ICRISAT collaborates with Myanmar's agricultural research institutions, in particular the Department of Agricultural Research (DAR) and Myanmar Agriculture Service (MAS) in the areas of crop improvement, especially grain legumes, and natural resource management
. Myanmar is a member of the Cereals and Legumes Asia Network (CLAN).
Pigeonpea, chickpea and groundnut account for 40% of the legume area in Myanmar. Pigeonpea is a major export grain. Traditionally, long-duration (>200 days) pigeonpea varieties are cultivated under a wide range of cropping systems. The promotion of short duration varieties and hybrids is helping raise yields, up to 2.9 t/ha.
Chickpea is used in rice fallow cropping systems or as a pest trap in between sunflower plots.
Groundnut is also an important crop for Myanmar's dryland farmers. Over 1.3 million tons are produced annually on 800,000 ha. Crop breeding research aims at developing varieties with proved traits such as pod rot and foliar disease resistance, early maturity, high-yields and drought tolerance. These varieties are popularized through farmer participatory trials and village-level seed banks.
Myanmar's capacity to produce high quality Rhizobial inoculants is being enhanced for better pulse yields for farmers in the Dry Central Zone.
Dryland cereals are also important for the livelihoods of farmers in the Dry Central Zone. Average sorghum yield has risen from 660 kg/ha in 1995 to 940kg/ha in 2009 thanks to improved cultivars bred by ICRISAT. Drought- and heat-tolerant pearl millet, a relatively minor crop in Myanmar (20,000 hectare), as well as other small millets could play a strong role in the coming years to promote more rational water use.
Key documents on Myanmar
A strategic agricultural sector and food security diagnostic for Myanmar, March 2013, Michigan University for USAID
Strategic choices for the future of Myanmar agriculture, MSU 2013
Burma Food Security fact sheet 2013, USAID