Agriculture in Myanmar - Statistics & Facts

The agriculture sector is Myanmar’s main industry, employing over half of the labor force. This key industry has continued to add increasing contributions to the total gross domestic product (GDP) of Myanmar throughout recent years. Myanmar’s agricultural industry can be divided into three sectors: crop production, livestock and fishing. In terms of Myanmar’s crop production, it is most known for its production of rice, sugar cane and dry beans, among other vegetables. Interestingly, Myanmar was once the biggest exporter of rice in Asia. Taking this into consideration, it does not seem too surprising that rice is Myanmar’s most vital agricultural commodity. However, the production volume of rice has decreased steadily from 2010. Simultaneously, the production volume of sugar cane and dry beans has increased since 2010.

In terms of its forests and the resources provided, Myanmar is considered to be relatively rich despite the controversy surrounding the country due to its varying farming methods. Myanmar adopted a farming method known as slash-and-burning, which involves setting fire to areas of forests in order to create fields in which crops can be cultivated. Once the nutrients have been used from the specified field, the land is abandoned to allow it to grow freely. This can be viewed as controversial as it is seen as a process of deforestation which causes soil erosion. However, counter arguments are given that slash-and-burning is better than other farming methods as the land is not destroyed after use. Nevertheless, the government has increased attempts to try to regulate farming methods. Despite the arguments the area of reserved forests has steadily increased from 2007 to 2017.

Not only does Myanmar produce high volumes of crops, it also produces livestock – for food and labor purposes and is reliant on fishing. Consequently, both sectors have experienced increased GDP contributions throughout previous years. Fishing is an integral industry throughout the country, as fish remains a vital source of protein for the population, as well as being a part of Myanmar’s typical cuisine. Usual fishing methods involve trawling, in which a fishing net is pulled behind a boat in the water to catch large amounts of fish. As a step to increase the number of fish caught, the government tried to encourage deep-sea-fishing during the 1980s.

Interesting statistics

In the following 5 chapters, you will quickly find the 24 most important statistics relating to "Agriculture in Myanmar".

Agriculture in Myanmar

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Important key figures

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Leading agricultural products

Land area

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