US$400 million Chinese investment proposed for 33 agricultural extension centers

A woman growing pea plants on the field. The agribusiness service centers will be constructed in states and regions. Photo: Aye Min Soe
Myanmar’s Agribusiness Public Corporation (MAPCO), the Myanmar Rice Federation (MRF) and the China International Trust Investment Corporation (CITIC) Group submitted a US$400 million proposal to Myanmar Investment Commission (MIC) to construct the 33 agribusiness service centers in states and regions.
“We will construct the 33 agribusiness service centers as soon as possible,” said Dr. Soe Tun, the Myanmar Rice Federation MRF vice chairman. “Currently, we are waiting for the permission from MIC. The estimated cost of the whole project is US$400 million. Now, we are seeking contracts for international loans.”
The agribusiness service centers will provide services including the sale of pedigree seeds, fertilizer, and graineries services. The centers will also provide technical assistance and contract farming services.
The centers will be constructed in Yangon, Ayeyawady, Bago and Mandalay regions and Mon, Kayin and Shan states and in Nay Pyi Taw. Myanmar Agribusiness Public Corporation MAPCO, MRF and the CITIC Group signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) in Nay Pyi Taw on 21 July.
“We will conduct the feasibility study with the cooperation of CITIC Group. Then, we will write a proposal and the Chinese company will submit our proposal to the Chinese government,” said Dr. Soe Tun.
“As a local farmer, I would be very happy to see agribusiness service centers in our region,” said U Soe Tint, a local cultivator from Shwebo Township.
“If we have a drying machine, we can save the time and labour. Our main problem is insufficiency of the agricultural loans. The government provided loans amounting to Ks150,000 per acre. But in actual practice, farming costs us Ks400,000 per acre. Therefore, we have to think of other ways to borrow money.
We have to buy the fertilizers under credit system. The traders also buy rice at low price. So it is better to get the loans with a longer repayment period like 3 years for example.”

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