Hybrid rice producer SL Agritech Corp. (SLAC) will be extending technical aid to Myanmar under an agreement aimed at making the country a premier exporter of the grain.
The deal was signed in Manila by SLAC Chairman Henry Lim Bon Liong and representatives from Myanmar’s Agriculture ministry. Philippine Agriculture Secretary Proceso Alcala was also present.
Myanmar, which sought the agreement using its Asean links, is opening up to the world following years of less liberalized military rule.
Myanmar is said to have around 17 million hectares of uncultivated arable land that can be planted to SLAC’s SL-8H hybrid rice variety.
The firm said that based on farm experiments in Myanmar, the land could yield about 10 metric tons per hectare and even hit 17 MT per hectare using SL-8H seeds.
“Myanmar used to be the number one rice exporter of the world, way back 20 to 30 years ago,” Lim said.
“It (the agreement) will enable Philippines to participate possibly in helping restore Myanmar as the world’s biggest rice,” he added.