Title of document: Dynamics of rice production development in Myanmar: Growth centers, technological changes and driving forces

Authors: Masahiko Matsuda

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Ministry/Government Agency/Organisation: Ritsumeikan University

Year of publication: 2009

Geographic focus: Myanmar

Main issues / topics addressed (for example: Introduction; methods; Results and discussion……)

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Rice has been the predominant crop in Myanmar (Burma) for a century and is grown all over the country under various farming systems. The production showed several distinct periods of increase after the country’s independence. The present study focused on the latest developing trend in rice production, with the arm of the characterizing it in the relation to the history of the country. The development processes in Myanmar for the last century were reviewed using statistical data, and three rapid growth phases for rice production were identified: the first in the mid-1970s to early 1980s, the second in the early 1990s, and the third from the late 1990s. Their technological feature and major growth areas are discussed with the framework of agro-ecological zoning, which devices the country for four zones: the delta, costal, central dry and mountainous zones. The rapid growth in the first and second phases was caused by capital and land use intensification, respectively in the delta and central dry zones, which was the political center of the country. In contrast, the third phase has occurred in the mountainous zone, which has been political periphery. Is was also found that, in each of these phases, the growth was driven mainly by the government policy. The latest rice development may imply that the influence of the central government has recently been strengthened and expanded in the mountainous region.