Data analysis from CESD’s Mon State Rural Household Survey (2015) is presented in a research report (July 2016) that identifies options for more balanced growth in Mon State, “leading to a vibrant economy in which returning migrants can invest and find employment.” The research report, prepared by CESD, in partnership with the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) and Michigan State University (MSU), provides a set of initial recommendations for the establishment of a rural development strategy for Mon State. The recommendations are in two broad areas: (1) stimulating growth in agriculture and sustainable management of natural resources, and (2) providing public infrastructure and services that strengthen the enabling environment.

MonState25The research report, Revitalized agriculture for balanced growth and resilient livelihoods: Toward a rural development strategy for Mon State, looks at the challenges and opportunities for the Mon State rural economy, including issues such as migration, the labour market, remittances, donor investment, infrastructure, education, irrigation, access to finance and farm yields.

The recommendations arising from the fieldwork findings, case studies, and data analysis of the Mon State Rural Household Survey, are as follows:

Area 1: Stimulating growth in agriculture and sustainable management of natural resources

  1. Restore profitability in the rubber sector.
  2. Promote the growth of high-value-added fruit and vegetable crops.
  3. Revitalize or reorganize rice-growing areas.
  4. Develop markets for high-quality inputs and facilitate input financing.
  5. Build capacity for extension, training, and dissemination.
  6. Ensure sustainability of marine capture activities and the development of aquaculture.

Area 2: Providing public infrastructure and services that strengthen the enabling environment

  1. Strengthen the local government.
  2. Build transportation and communications infrastructure for rural growth.
  3. Develop a dynamic financial sector to promote productive investment.
  4. Promote the creation of private enterprise and harness growth in high-potential nonfarm sectors.
  5. Provide social services to rural populations.
  6. Expand social safety nets.


According to the Mon State Rural Household Survey carried out in 2015, the main sources of rural household income are agricultural production (24 percent) followed by remittances (22 percent), nonfarm business (18 percent), wage labor (14 percent), and fishing (11 percent). The most dominant factor driving Mon State’s economy in the last decade has been outmigration of labor to Thailand and other countries. Agriculture, however, has not performed to its full potential. The two main crop sectors in the state, rice and rubber, have both been hindered by low yields, low prices, and inefficient processing, leading to declining returns. Other promising and potentially profitable activities, such as cultivation of fruits and vegetables or aquaculture, are currently implemented on a relatively small scale. With 31 percent of individuals aged 15 to 45 migrating (84 percent of them to Thailand), rising wages are further eroding farm competitiveness and profitability. Low agricultural profitability is thus both a cause and a consequence of high levels of migration.


MonState1Publication name: Research report: Revitalized agriculture for balanced growth and resilient livelihoods: Toward a rural development strategy for Mon State

Centre for Economic and Social Development: Aung Hein, Kyan Htoo, L. Seng Kham, Myat Thida Win, Aye Mya Thinzar, Zaw Min Naing, Mi Win Thida, Ni Lei, Lu Min, Naw Eh Mwee, and Zaw Oo
International Food Policy Research Institute: Mateusz Filipski, Ulrike Nischan, Joanna Van Asselt, Brian Holtemeyer, Emily Schmidt, Mekamu Kedir, Adam Kennedy, Xiaobo Zhang, and Paul Dorosh
Michigan State University: Ellen Payongayong, Ben Belton, and Duncan Boughton

Supported by: USAID, Michigan State University, and International Food Policy Research Institute

Publication date: July 2016

Language: English

Download the full report from the following link:

Download an accompanying policy brief from the following link:

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