The CESD played a strategically important role in facilitating and supporting the organisation of a day-long workshop by the Myanmar Pulses, Beans and Sesame Seeds Merchants Association and Yangon Region Chambers of Commerce and Industry that was held at the Union of Myanmar Federation of Chambers of Commerce and Industry (UMFCCI) on 18th August in Yangon. The event was organised to bring different stakeholders together in order to bring out necessary reforms in the Myanmar beans and pulses sector which witnessed the attendance and active participation of key dignitaries, including the Vice President (2), U Henry Van Thio.
The CESD team were present in full strength to showcase its research activities that it had been undertaking over the past few years in the areas of beans and pulses – with a specific focus on mung beans (locally known in Myanmar as “matpe”), pigeon peas and other varieties of gram. Considering India is Myanmar’s key export market with regards to beans and pulses, the ongoing trade dynamics between the 2 countries can have an affect to all stakeholders engaged in the beans and pulses sector. This highlights the growing importance and role of government to ensure that farmers in Myanmar are not negatively affected by ongoing trade dynamics between India and Myanmar.
While the current market situation and other factors may have influenced the Indian Government to place some quantitative restrictions on import of pulses in the short-term – the long-term trend continues to remain strategically crucial for Myanmar to consider value chain development to address the concerns and requirements of long-term strategic market such as India. In this regard, the CESD postulated recommendations that include the establishment of storage facilities, value-chain financing mechanisms and insurance facilities, as well as accessing information and communication technology (ICT) to enable efficient market access that would highly benefit all farmers.
The event also witnessed several group discussions that enabled to gain a deeper perspective on the ground-level challenges faced by farmers and other stakeholders which will be highly beneficial for the CESD’s ongoing research and advocacy engagements with the Government of Myanmar and other stakeholders in India.
Vice President (2), U Henry Van Thio urged all related ministries both at the Union and Regional/State levels to cooperate in future activities of various pulses production and identification of select suitable crops to ensure livelihoods security of Myanmar farmers.
The CESD is currently partnering with the ICCO (Netherlands) under the Civic Engagement Alliance (CEA) to facilitate such discussions as avenues for lobbying and advocacy to address farmers and community needs in ensuring socio-economic development of Myanmar.