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Rice industry urges legislation to regulate supply chain

The country’s leading business group for rice is pushing the parliament to legislate a new law to regulate the sector.

The Myanmar Rice Federation (MRF) is advocating the legislation of a draft rice law, U Ye Min Aung, secretary of MRF, said.

In March, the MRF organised a stakeholder forum for the rice sector in Nay Pyi Taw, which was attended by State Counsellor Daw Aung San Suu Kyi. The event tackled two areas – the base price for paddy during the harvest period as well as to draft a rice bill.

The Federation has drafted the rice bill, which is intended to support the development of the rice sector, and has consulted farmers and agriculture development committees from both houses of parliament this month. They have planned to talk to the Union Attorney General Office’s about the proposed legislation.

The draft rice law is set to support the development of the supply chain of rice and paddy, as well as to strengthen the production and trade, and to encourage public-private partnerships, allowing better collaboration between the government and the private sector.

Currently, Myanmar has legislated the 2013 Law of Protection of the Farmer Rights and Enhancement of their Benefits and 2012 Farm Act.

U Ye Min Aung argued that the supply chain of the industry is very wide, with many areas not covered by current legal framework. Both laws currently in place focus on the farmers and the farmland, whereas the supply chain is not tackled.

Myanmar can export 3.5 million tonnes of rice annually and annual domestic consumption has reached 8.5 million tonnes. The total production value is US$5 billion and export revenue has grown to $1 billion. There are current five million rice farmers across the country and employment opportunities can potentially create a total of 25 million jobs, according to information provided by the MRF.

U Aung Kyi Nyunt, chair of Amyotha Hluttaw’s Agriculture, Livestock and Fishery Development Committee, said the committee suggested to the MRF that the bill must focus more on the implementation aspects of the sector.

Source : Myanmar Times

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