Prospects for the Myanmar Rubber Sector: An Analysis of the Viability of Smallholder Production…

Joanna van Asselt, Kyan Htoo, and Paul Dorosh. 2016. Prospects for the Myanmar Rubber Sector: An Analysis of the Viability of Smallholder Production in Mon State. Feed the Future Innovation Lab for Food Security Policy Research Paper 35. East Lansing: Michigan State University

ABSTRACT
In this paper we examine the profitability of smallholder rubber production in Mon State utilizing data from the Mon State Rural Household Survey (MSRHS) conducted from May to June 2015. This survey included 1,627 households and 7,262 members in 10 townships in Mon State (Rural Livlihoods in Mon State: Evidence from a Representative Household Survey, 2016). This paper also draws on qualitative data collected from rubber producer focus groups in Mon, as well as other interviews with rubber producers, traders, and processors. We use this primary data on smallholder production in Mon State to estimate stallholder production costs and the profitability of smallholder rubber production across alternative yield and price scenarios. The plan for the paper is as follows. Section 2 provides an overview of Myanmar’s rubber sector, including a brief history of rubber production, an overview of production levels, yields, and planted area, an introduction to Myanmar rubber producers, and a summary of rubber trade. Section 3 describes rubber production, processing, and marketing in Mon State as well as highlights potential interventions or policies for improved rubber sector governance. Lastly, in section 4 the profitability of current and future rubber investments is analyzed under a range of plausible price and wage scenarios, in order to identify priorities for the sector.

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