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Citation Information

Type Conference Paper - International Conference of Agricultural Economists, August 9-14, 2015, Milan, Italy
Title Overcoming Isolation: An Exploration of the Rapid Growth in Pulse Exports from Myanmar
Publication (Day/Month/Year) 2015
URL http://ageconsearch.umn.edu/bitstream/211365/2/Boughton-Overcoming Isolation-985.pdf
Pulse exports from Myanmar have grown into a $1 billion export industry in the 25
years since liberalization. As the first major agricultural sector to be liberalized in
1988, pulses offered uniquely attractive returns to both smallholder farmers and
traders in the early years following government decontrol. By 1991, pulses had
surpassed rice to become Myanmar’s most valuable agricultural export. This paper
examines how private sector traders in Myanmar managed this exceptional feat,
despite financial sanctions, acute limitations on all forms of communication and
information flows and with the weakest rural infrastructure in South East Asia --- all
hangovers from Myanmar’s three decades of international isolation and
underinvestment in agriculture. Yet critical barriers remain that could eventually
undermine Myanmar’s global competitiveness. Field interviews with key value chain
actors in Myanmar between February and August 2014 form the basis for this market

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