forestry Policy is consistent with the forestry principles adopted at the United Nations Conference on Environment Development in 1992.

The Policy has identified the following six priorities:

  • Protection of soil, water, wildlife, biodiversity and environment.
  • Sustainability of forest resources to ensure supply of both tangible and intangible benefits accrued from the forests for the present and future generations.
  • Ensure that basic needs of people for fuel, shelter, food and recreation are guaranteed.
  • Efficiency to harness the full economic potential of forest resources in a socio-environmentally friendly way.
  • Participation of the people in the conservation and utilization of the forests.
  • Public awareness of the vital role of forests in the well-being and socio-economic development of the nation.

Myanmar Livestock, Fishery and Rural Development Sector Policies

Fisheries and livestock in the Myanmar economy

The fishery and livestock sectors are considered the most important, after agriculture, to meet the protein needs of the population, enhance food security and provide employment for rural communities. The livestock and fisheries sectors account for more than seven percent of the national GDP. In line with the Sustainable Development Goals, the Ministry of Livestock, Fisheries and Rural Development aims to develop rural areas, to improve the socioeconomic situation for rural communities and to close the development gap between urban and rural areas.

The main objectives of the Livestock sector are:

  • To improve livestock and livestock products for domestic consumption through improved animal health care.
  • To increase the draught cattle population, proportional to crop area expansion.
  • To promote trade in livestock and livestock products.
  • To investigate identified products and conduct related research on various aspects related to biological production.

In fisheries sector, the main objectives are:

  • To support rural development through the extension of aquaculture activities.
  • To increase export earnings  from shrimp aquaculture.
  • To sustain and increase the fisheries resources of both inland and marine waters.
  • To accelerate the integrated fisheries development process without impacting on the natural environment.
  • To adopt and implement an extension programme to ensure sustainable fisheries development.