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Policy brief: towards a rural development strategy for Mon State

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CESD, in partnership with the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) and Michigan State University (MSU), analysed the substantial challenges facing the rural economy in Mon State, and report “there is good reason for optimism if the Mon State and Union governments can work together with the private sector, including farmers, to develop a vibrant rural economy that raises rural incomes and improves the welfare of the rural population.”

The main sources of rural household income in Mon, in order of importance, are agriculture (24%), remittances (22%), non-farm business (18%), wage labor (14%), and fishing (11%)

The main sources of rural household income in Mon, in order of importance, are agriculture (24%), remittances (22%), non-farm business (18%), wage labor (14%), and fishing (11%)

Mon State is located on the western coast of south-east Myanmar, with rural households accounting for 73% of Mon State’s 2 million residents. In 2015, CESD, MSU and IFPRA undertook The Mon State Rural Household Survey, surveying 1680 rural households, and conducting extensive interviews with farmers, traders, processors, local leaders and government officials.  The survey data, and the interviews, has enabled an analysis of the rural economy in Mon State and the development of recommendations to support improved prosperity for Mon State.

The dominant feature of Mon State’s economy over the last decade has been the emigration of labour to Thailand, with 31% of individuals aged 15-45 years migrating. In addition, the agriculture sector has not performed to its full potential, with the two main crop sectors in the state, rice and rubber, both hindered by low yields, low prices, and inefficient processing.

Despite these and other challenges, the CESD, IFPRI and MSU policy brief argues that optimism is warranted, and achievement of improved rural incomes and welfare requires a comprehensive rural development strategy , which adheres to the following principles:

  1. Inclusiveness: clearly understanding the strengths and weaknesses, and the respective role of all stakeholders – government, private sector, and civil society;
  2. Decentralization: practicing decentralized decisions-making, bottom-up planning and co-learning; and
  3. Sustainability: Balancing short-term gains with long-term growth.

FSP_briefThe analysis, and policy recommendations, are summarised in the Food security policy project brief #2, accessible below.

The full report, Revitalized Agriculture for Balanced Growth and Resilient Livelihoods: Towards a Rural Development Strategy for Mon State, is available here>

Publication name: Food security policy project brief #2: Revitalized agriculture for balanced growth and resilient livelihoods: towards a rural development strategy for Mon State

Authors: CESD, Michigan State University, and International Food Policy Research Institute

Supported by: USAID, Michigan State University, International Food Policy Research Institute and Livelihoods and Food Security Trust Fund (LIFT)

Publication date: July 2016

Language: English

Download a copy of the briefing paper from the following link:

The briefing paper is also published on the IFPRI websitewww.ifpri.org, and MSU websitehttp://fsg.afre.msu.edu/

Download a copy of the first policy brief in this series from the following link:

 

IFPRA

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