In 2020, the potential for agriculture in Myanmar is well established. By its size (25%-40% of GDP, 70% of population) but also by its numerous competitive advantages (e.g. proximity to major economic markets, abundance of land, water, etc.) the sector is full of economic & development promises for Myanmar.
Besides, 2020 saw remarkable achievements for agriculture in the country, including but not limited to the design of an ambitious ‘Myanmar Economic Recovery & Reform Plan’, the modernization of the Government’s interface with businesses (e.g. Automatic Registration Pilot for Inputs) or an important loan from the World Bank to modernize the sector). However, some issues remain in the implementation of effective measures boosting the development of the sector and setting better agricultural practices while new unprecedented cross-sectoral challenges have arisen.
As estimated by a recent ILO study, COVID-19 upended the livelihoods of nearly 3.5 million women and men of the agricultural sector through job depletion, reduced wage and staggered working hours. The COVID-19 pandemic has also placed unprecedented stresses on food supply chains and disrupted export of agricultural commodities and crops. Yet, agricultural supply chains have demonstrated remarkable resilience in delivering goods to respond to increased consumer demands all over the world. Adopting responsible agricultural practices could ensure that supply chain resilience is not at the expense of workers and the environment.
Hence, EuroCham Myanmar, the International Labour Organization (ILO) and the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) would like to build on the success of the Agrobusiness Forum of December 2019 to welcome all stakeholders engaged in promoting and enabling responsible practices in the agricultural sector in Myanmar.
In doing so, the aim is to prolong the multi-stakeholder dialogue between the Government of Myanmar, the development agencies, businesses, and other relevant key stakeholders not only to identify short-term practical solutions and best-practices to respond to the current health and economic context but also to tackle long-term issues preventing the full realization of Myanmar’s agricultural potential.
The objective of the Forum is to provide a platform for agrobusiness representatives, international development agencies, Myanmar policy makers, and other key relevant stakeholders to openly discuss challenges and opportunities in conducting business as well as implementing good agricultural practices and promoting responsible supply chains with a focus on:
- food security,
- food safety,
- cross-border trade,
- responsible agricultural supply chains and decent work
- access and tenure over natural resources /land repartition,
- continued supply of essential goods across the country.
Through this Forum, participants will also learn about the leading international standards and tools available for companies to implement good agricultural practices, including due diligence in supply chains, leading to demonstrated business responsibility as well as enhanced productivity, competitiveness, sustainability and inclusivity, and decent work.
Specifically, the Forum will seek to:
- Follow up with the first edition of the Agrobusiness Forum of December 2019 to take note of the positive evolutions of the regulatory and macroeconomic framework in Myanmar as it pertains to the agricultural sector and value chain, while underlying further leads for improvement.
- Establish a fruitful multi-stakeholder dialogue between the government of the Union of Myanmar, the development agencies and the private sector on the state of the agricultural sector in Myanmar and the supply chain resilience vis-à-vis COVID19 outbreak in the country.
- Develop concrete recommendations and follow through actions that will help businesses to participate to the mitigation of the economic impact of the health crisis and the sustainable development of agriculture in Myanmar. In particular, ensure that global agricultural value chains fully participate to Myanmar inclusive and sustainable recovery.
Thank you to our event sponsors!