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Myanmar in Economic Transition: Constraints and Related Issues Affecting the Agriculture Sector

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  • Tin Soe

    () (Yangon University of Distance Education)

Abstract

The paper proceeds from the widely held assessment that Myanmar's economy is handicapped by structural imbalance, instability, inefficient and imperfect markets, and distorted prices. The paper delineates how this general state of affairs is clearly evident in the agricultural sector. It then identifies the constraints retarding the development of agricultural growth. Among the factors blamed for blunting the sector's competitiveness are policies on: land, production, procurement and price, foreign exchange, and subsidy. The excessive controls inherent in these policies, coupled with their erratic implementation, are seen to create a general atmosphere of uncertainty and unpredictability in the economy and an erosion of the government's credibility. Based on the negative impact of the existing policies and on the need to strengthen the competitiveness of the agricultural sector and thus help it contribute to the sustainable development of the country's economy, the paper recommends alternative policy options. Foremost among these alternatives suggested are the contracting out of land use rights; the shift of focus towards maximizing farmers' incomes and profits, rather than merely output; the liberalization of trade; unification of the exchange rates; reduction of subsidy to, or privatization of state-operated enterprises (SOEs), and allowing the entry of private enterprises to compete freely with SOEs.

Suggested Citation

  • Tin Soe, 2004. "Myanmar in Economic Transition: Constraints and Related Issues Affecting the Agriculture Sector," Asian Journal of Agriculture and Development, Southeast Asian Regional Center for Graduate Study and Research in Agriculture (SEARCA), vol. 1(2), pages 57-68, December.
  • Handle: RePEc:sag:seajad:v:1:y:2004:i:2:p:57-68
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Huang, Jikun & Chen, Chunlai, 1999. "Effects of Trade Liberalization on Agriculture in China: Commodity Aspects," Working Papers 32665, United Nations Centre for Alleviation of Poverty Through Secondary Crops' Development in Asia and the Pacific (CAPSA).
    2. Huang, Jikun & Chen, Chunlai, 1999. "Effects of Trade Liberalization on Agriculture in China: Institutional and Structural Aspects," Working Papers 32722, United Nations Centre for Alleviation of Poverty Through Secondary Crops' Development in Asia and the Pacific (CAPSA).
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    Cited by:

    1. Koji Kubo, 2013. "Rice Yield Gap between Myanmar and Vietnam: A Matter of Price Policy or Public Investment in Technology?," Asian Journal of Agriculture and Development, Southeast Asian Regional Center for Graduate Study and Research in Agriculture (SEARCA), vol. 10(1), pages 1-24, June.
    2. Rammohan, Anu & Pritchard, Bill, 2014. "The Role of Landholding as a Determinant of Food and Nutrition Insecurity in Rural Myanmar," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 64(C), pages 597-608.

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    Keywords

    Myanmar;

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