Agricultural Mechanization and Structural Transformation in Myanmar’s Ayeyarwady Delta

Myat Thida Win and Aye Mya Thinzar, 2016, Agricultural  Mechanization and Structural Transformation in Myanmar’s Ayeyarwady Delta, Food Security Policy Project Research Highlights, Myanmar, 2, September 2016, East Lansing: Michigan State University

BACKGROUND

Myanmar has experienced rapid economic growth since the civilian government came into power in 2011. Structural transformation of the economy, similar to that already experienced by other countries in the region, appears to be underway, with labor moving from agriculture to more productive urban-based industrial and service sectors. As this trend continues, it is likely that the share of agriculture in GDP will shrink in relative terms, even while continuing to grow in absolute value. The immediate consequences of this shift are labor shortages and rising agricultural wages, causing farmers to seek to substitute machines for manual labor to keep agriculture productive and profitable. Given the likelihood that structural transformation is already underway, we set out to understand current levels and rates of mechanization, and its characteristics and drivers. In order to do so, a representative farm survey was conducted in May 2016 in four townships close to Yangon city where paddy and pulses are widely cultivated; two in Yangon region (Kayan, Twantay) and two in Ayeyarwady region (Maubin, Nyuangdon).

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