Myanmar’s quality-seed imports soar over 10 years

Myanmar’s imports of quality seeds soared in the past decade as the country’s agricultural sector grew, the head of the Agriculture Ministry said.

U Aung Thu, Minister of Agriculture, Livestock and Irrigation, said seed imports rose 45 times between 2009 and 2019.

“Our country’s seed imports increased to US$45 million in 2019 from just over $1 million in 2009,” he said at a recent event in Nay Pyi Taw.

Maize and vegetable seeds accounted for most of the growth, said U Aye Ko Ko, deputy director-general of the Department of Agriculture.

Myanmar Vice President U Henry Van Thio urged agri-businesses to focus on becoming seed exporters, as the country’s diverse geographical and climatic features are suitable for seed production.

“Rather than importing from overseas, I urge all to try to promote the country’s seed production, not only for adequate domestic consumption but also for export to other countries,” he said.

It noted that most of the seeds imports came from neighboring nations, such as Thailand, Indonesia, and the Philippines.

But one industry source said businesses are not keen to engage in seed production, because it takes several years to generate revenue.

“Private businesses are only interested in making a quick profit, but that could change if they get soft loans,” he said.

Source: Myanmar Times

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