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Naypyidaw negotiating rice export deal with Yunnan

Burmese farmers stockpile harvest in 2016. (Photo: DVB)

Burma is negotiating a deal with a regional government in China to export one million tonnes of rice in the 2018-2019 financial year.

Sein Win Hlaing, chairperson of the Myanmar Paddy Producer Association, said Burmese rice will be sold to the Yunnan provincial government.

Talks are underway to ink a Memorandum of Understanding between Burma’s Ministry of Commerce and Kunming, capital of Yunnan. Under the draft, Burma is set to import agricultural equipment, appliances, iron and steel.

Both governments have approved the exclusive sale of Union of Myanmar Federation of Chambers of Commerce and Industry (UMFCCI) and Myanmar Rice Federation (MRF) rice to companies chosen by the Yunnan government.

Ye Min Aung, general secretary of MRF, says the upcoming deal would be a boon for Burma’s rice industry.

“For more than forty years Myanmar could not export rice. But last year, we [MRF] helped to export our rice to Japan. We can now export rice to China via waterways legally. In the past, we exported rice to forty country … but last year, we sold to approximately sixty,” he told DVB on Wednesday.

In the coming fiscal year MRF hopes to facilitate the export of more than 3 million tonnes, with a view to reaching 4 million tonnes outgoing in the 2020-2021 period.