Improving compliance with SPS measures to boost oilseed exports

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Improving compliance with SPS measures to boost oilseed exports

The purpose of the project was 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 Myanmar'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. 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 few key markets including Japan, China, and Chinese Taipei where over 91% of the total oilseeds’ exports are shipped. 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 sanitary challenges. 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. 
Expected Results 

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

The capacity of farmers, collectors, processors, exporters, sector association, and private and public sector stakeholders to comply with SPS measures and Good Agricultural Practices (GAP) in the oilseed sector has been enhanced as a result of a series of capacity building programmes. More than 300 farmers and 20 selected agricultural extension officers in the three target regions in the Dry Zone have benefitted from practical training programme building capacity in GAP, SPS, Maximum Residue Limits (MRLs),  pest and disease management, usage of quality production inputs, harvest and post-harvest practices. The programme has built synergies with the national GAP protocol. The trained extension officers are assisting farmers to improve further their agricultural practices.

Along the oilseed value chain, 5 beneficiary Collectors, 11 Processors and Exporters and 10 local Trainers Cum Counsellors (TcCs) selected to assist each company, have been made aware of SPS, food safety and hygiene related issues in oilseeds products and have been trained to implement traceability, Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP), Good Hygiene Practices (GHP) and food safety systems based on Codex Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point (HACCP) in their facilities. Two companies successfully obtained HACCP certification and a few other companies are aiming to achieve the same within the project implementation.

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

The project also aims to increase linkages along the oilseeds sector value chain and to export markets. All value chain’s actors, sector association and private and public stakeholders are encouraged to participate in project related events and strengthen their collaboration at national level. Between beneficiary farmers and sector associations, two pilot supply chain agreements on sesame seeds export entered into force in 2017. In addition, quality inputs contracts were facilitated between these actors in May 2018. At the beginning of the project, few key import markets were identified and potential buyers were contacted. The project foresees the need to further expand the network of buyers through business matching events. These events involve workshops and meetings with national, regional and international partners to discuss further export opportunities. To enhance the visibility of Myanmar oilseeds products in the international markets, some beneficiary companies were selected and coached to attend Business to Business (B2B) meetings during the World Export Development Forum (WEDF) in Hungary in October 2017. This was part of a broader trip to explore export opportunities and learn from oilseed production practices and technologies in Europe.
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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