Agriculture as definite economic driver in Shan State

Generally the roads in Myanmar’s Shan State are full of trucks loaded with vegetables; the state produces 60 percent of all vegetables consumed within the country. Now, the state government says that it is making moves to place more emphasis on developing agriculture over tourism as Shan has the potential to become an agricultural powerhouse in Myanmar and the region.

“Agriculture is one of the main resources of the state, which has plenty of land and climate that is suitable for various crops. Produce from Shan is sought after in both domestic and overseas markets. All this means there is a lot of potential for investors to explore in Shan’s agriculture sector,” Shan State Minister for Planning and Finance U Soe Nyunt Lwin.

During an investment forum held in Shan State in the last week of November, state officials State focused on inviting local and foreign investors for a single sector – agriculture. This differed from similar events organised by other regions and states that are generally seeking investment in multiple sectors.

Many of the people in Shan grow rice, maize, soybean, potato, sugarcane, tea, coffee, mangoes and vegetables. Rice is the main crop, while maize, soybean, and sugarcane take up much of the land. Portions of the harvests from each crop is also exported to China.

According to the state Department of Agriculture’s statistics, there are 2.3 million hectares (5.7million acres) of land suitable for cultivation in the state and only about 800,000 hectares are currently being used. The available land offers good opportunities for foreign and local investors, U Lin Htut said.


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