Skip to main content

Despite tensions, rice emerges as favourite diplomatic tool for Myanmar, Bangladesh

By Tilottama Rani Charulata*

There is nothing new about the impact food has on politics. In the old days, many kings practiced food diplomacy in entertaining their guests; from serving the best unique dishes that could have been created only by the royal house’s finest chefs. The tradition continues in the modern political world. Many leaders of political parties and presidents use food diplomacy to strengthen relationships between allies or diffuse tension with the opposition.
Rice seems to have emerged as a favourite diplomatic tool for Myanmar and Bangladesh to build strong ties with their neighbors. The commodity is the staple diet for most people in countries like Indonesia, Thailand and also neighbouring country China, India.
The agricultural sector is one of the most important and most strategic sectors for the survival of a country, without food the country could be in a position of chaos and bankruptcy.
There are so many ways that the Bangladesh government does to maintain the availability of rice, one of the most ways is by importing rice, this import policy reaps a lot of cons because Bangladesh is known as an agricultural country or a country with most of the worker in the agricultural sector, but unfortunately, Bangladesh continues to import rice.
Due to the current state of the world, which is experiencing a global food disaster due to the conflict between Ukraine and Russia, many nations have closed the export door to maintain their domestic stock.
Rice is a very important commodity in the Bangladeshi people’s lives; there is even a term in Bangladesh that says that Bangladeshi people have not eaten if they have not consumed rice; from this term, it can be seen that rice has become a staple for the Bangladeshi people.
Despite tensions between Myanmar and Bangladesh, Dhaka, which imports about millions of tonnes of rice every year, has placed an import order from Myanmar.
As agriculture and livestock are the backbone of Myanmar’s economy, it earns foreign currencies from rice exports beyond self-sufficiency. The State is supporting the stockholders including farmers and investors in order to bring about business opportunities. According to the Memorandum of Understanding between Myanmar and Bangladesh regarding rice trade, 200,000 tonnes of white rice from Myanmar will be exported to Bangladesh. A total of 2,650 tonnes of rice are to be directly shipped by the MV MCL-7 for the first time from the Ayeyawady International Industrial Port AIIP in Pathein Industrial City, Ayeyawady Region to Bangladesh.
Bangladesh and Myanmar officials signed a sales contract on 8 September in order for exporting 200,000 tonnes of Myanmar’s white rice to Bangladesh. About 30,000-50,000 tonnes of rice are scheduled to be sent to Bangladesh from the Pathein Port. On 28 October, the loading of 2,650 tonnes of Emahta rice (5% broken) onto the ship heading for Bangladesh commenced.
“Rice exports generate foreign currencies as well as contribute to private sector development. It is the first step of the regional efforts with the first ever direct rice shipment from Pathein city to the external market, with an aim to spur the developments in public and private sectors harmoniously together. The next step is to facilitate the trade in the Pathein Industrial City as the government is looking forward to the city with good prospects. The exports of rice also cause the GDP growth in the region. In addition to rice, corn and sesame are also targeted to be directly exported to foreign markets through the Pathein City.
The loading process of 2,650 tonnes of rice was completed on 31 October and the MV MCL-7 left for Bangladesh through the AIIP. More ships arrived and departed at the Port. It was the direct export of local products from Ayeyawady Region.
Myanmar’s rice exports to the neighbouring countries can enhance the livelihood of the farmers and create business opportunities for the related businesses driven by rice exports. This achievement in Pathein city can also strengthen the tripartite relationship between the State, farmers and entrepreneurs for ensuring the sustainable market and export promotion.
More than 20,000 tonnes of rice have been sent to Bangladesh by up to October 2022, according to the Ministry of Commerce of Myanmar. Myanmar and Bangladesh inked a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on rice trade in September this year.
According to this MoU, Bangladesh has agreed to buy 250,000 tonnes of rice and 50,000 tonnes of parboiled rice from Myanmar between 2022 and 2027. Following the MoU, Bangladesh’s Directorate-General of Food and MRF signed a sales contract for 200,000 tonnes of Myanmar’s rice to be exported to Bangladesh. As per the sales contract, Myanmar has shipped over 20,000 tonnes of rice to Bangladesh up to 31 October 2022.
Furthermore, over 15,000 tonnes of rice were loaded onto the vessel. The remaining over 150,000 tonnes of rice will be exported during the set period.
Since 7 September 2017, Myanmar and Bangladesh have engaged in rice trade under the government-to-government pact. That MoU stated that Bangladesh has agreed to buy Myanmar’s white rice (250,000 tonnes) and parboiled rice (50,000) tonnes between 2017 and September 2022.
Bangladesh’s Directorate General of Food and MRF signed the sales contracts as per the MoU and Myanmar sent 100,000 tonnes of rice to Bangladesh each in 2017 for the first time and 2021 for the second time, as per the sales contract.
The Ministry of Commerce has granted an export licence for 191,700 tonnes of rice that will be shipped to Bangladesh according to the agreement between the two countries.
As per the Memorandum of Understanding between Myanmar and Bangladesh on the rice trade, 48 companies, under the supervision of the Myanmar Rice Federation, are to export 200,000 tonnes of rice to Bangladesh with Chinese yuan payment between October 2022 and January 2023.
Following the contract, white rice (ATAP) GPCT Broken STX variety will be delivered. The FOB prices were 2.78856 Yuan per kilogramme and 2788.56 Yuan per tonne.
The Export/Import division of the Trade Department issued over 534 million Yuan worth 42 export licences for 41 companies to convey 191,700 tonnes of rice to Bangladesh.
Myanmar and Bangladesh inked a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on rice trade in September this year.
According to this MoU, Bangladesh has agreed to buy 250,000 tonnes of white rice and 50,000 tonnes of parboiled rice from Myanmar between 2022 and 2027.
Under the MoU, Bangladesh’s Directorate General of Food and MRF signed a sales contract for 200,000 tonnes of Myanmar’s white rice to be exported to Bangladesh. As per the sales contract, Myanmar has shipped over 20,000 tonnes of white rice to Bangladesh till 31 October 2022. The remaining will be delivered before the deadline.
Since 7 September 2017, Myanmar and Bangladesh have engaged in rice trade under the government-to-government pact. That MoU stated that Bangladesh has agreed to buy Myanmar’s white rice (250,000 tonnes) and parboiled rice (50,000) tonnes between 2017 and September 2022.
Bangladesh’s Directorate General of Food and MRF signed the sales contracts as per the MoU and Myanmar sent 100,000 tonnes of rice to Bangladesh each in 2017 for the first time and 2021 for the second time, as per the sales contract.
Myanmar plans to export a total of 200,000 tonnes of rice to Bangladesh under a G-to-G agreement. The first shipment was directly made by the Ayeyawady International Industrial Port (AIIP) in Pathein of Ayeyawady Region, and 10,565 tonnes of rice out of the targeted 200,000 tonnes has been exported from 2 to 22 November.
The AIIP exported 2,650 tonnes of rice by MV MCL-7 from Ayeya Hintha company on 2 November, 2,615 tonnes by MV MCL-21 on 7 November, 2,650 tonnes by MV MCL-12 on 13 November and 2,650 tonnes by MV MCL-18 on 22 November, 10,565 tonnes of rice in total. A total of 211,300 bags of 50-kilogramme Emahta rice were conveyed from the AIIP to Bangladesh. Efforts are underway to continue exporting the second batch of targeted tonnes of rice.
Deputy Director U Tun Tun from the Consumer Affairs Department commented on the benefits to farmers and businessmen due to direct export that there was an instruction to export 20,000 tonnes of rice as the first batch and 40,000 tonnes of rice as the second batch constantly, totalling 60,000 tonnes.
The direct shipment enhances the economic development of the region and brings advantages to residents and the State. There will be a ship to dock over the next two or three weeks as well, he added.
The respective ministry and export companies are working together to ensure the quality of export rice and fast shipping. Rice mills in Ayeyawady Region are running to export good-quality rice, it is learnt.
Myanmar has conveyed about 110,000 tonnes of rice to Bangladesh under the government-to-government pact, according to the Ministry of Commerce.
Myanmar and Bangladesh inked a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on rice trade in September this year.
According to this MoU, Bangladesh has agreed to buy 250,000 tonnes of white rice and 50,000 tonnes of parboiled rice from Myanmar between 2022 and 2027.
Under the MoU, Bangladesh’s Directorate General of Food and Myanmar Rice Federation signed a sales contract for 200,000 tonnes of Myanmar’s white rice to be exported to Bangladesh. As per the sales contract, Myanmar has shipped about 110,000 tonnes of white rice to Bangladesh as of 28 November 2022. Furthermore, over 2,000 tonnes of rice are being loaded onto the ship for now. The remaining will be delivered before the deadline.
As per the MoU between Myanmar and Bangladesh on the rice trade, 48 companies, under the supervision of the Myanmar Rice Federation, are to export 200,000 tonnes of rice to Bangladesh with Chinese yuan payment between October 2022 and January 2023.
Following the contract, white rice (ATAP) GPCT Broken STX variety will be delivered. The FOB prices were 2.78856 Yuan per kilo and 2788.56 Yuan per tonne.
The Export/Import division of the Trade Department issued 42 export licences worth over 534 million Yuan for 41 companies to convey 191,700 tonnes of rice to Bangladesh.
Since 7 September 2017, Myanmar and Bangladesh have engaged in rice trade under the government-to-government pact. That MoU stated that Bangladesh has agreed to buy Myanmar’s white rice (250,000 tonnes) and parboiled rice (50,000) tonnes between 2017 and September 2022. Bangladesh’s Directorate General of Food and MRF signed the sales contracts as per the MoU and Myanmar sent 100,000 tonnes of rice to Bangladesh each in 2017 for the first time and 2021 for the second time, as per the sales contract.
According to the Government-to-Government pact between Myanmar and Bangladesh, Bangladesh has been purchasing Myanmar’s white rice. The country has shipped rice directly from Pathein Industrial City since 2 November 2022. Between 1 and 8 December, 5,260 tonnes of rice were loaded onto the two ships in the second batch and the MCL-12 ship carrying 2,650 tonnes of rice departed in the morning of 8 December 2022 from the Ayeyawady International Industrial Port AIIP in Pathein Industrial City, Ayeyawady Region to Bangladesh.
Earlier, Myanmar conveyed rice to Bangladesh through Yangon Port and Thilawa terminals. In the first batch from 2 to 22 November 2022, 10,565 tonnes of Aemahta rice (five-per-cent broken) were shipped by four ships directly from Pathein city to Bangladesh. The country delivered 2,610 tonnes of rice by MCL-19 ship on 1 December and 2,650 tonnes of rice by the MCL-12 ship on 8 December in the second batch, totalling 5,260 tonnes. On 7 December, the MCL-18 ship arrived at the Ayeyawady International Industrial Port and further exports are to be undertaken.
Myanmar’s white rice direct delivery from Ayeyawady Region to Bangladesh accumulated 15,825 tonnes, with 10,565 tonnes in the first batch and 5,260 in the second batch.
“The main export item from Pathein Port is rice. If Bangladesh buys corn in addition to rice, there is an adequate supply of corn in the region. Myanmar has indicated readiness to export corn depending on the market demand. The rice shipment for the second batch has finished. We plan to export agricultural products from Ayeyawady Region to foreign trading partners. For the initial stage, efforts are being made to complete the rice shipment first,” said U Tun Tun, deputy director of the Ayeyawady Region Consumers Affairs Department.
Earlier, the second batch of rice shipment was slated for the second week of December. However, Myanmar managed to ship the rice in the first week to Bangladesh as rice outputs from Ayeyawady Region increased. All the stakeholders involved in a supply chain including the Ayeyawady Region Government, departments concerned and private businessmen are being exerted to meet the rice demand of Bangladesh to ship them directly from the region. The direct rice shipment from Ayeyawady Region, Myanmar’s rice bowl, to the foreign markets brings about economic opportunities for rice millers, farmers and traders and employment opportunities for local communities.
---
*Independent researcher, interested in the Bangladesh and Rohingya refugee affairs, currently living in Canada

Comments

TRENDING

Clive Lloyd among great batsmen Alan Border, Javed Miandad, Rahul Dravid,Ted Dexter

By Harsh Thakor  Few batsmen struck a cricket ball with such vengeance or contempt as Clive Lloyd, who was the ultimate embodiment of power. Perhaps no left-hander batted more like Gary Sobers. Hard to think of any left hander in is time, with such wide range of strokes or at best batting in a more cavalier or imperious manner. At his best Clive could take domination to the scale rarely transcended and was a spectacle to witness.. It is hard to do justice to the joy Clive radiated out on the middle. Clive Lloyd nurtured and knitted a bunch of talented individuals to transform into possibly the best test team ever in the 1980's.Literally led a renaissance or gave a new dimension to Caribbean cricket. Never did West Indian cricket nurture such father figure.  Clive made a great contribution in elevating the morale or epitomising the spirit of the Afro-American West Indian Community and image of black people in the eyes of the white Community. As a cricketer he gave the ultimate knock

Vishwanath has been unfairly excluded from global list of 100 best cricketers

By Harsh Thakor  Gundappa Vishwanath scaled zones in batting artistry or wizardry unparalleled amongst Indian batsmen. The best of his batting was a manifestation of the divine. He was also the epitome of cricketing sportsmanship. Sadly 40 years ago he unceremoniously bid farewell to the International cricket world, after the concluding test at Karachi in 1982-83., in January end. Very hard to visualise a character like Vishwanath being reborn today His memories are embedded in cricket lovers today when sportsmanship and grace have virtually been relegated to oblivion with the game of cricket turned into a commercial commodity. Today agro and unsporting behaviour is a routine feature Vishy shimmered cricket’s spirituality. His behaviour on the cricket field was grace personified, No one in his age defined cricket more as a gentleman’s game, than Vishy. Vishwanath could execute strokes that were surreal with his steel wrists. His strokeplay resembled the touches of a painter’s brush,

Abrogation of Art 370: Increasing alienation, relentless repression, simmering conflict

One year after the abrogation by the Central Government of Art. 370 in Kashmir, what is the situation in the Valley. Have the promises of peace, normalcy and development been realised? What is the current status in the Valley? Here is a detailed note by the People’s Union for Civil Liberties , “Jammu & Kashmir: One Year after Abrogation of Art. 370: Increasing Alienation, Relentless Repression, Simmering Conflict”:

Reproductive, conjugal rights of women in India amidst debate of uniform civil code

By IMPRI Team  A Three-Day Immersive Online Legal Awareness and Certificate Training Course on “Reproductive and Conjugal Rights of Women in India” is an initiative of the Gender Impact Studies Center (GISC), at the IMPRI Impact and Policy Research Institute, New Delhi, and ran for three consecutive days starting from December 22, 2022 to December 24, 2022. The online paid certification was aimed to provide attendees with an enriching experience on the gender discourse with a special focus on women’s rights and the much-discussed reproductive rights in India.

Covid jabs: Pretexts cited to justify young, healthy succumbing to heart attacks

By Jay Ihsan   Truth is stranger than fiction – when dedicated doctors raised the red flag against the mRNA Covid-19 vaccines, they were persecuted and their concerns barred from being heard. These honest doctors unequivocally made it known the Moderna Pfizer vaccines injure the heart and human body. One of them, Dr Peter McCullough, an American cardiologist, has repeatedly issued the clarion call to people to reject these harmful vaccines. An equally alarmed World Council for Health said the harmful Covid-19 vaccines should be removed from the market and the global inoculation must be stopped. “In Japan the vaccines were not mandated or made compulsory. The vaccines are not safe or effective enough to mandate them. The day the vaccines go away will be a day of celebration,” Dr Mccullough had lamented during an interview with India’s media outfit, Qvive several months ago. Meanwhile, the number of people jabbed with the Covid-19 mRNA vaccines died soon after or have developed lifelong

Gender gap 17%, SC and ST levels of education between 7% to 14% below upper classes

By IMPRI Team  The treatment of school education in a holistic manner and improving school effectiveness in terms of equal opportunities for schooling and learning outcomes has been the aspiration of all and multiple challenges are faced to maintain and provide proper education. On the occasion of India@75: Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav, as part of its series- the State of Education- #EducationDialogue, #IMPRI Center for ICT for Development (CICTD), IMPRI Impact and Policy Research Institute, New Delhi organised a special deliberation on The State of School Education In India with Prof Muchkund Dubey, who is the President of the Council for Social Development, New Delhi. The moderator for the event, Dr Simi Mehta CEO and Editorial Director of the IMPRI. The chair of the event was Prof Jandhyala B.G. Tilak, an Indian Council of Social Science Research (ICSSR) National Fellow, the Distinguished Professor at the Council for Social Development, New Delhi and also a Former Professor & Vice-Ch

Rahul Dravid exhibited selflessness in heights unscaled by any other Indian batsman

By Harsh Thakor*  On January 11th maestro Rahul Dravid turned 50. No Indian batsmen were ever more of an embodiment of temperament or grit.as Rahul Dravid. Dravid was the best ambassador of sportsmanship in cricket in his day and age. In his time no Asian batsmen did what the doctor ordered, to the extent of Dravid. Dravid was manifestation of single-mindedess, tenacity and selflessness in sport. One hardly has an adjective to the ice coolness and craft Dravid exhibited in adjusting to the given situation. Rarely did any batsmen exhibit such a clinical o methodical approach to batting.

NHRC blindly followed BSF status report on fencing farmland off Indo-Bangladesh border

Kirity Roy, Secretary, Banglar Manabadhikar Suraksha Mancha (MASUM) writes an open letter of protest against the action taken status report on restriction imposed by the BSF personnel upon the villagers of Changmari near Indo-Bangladesh border: *** I have the honour to inform you that we received one action taken status report dated 11.01.2023 from your Commission in respect of the above referred case from where it is revealed that your authority closed the case based on the report of the concerned authorities. In this connection I again raise my voice as the enquiry in respect of the above referred case was not properly conducted. Hence I submit this open letter of protest for the ends of justice. From the action taken status report of the Commission dated 11.01.2023 it is reported that concerned authority submitted a report dated 18.01.2022 where it is reported that the concerned area comes under the OPS responsibility of BOP Chengmari, 62 Bn BSF and is highly susceptible to trans-bo

Data analytics: How scientific enquiry process impacts quality of policy research

By IMPRI Team  Given the multidimensionality of policy and impact research, tech-driven policy prescriptions are playing a dominant role in the 21st century. As such, data analytics have become integral in this space. IMPRI Generation Alpha Data Centre (GenAlphaDC) , IMPRI Impact and Policy Research Institute New Delhi has successfully conducted a #WebPolicyTalk 6-Week Immersive Online Hands-on Certificate Training Course on Data Analytics for Policy Research, spanning over 6-consecutive Saturdays from October 15th to November 19th, 2022. Along with this, datasets for hands-on learning were also provided for data analysis and learning. Participants were required to make a submission for evaluation at the end of the course, to obtain the certificate. This course comprised hands-on data learning sessions and various expert sessions on data discourses. The course especially catered to data and policy enthusiasts – including students, professionals, researchers, and other individuals lo

Brutal assault on Delhi Univ students as fear grips present rulers on rise of dissent

By Arhaan Baaghi  Various democratic student organizations (bsCEM, fraternity, DSU, SIO, AIRSO) had planned a screening of the BBC documentary "India: The Modi Question" in the Delhi University Arts Faculty, but the guards of the university and the Delhi police along with paramilitary forcefully detained the students just because we were trying to watch a documentary that scrutinizes the role of Modi in 2002 Gujarat riots. At first when the students started screening the documentary, the electricity of the department building was cut down. Students were brutally beaten by the police and university guards. Female students were also brutally manhandled and beaten. This whole incident shows the Brahmanical Hindutva fascist nature of the government and the university authority that is working as its puppet. An activist of bsCEM was manhandled by a male security guard, who tried to pull out his T shirt. Also various female activist were dragged by male security guards and their h