Sustainable Rubber Value Chain Development: Analyzing Myanmar’s Opportunities and Challenges for Green Transformation in South-South Cooperation
Zaw Oo, Centre for Economic and Social Development (CESD)
Myanmar’s rubber sector is at a critical juncture. Rubber production in the country is projected to increase in the coming years while international market demands suggest a continuing downward price trend for natural rubber. Among a few agriculture value chains that exist in southeast Myanmar, natural rubber provides a unique opportunity to address the political economy of inclusive growth. This study uses value chain analysis to understand the challenges and opportunities facing primary producers in Myanmar or rubber small-holders in this case, who are trying to engage with global markets in a manner which would provide for sustainable income growth.
The study also compares and contrasts Myanmar’s situations with experiences from neighboring rubber economies and it concludes that horizontal linkages in the forms of farmer organizations or producer cooperatives are important to overcome the scale threshold if farmers wish to upgrade their products from low quality to high quality grades, improve processes from manual to machine processing and innovate functions by focusing more agro-forestry and farm inter-cropping to support the incomes of small-holders.