Myanmar Rice Processing Facility

Generating a sustainable increase in agricultural income

Context

Agriculture remains a driving force of Myanmar’s economy, and the sector employs just over 70% of the country’s labour force. However, Myanmar’s agricultural productivity is low, and farm practices are still largely labour intensive.

According to the World Bank, Myanmar has the lowest profits from rice production compared to those achieved by farmers in Asia. In addition, Myanmar’s rice sector is in dire need of diversification and value-add to its output. It predominantly exports lower quality broken rice that sells at a discount to other Asian producers, and the majority of these rice exports are absorbed by the highly price-sensitive West African market. At the same time, there has been tremendous growth in the demand for rice vermicelli in the Asia Pacific region and in Europe.

In Asia, this trend is largely due to factors associated with growth of developing countries in the region, itself supported by increasing urbanisation, development of the retail sector and distribution infrastructure leading to increasing demand for packaged goods at affordable prices. As such the project presents an attractive opportunity for investment with great impact for the local communities.

The Project

Infra Capital Myanmar, on behalf of InfraCo Asia, is developing this project which is designed to process broken rice grains into vermicelli and noodles for Myanmar and international export markets. Currently the rice is exported and the processed product is imported back into the country at a premium. This project will bring best in class technology and create high quality rice noodles in Myanmar, lifting overall food production standards and setting an example for other food processers to follow while bringing more added-value products into Myanmar.

This project will transfer skills and knowledge to local workforce. Through value addition and downstream processing of commodities normally consumed or exported in a basic state, it will improve farmer’s incomes and livelihood. Approximately 1,200 farmers are expected to supply rice to the facility through this project. The project will also lead to 100 short-term and 54 long-term jobs.