The power of pro-poor investments in agriculture in Myanmar
The Poverty-Environment Initiative
In Myanmar, 70% of the population relies on agriculture for subsistence and livelihoods, and 25% of the population lives below the poverty line. Over half of members from poor households are engaged in agricultural activities. But often, due to landlessness and small farms, these households receive low returns in comparison to the work they are engaged in. Smallholder farmers, including the poorest, face challenges around access to financial credit, technology and seeds. Gains from large-scale investments in agriculture do not reach them, and may even disenfranchise those who lack secure land tenure rights. Additionally, the pressures of climate change, natural disasters, and environmental degradation most heavily impact smallholder farmers, who lack the financial assets to be resilient and quickly adaptable after a crisis.
A pro-poor and sustainable plan for investing in agriculture should consider putting poor farmers at the heart of policy. Reducing poverty among the most vulnerable requires understanding what causes and sustains the poverty cycle, and introducing interventions which will make the largest positive impact. PEI’s programme in Myanmar is focused on supporting investment policy-making in agriculture to become more socially inclusive and meet the needs of the poorest while being environmentally sustainable.
For more information about PEI in Myanmar, please see: https://www.unpei.org/myanmar-2/
Directedd by Marta Baraibar.