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Agribusiness Models for Inclusive Growth in Myanmar: Diagnosis and Ways Forward

Myanmar is at a crossroad. Given high levels of landlessness and land inequality and low productivity of most small and medium-scale farmers (SMFs), the country is searching for effective, inclusive agribusiness development strategy. Meanwhile a growing share of land estimated at over nearly 2 M ha has been allocated to large land concessions with little evidence of growth impacts and significant evidence of social and environmental risks. This paper evaluates seven value chains in Myanmar, and contrasts them with similar efforts in neighboring countries, in order to evaluate viable alternative business models that can tap agribusiness for wider economic and social benefits. The analysis concludes that large land concessions have failed in the case of oil palm and cassava because investors appear to have none of any prior experience, weak in physical infrastructure, etc. However, in the case of rubber, widespread smallholder production can potentially benefit from quality improvements linked to contracts with ABC rubber mills, thus stimulating smallholder growth. All cases point to the central importance of improved land governance to protect the rights of traditional users and ensure compliance by large concessionaires with stated terms of their investment agreements.

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Additional Info

Field Value
Document type Reports, journal articles, and research papers (including theses and dissertations)
Language of document
  • English
  • Agriculture and fishing
  • Land
  • Small and medium scale farming
Geographic area (spatial range)
  • Myanmar
Copyright Yes
Access and use constraints

Copyright 2014 by author(s). All rights reserved. Readers may make verbatim copies of this document for non-commercial purposes by any means, provided that this copyright notice appears on all such copies.

Version / Edition 1.1
License Creative Commons Attribution

Myanmar Development Resource Institute-Center for Economic and Social Development (MDRI-CESD), Email:

Co-author (individual) Derek Byerlee, Dolly Kyaw, San Thein, Seng L Kham,
Co-author (coorporate) MDRI-CESD, MDRI-CESD, MDRI-CESD, Myanmar Development Resource Institue - Centre for Economic and Social Development
Publication place Myanmar
Publisher MDRI-CESD
Publication date 2014
Pagination 44
Keywords Customary Tenure,Oil Palm,Smallholder,SME,Land Concessions,Thailand,Agribusiness,Land Governance,Private Sector
Date uploaded June 13, 2018, 14:35 (UTC)
Date modified December 5, 2019, 09:04 (UTC)