Myanmar Organic Agriculture

Due to its close-door policies, Myanmar organic agriculture is quite late to develop. A large part of the agriculture within the country are traditional farming with little or no-usages of agrochemicals, thus farmers’ practices may be already quite close to organic farming.

As early as mid 1990s, several foreign investors had tried to initiate organic agriculture projects in Myanmar, hoping to utilize the clean environment and good soil fertility in various part of the country to produce organic foods. But most of these foreign-private projects did not last long. However, they helped to raise awareness within the country, especially among the private sector. Also, many representatives from both the public and private sectors have been exposed to the concept of organic farming and the market opportunities when travelling overseas, e.g. attending regional and international workshops and conferences. These help to incubate the local organic agriculture movements in Myanmar.

The Myanmar private sector started to take initiative since late 2000 to sell self-claim organic products in local supermarket, e.g. the Nara tea, a local brand. In 2009, the Myanmar Fruits and Vegetable Producers Association (MFVPA) set up the Myanmar Organic Agriculture Group (MOAG) as private sector association to support organic agriculture development in the country. MOAG has around 100 members (as of December 2011), most of whom are individuals and only 4 are private companies. Besides providing being forum for experience-sharing, MOAG also provides technical advices to interested producers and organic certification services. A private sector national organic standards were developed and certification services were initiated in late 2010.

Currently [Dec 2011], there are 6 organic farms in Myanmar, covering 59.89 hectare of crop farmlands, certified by MOAG and ACT (Thailand). Two fertilizer companies are approved by MOAG for organic inputs. The organic products certified by MOAG are currently sold in domestic markets, mostly as conventional products as local organic markets are yet to be established.

The Myanmar government is currently has no policies and regulations on organic agriculture.