With about 3 Million hectares planted annually, Myanmar is considered a significant producer of oilseed crops. These crops are recognised as the third most important ones in Myanmar, after paddy and pulses.. The Central Dry Zone (CDZ) of Myanmar is the key area to grow oilseed crops, specifically focus crops such as sesame, groundnut, sunflower, mustard and safflower, due to the region’s favorable conditions for production.
For reference, Myanmar is the largest producer of sesame seed and sesame oil in the world. In the case of groundnuts and groundnut oil, Myanmar ranks sixth position and fourth position, respectively. 85% of groundnuts and 96% of sesame production are based in the CDZ – Sagaing, Mandalay and Magway regions.
Quality assurance of seeds and access to improved varieties are the most critical needs that must be met for farmers. Hence, farmer adoption of new varieties only range between 5 and 10%. Farmers primarily rely on the public sector for seed distribution, farmer-to-farmer exchange, and local commodity collection centers in order to get access to seeds. Therefore, there are only a small number of seed companies that produce and sell groundnut seeds directly to farmers.
In terms of market segmentation, there are 4 main segments in the groundnut industry. Among those segments, grain exportation and oil crushing are the main growth priorities. However, at the time, there was no new and specific high-oleic (HO) variety that could upgrade the value chain and make a remunerative price for farmers.
In order to address the listed challenges present in the groundnut industry, SFSA partnered with Triple Nine Great Integrity Co. Ltd. Based in CDZ, the partnership fostered a contract farming model to encourage the production and the selling of quality groundnut seeds to farmers in the area.
Assess the feasibility of introducing the high oleic groundnut varieties.
Assess and promote new high oleic acid groundnut varieties which can create value for smallholder farmers while matching the preferences and conditions of the two major market segments (grain exportation and oil crushing industry).
Ensure access to quality seeds by smallholder farmers in CDZ.
Build the capability of the local partner seed company (Triple Nine Great Integrity company) by leveraging the Variety Commercialization toolkit. This phase started by validating the problem statement in conducting a value chain analysis. It then continued with the drafting of the Technical Targeted Profile and an assessment of the performance of HO groundnut varieties locally. The final stage was the preparation of a detailed launch road map with the partner.
SFSA established a partnership with the local seed partner, Triple Nine Great Integrity Company, who is also playing as a downstream actor in the targeted market segments. Furthermore, SFSA connected this seed partner with regional-level genetic provider ICRISAT. We then facilitated the Material Transfer Agreement procedure between both of our partners. Triple Nine hence received 2 HO groundnut varieties from ICRISAT, which were firstly launched in India, in 2019 (for more information on the First HO groundnut cultivars commercialized in India).
In parallel, we analysed the market feasibility for high oleic acid content groundnut variety in Myanmar. We conducted trials and supported partners for seed multiplication. We provided technology support for EGS purification and maintaining guidelines through international expertise. Moreover, we organised a groundnut seed production training for contact farmers in cooperation with resource teamsfrom local NARs (Department of Agricultural Research – DAR). For instance, we invited the groundnut breeder from DAR to provide a one-day in-classroom training to groundnut growers. We also developed technical guidelines for farmers, including techniques for the identification of groundnut varieties or recommendations for adapted management practices regarding groundnut production.
Groundnut VCA with ICRISAT
HO groundnut variety harvesting of seed multiplication field
Discussion with farmer at Groundnut seed production training