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The Quiet Revolution in Myanmar’s Aquaculture Value Chain

The Quiet Revolution in Myanmar’s Aquaculture Value Chain by Ben Belton, Michigan State University. Presented at the ReSAKSS-Asia - MIID conference "Evolving Agrifood Systems in Asia: Achieving food and nutrition security by 2030" on Oct 30-31, 2019 in Yangon, Myanmar.

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The Quiet Revolution in Myanmar’s Aquaculture Value Chain

  1. 1. The “Quiet Revolution” in Myanmar’s Aquaculture Value Chain Ben Belton Michigan State University Food Security Policy Project ReSAKSS-Asia Conference Yangon, Myanmar, October 31 2019
  2. 2. The “Quiet Revolution” •Huge (but often overlooked) changes in developing country food systems •Occurring across developing countries for multiple commodities (e.g. Reardon et al, 2012; Reardon et al, 2018) • Farm commercialization, intensification, specialization • Growth of supporting off-farm enterprises •Driven by changes in demand: • Urbanization → Higher incomes → Diet diversification
  3. 3. Domestic markets dominate demand Aquaculture exports and domestic consumption from the top 10 aquaculture producing developing countries (87% of global farmed fish production) (Belton et al, 2018a)0% 20% 40% 60% 80% 100% Total Thailand Vietnam Indonesia China India Myanmar Bangladesh Philippines Brazil Egypt Export Domestic consumption 11 89
  4. 4. Changes in Supply 1992 2012 Fish farm expansion (Belton et al, 2017)
  5. 5. Commercialization, intensification, specialization • Shift from subsistence to commercial production • Formulated feeds • New species • Larger fingerlings • Pumps, aeration, chemicals • Higher yields, specialization • Most aquaculture at ‘intermediate’ stage of development
  6. 6. Nurseries + 200% Seed traders + 60% Enterprise 2006 2016 % change Hatchery 30 60 100 Nursery 501 1538 207 Seed trader 166 265 60 Pelleted feed trader 5 11 112 Rice bran/oil cake trader 112 175 56 Small boats for hire 115 216 88 Fish trader 46 68 47 Ice factory 9 16 82 Mechanical excavator hire 2 24 961 Trucks for hire 1 20 1900 Inventory of enterprises in the aquaculture value chain, in villages with high concentrations of fish farms, Myanmar, 2006-2016 (Belton et al, 2018b) Growth of Off-Farm Value Chain Segments • Farm growth facilitated by growth and innovation in ‘upstream’ and ‘downstream’ VC segments • Development in ‘clusters’ that facilitate specialization, reduce costs, increase efficiency
  7. 7. Clustered fish farm development in Myanmar • Rural-urban linkages • Agro-ecology • Water control infrastructure • Land use policy
  8. 8. • Fish farms produce bigger economic spillovers than crop farms • Small commercial fish farms produce bigger indirect spillovers than large fish farms Estimated local economy-wide direct and indirect income gains from additional acre of land utilized by large fish farm, small fish farm and crop farm, Myanmar (Filipski & Belton, 2018) Development impacts through employment & income spillovers
  9. 9. Farmed fish prices falling relative to wild fish 4000 5000 6000 7000 8000 9000 10000 11000 12000 Apr-08 Jul-08 Oct-08 Jan-09 Apr-09 Jul-09 Oct-09 Jan-10 Apr-10 Jul-10 Oct-10 Jan-11 Apr-11 Jul-11 Oct-11 Jan-12 Apr-12 Jul-12 Oct-12 Jan-13 Apr-13 Jul-13 Oct-13 Jan-14 Apr-14 Jul-14 Oct-14 Jan-15 Apr-15 Jul-15 Oct-15 Jan-16 Apr-16 Jul-16 Oct-16 Jan-17 Apr-17 Jul-17 Oct-17 Jan-18 (MMK/vissatconstant2018prices) Snakehead (Capture) Hilsa (Capture) Rohu (Farmed) Long run trend in real prices of key fish species from capture fisheries and aquaculture in Myanmar (2008-2018) +5% per year +3.7% per year -1.1% per year
  10. 10. • Driven mainly by changes in domestic demand • Growth, intensification, specialization, and innovation by farms and enterprises throughout value chain • Clustered pattern of development • Many livelihood opportunities created, both on and off-farm • Large income spillovers, especially from smaller commercial farms • Increasing availability and accessibility of farmed fish • Liberalization of land use policy and better access to credit could spur further growth & specialization The Quiet Revolution in Myanmar’s Aquaculture Value Chain

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