FAO in Myanmar

Woman working in her field in Rakhine stateA woman is working in her field in Rakhine state. Photo: FAO/Hkun Lat

Born in 1945 the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) is a technical specialized agency that combats global hunger and promotes rural development. FAO’s five main strategic objectives are to: Help eliminate hunger, food insecurity, and malnutrition; Make agriculture more productive and sustainable; Reduce rural poverty; Ensure inclusive and efficient agricultural and food systems and Protect livelihoods from disasters.

Myanmar became a member of FAO on 11 September 1947 and a FAO Representative Office was opened in 1978.

With existing agricultural resources and 70 per cent of the population working and earning from the sector, Myanmar holds immense potential to develop a vibrant agricultural economy that will not only significantly contribute to minimize the incidence of poverty and hunger but also to transform the overall economy.

However to ensure national food and nutrition security, a number of key factors, which include effective policy, enabling legislation and institutional environment, improved technical capacity, investment in the agricultural and rural sectors as well as enhanced agriculture rural infrastructure are priority areas for necessary support from development partners in Myanmar. Recent fundamental changes in areas such as enormous efforts in the implementation of a four phase reform process which is being undertaken by the Government and which includes political, economic, public administration and private sector reforms have led to tangible results.

Over the past almost 40 years, FAO has provided assistance through over 100 country executive projects/programs in addition to many regional and global normative activities. Areas of FAO work have covered all sub-sectors related to cropping, irrigation, livestock, fisheries, aquaculture, forestry and rural development. The total technical assistance provided by FAO to the country since 1947 is over 300 million USD.

The Government of the Union of Myanmar and FAO have identified 7 priority areas for its cooperation for the period (2013-2016) which include: Increased agricultural production to enhance food security; Improved food safety and quality; Sustainable management of natural resources and the environment; Land use and land management; Human resource development and institutional capacity building; Rural livelihoods improvement and; Preparedness for and mitigation of disasters and climate change. This is being considered for official endorsement by the President of Myanmar. The Country Programming Framework is closely linked to national development plans and UNDAF. FAO contributes to national development though direct implementation of projects/programs in fisheries, crops, livestock, and forestry, most of which have a focus on building linkages between government, civil society and smallholders.

Current FAO Intervention Areas:

  • Technical support to the formulation of agriculture, livestock and seed policy;
  • Technical support to improve national forest monitoring system;
  • Improving farmer livelihoods in the Dry Zone through improved livestock health, productivity and marketing;
  • Emergency support to affected communities in Rakhine, Chin and Kachin State;
  • Development of school and home gardening activities;
  • Enhancing food security through the strengthening of the institutional capacity for seed production;
  • Reducing Post Harvest losses along the rice supply chain;
  • Sustainable cropland and forest management;
  • Land use assessment and capacity building;
  • Developing smallholder dairy production linked to regional dairy development;
  • Support to country efforts to control avian influenza disease and other animal diseased, linked to regional disease control efforts.

Geographical Coverage
FAO has a country wide mandate and has specific projects in the Delta, Dry Zone, Rakhine, Chin, Kachin and Shan State.


Operational Size
The overall value of 2015 ongoing projects, is approximately 10 Million USD:
a)    Through Technical Cooperation Projects (TCP): 1 Million USD.
b)    Through voluntary contribution: 9 Million USD.


Do you know that:

  • Myanmar receives UN award for reduction of hunger: Myanmar received awards at the 39th session of the FAO Conference in Rome for halving the number of hungry people.
  • Achieving food security for all is at the heart of FAO’s efforts – to make sure people have regular access to enough high-quality food to lead active, health lives.