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Yara Myanmar imports new fertiliser for better crop quality

Yara Myanmar, an agriculture solutions provider, will import NPK fertiliser from Norway to help local farmers improve their productivity and raise the quality of their crops. Over the longer term, this will increase demand for Myanmar produce globally and help farmers become more sustainable and less reliant on volatile swings in global food prices.

“We will not have any physical assets here because we produce fertiliser in Norway. In the meantime, we will focus on providing local development programs and training local agronomists,” Havar Valved, Yara Myanmar country manager said.

He added that the price of the new fertiliser will be comparable to market prices in Myanmar.

Myanmar is an important market for Yara Myanmar as productivity levels are low and farmers have not been utilising fertiliser the right way. Farmer productivity levels across many crops are currently half of Thailand’s and consumption of fertiliser is only a quarter that of Thailand.

“This is why we are confident of transferring our knowledge to farmers to make sure they get the right fertilisers for their crop. We believe that by working closely with local farmers, we will be able to create value along the agriculture supply chain,” he said.

Yara Myanmar first entered the country in September 2017 after eyeing the market for five years. The company has since invested $500,000 in training programs for local farmers to improve their farming skills and productivity.

It has since also introduced five different fertilisers to improve crop quality. In June 2017, the government allowed foreign fertiliser companies to trade freely in the country. The companies will be issued with operational, import, storage, distribution and sales licenses as well as a product registration certificate after the fertilisers have been tested and approved by the Ministry of Agriculture.

With the new fertiliser, “we are aiming to cover the whole country in the long term but at the moment we are starting out in upper Myanmar, in Mandalay, Sagaing, Magway and Shan State. We will start by focusing on fruit and vegetable crops,” Mr Valved said.

As demand improves, Yara Myanmar may consider setting up a fertiliser factory in the country over the longer term. Last week, Yara set up one such factory in India after working with Indian farmers for ten years.

“We are investing in knowledge and helping to modernise the farming techniques in Myanmar, We want to be a reliable partner of the farming community and agricultural sector,” said Mr Valved.

“We will create partnerships along the value chain with our products, our knowledge and solutions and in return farmers can reduce their risks and improve the yield and quality of their crops,” he added.

Agriculture accounts for one third of Myanmar’s GDP, creating jobs for half the population and representing one fifth of the country’s exports.

“So, it follows automatically that progress within agriculture will create growth for all of Myanmar. But increased productivity among farmers will not come automatically. It will require new ways of working together. It will require improved farming techniques. It will require increasing both the productivity and quality out in the fields,” said Svein Tore Holsether, President and CEO of Yara.

Source: Myanmar Times

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