Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Burma looks to export rice to Japan

Tuesday, 25 December 2012 11:24 Khin Myo Thwe

Burma is readying to offer Japan an invitation to tender for two of its rice exports: Sin Thwe Latt rice and Hmawbi rice.

Burmese farmers in Irrawaddy Division collect paddy seedlings from flooded fields to replant. Photo: AFP

The Myanmar Rice Federation (MRF) said that it held discussions on December 13 with Japan’s Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries, as well as with representatives of Myanmar Agribusiness Public Corp. (MAPCO) and the Myanmar Farmers Association.

MRF Central Executive Committee member Dr. Soe Tun said, “Japan wants to buy white rice from Myanmar under a tender system. When we showed them the rice fields, they decided to buy two types of rice: Sin Thwe Latt and Hmawbi. They said that they will put it up for global tender.”

He said that if the Japanese bid is accepted, several tons of rice will start getting shipped to Japan.

“At this moment, we must plan to open an office in Japan because there must be a company to represent our country,” he said.

Previously, Japan used to buy rice through a tender system from both Thailand and the USA.

“According to delegates from Japan, Myanmar rice will substitute for Thai rice due to the rise in prices from Thailand,” said the MRF representative. “The rice bought from Myanmar will be used in high-standard food products.”

The MRF official added that it was imperative that Burma’s exported rice not be saturated with chemicals and fertilizers. “It needs to be fungus-free, and in good quality,” he said.

Therefore, respective farmers will have to keep records of what kind of fertilizers and in what amounts they use, he said.

Until December 20 of the fiscal year 2012-13, no less than 843,500 tons of rice had been exported from Burma to foreign countries.
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