IFAD to invest $13 million in Myanmar to reduce poverty and improve food security and nutrition in rural areas

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Le FIDA va investir 13 millions de dollars au Myanmar pour réduire la pauvreté et améliorer la sécurité alimentaire et la nutrition dans les zones rurales

Labourers transplant rice in the demonstration plot belonging to U Sein Han, a farmer near Mezali Kone village in Myanmar ©IFAD / Irshad Khan

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Rome, 18 December 2018 - The International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) has signed a financing agreement with the Government of Myanmar to reduce poverty, and improve food security and nutrition for over 390,000 rural people in the northern Magway region and southern Chin state.

The agreement was signed by Gilbert F. Houngbo, President of IFAD, and, Myint Naung, Myanmar Ambassador and Permanent Representative to the UN in Rome. The total cost of the Western States Agribusiness Project (WSAP) is US$20.3 million of which IFAD is providing a $9 million loan and a $4 million grant.

While Myanmar produces enough rice to meet its consumption needs as a whole, the rural poor are often food insecure and do not have access to adequate food to meet their caloric and nutritional needs, or enough income to buy essential items.

The project aims to increase household incomes, food security and nutrition quality by helping rural communities to develop agricultural commodities and agribusinesses that can generate a profit and respond to market demand. Training will be made available so that farmers can improve their skills and knowledge in order to modernize production techniques.

The project will also invest in infrastructure, including improved irrigation to ensure a reliable supply of water to farms and household gardens, and rural access roads to facilitate farm to market mobility.

“The potential for smallholder agriculture in Chin and Magway is immense. We need to unlock this potential by providing training, financial services and access to markets to facilitate the transition from subsistence to commercial agriculture. Rural transformation in these areas is possible with the right support,” said Alessandro Marini, IFAD Country Programme Manager for Myanmar.

Due to its past isolation, Myanmar's agriculture sector has not benefited fully from global advances in agricultural technology. IFAD's strategy in the country is to focus on modernizing agriculture, upgrading value chains, fostering links between smallholder farmers and agribusinesses, diversifying livelihoods, promoting rural enterprises and generating employment off the farm. 

The project area comprises the southern Chin state and northern Magway region. The project aims to reach about 76,800 rural households, of which 10,200 are in Chin and 66,600 are in Magway, and create about 4,500 jobs both on and off farm.

Since 2014, IFAD has financed three projects in Myanmar, for a total investment of $113.2 million, of which IFAD has provided $90.7 million. These projects have directly impacted 176,810 rural households.

Read more on IFAD’s work in Myanmar.

Press release No.: IFAD/86/2018

IFAD has invested in rural people for 40 years, empowering them to reduce poverty, increase food security, improve nutrition and strengthen resilience. Since 1978, we have provided about US$20.4 billion in grants and low-interest loans to projects that have reached some 480 million people. IFAD is an international financial institution and a specialized United Nations agency based in Rome – the UN’s food and agriculture hub.