Improving compliance with SPS measures to boost oilseed exports

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Mandalay pulses and oilseed trading
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Improving compliance with SPS measures to boost oilseed exports

The purpose of the project is to increase export revenues of farmers, processors and exporters along the oilseed value chain through improved food safety and compliance with SPS measures for market access.

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Agriculture represents 43% of Mynamar's GDP and constitutes a large part of employment (54%) and exports (17%). Oilseed cultivation accounts for the most significant portion of agricultural activity in Myanmar after cereals and pulses. In addition, Myanmar is one of the world's largest producers of oilseeds. The most important oilseed crops are sesame, groundnut, mustard, and sunflower seeds. The vast majority of oilseeds in Myanmar are grown in 3 regions (Mandalay, Sagaing, and Magwey).

Oilseeds exports rely on a few key markets including Japan, China, and Chinese Taipei. Over 91% of the total oilseeds exports are destined for these 3 markets. The major difficulty for Myanmar's oilseeds sector is the low quality produce and non-compliance with international standards. A study conducted for the National Export Strategy, concluded that Myanmar is facing significant challenges in dealing with its sanitary conditions. Non-compliance with food safety standards and inadequate quality control mechanism have been identified by the public and private sector as a major issue affecting human health, export capacity and competitiveness in the sector. The issue of non-compliance with food safety standards is due to SPS-related factors along the oilseed value chain.

Farmers lack quality seeds and have limited knowledge on the use of the seeds. Improper pesticide and fertilizer use has been observed in addition to the lack of implementation of GAP (good agricultural practices). There is also an absence of systematically implemented food safety and quality control systems by processors.

The project will address and find solutions to the above-mentioned problems and thereby increase the availability of safe and high quality oilseeds for the local and international market. This will help improve incomes for farmers and other stakeholders in the value chain. For this purpose, the project will familiarize the operators interconnected at different stages of the value chain with SPS measures and support them to implement good practices and systems to improve food safety from farm to fork. All related information and training materials on trade information and market requirements, including sensitization and capacity building, will be made available to the relevant institutions and participants via the Myanmar Trade Centre and an existing website.

Expected Results 

Build and sustain the competence of public and private stakeholders to comply with quality and food safety international requirements on oilseeds

The capacity of farmers, processors and regulatory control officers will be enhanced in order to ensure compliance with SPS measures and GAP for the oilseed sector. This will be achieved via inception workshops on quality and international food safety requirements provided to farmers in the three target regions. Feedback from trainings will be used to align and improve the following trainings for the selected farmers throughout the project implementation. In addition, selected experts and extension officers, that are expected to assist farmers and monitor their work, will receive trainings in the area of GAP, HACCP (Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point), pest and disease management, usage of quality production inputs, harvest and post-harvest practices. Sector association representatives will also be trained on the latter to enhance their knowledge about the sector needs.

Improve the international, regional and national market opportunities of oilseeds value chain

In order to improve the synergies between public and private sector in Myanmar, this project foresees networking sessions. These sessions will involve workshops and meetings with national, regional and international partners to discuss further export opportunities. During the implementation of the project, a few key import markets will be identified and direct contacts will be established for future cooperation. For better information dissemination a platform/website to be used will be made available and sustained after the finalization of the project.

Reference Number 
Project Value (US$) 
STDF Contribution (US$)  
Implementing Entities 
International Trade Centre (ITC)
Ministry of Health, Myanmar
Ministry of Commerce, Myanmar
Myanmar Scientific and Technological Research Department (MSTRD)
The Myanmar Pulses Beans and Sesame Seeds Merchant Association