Myanmar is the second largest country in Southeast Asia, where the agricultural sector represents over 30% of the national GDP and export value. Around 60% of the population lives in rural areas sustaining their livelihood directly or indirectly on agricultural activities. Myanmar possesses similarity with Thailand in arable area, crop variety, cultivation patterns and weather conditions; however pesticide use is still comparatively low. After the formation of the new government in 2011, polices of tax relaxation on the exportation of agricultural products and tax exemptions on the importation of agricultural inputs were implemented to support agricultural development. The market scale has also grown from less than 3000 tons in 2002 to over 11,000 tons in 2011 and it is estimated that the scale could grow to 600 million USD within next five years.
2.Agriculture Plantation and Agroeconomic Analysis of Pesticide Uses
Myanmar’s Agricultural systems are diversified more than commonly thought. During the monsoon seasons most farmers plant paddy, while during the cool and dry season most farmers plant pulses, oilseeds and maize other than paddy. However, the low yields and high labor use keep Myanmar on the lower end of the Asian productivity spectrum. Low agricultural productivity is the results of multiple factors, many of which are associates with the undersupply of quality agricultural inputs.
In monsoon paddy, insecticides, herbicides and fungicides were used by farmers, but the uses of molluscicides or rodenticide were not reported. The percentage of insecticide users was less than 20% and herbicides were used by only 6% of growers. Compare with monsoon season, the percentage of users and average cost were higher for both insecticides and herbicides.
As the second largest crop after paddy, pulses have a shorter growing period than rice and thus more able to accommodate shorter wet period. They are grown more densely in regions with hasher climate condition and erratic rainfall regions. Pulses production constitute an important source of revenue and the percentage of users and average cost were quite high and varied among regions.
Maize is still a minor crop in Myanmar despite the growing importance. According to Total maize area was only 10% of pulses area and 6% of rice area. Herbicide use was almost none and large amount of the labor was for weed control. Groundnut possess the largest user percentage and expenditure of the top 3 oilseeds and the percentage of insecticide users ranged from 61 in river area to 14 in dryland area for sesame.
A considerable portion of the formulations are indigenously compounded from imported technical grade active ingredients (TC) and various companies engage in import and formulating activities. These include MNCs such as Syngenta, Bayer Crop science, Dow AgroScience, Dupont and Sumitomo. Besides, several local companies are active in the market. Approximately 90% of the products are imported by local Myanmar companies and 10% of the products are imported by multinational agrochemical companies. Products from multinational agrochemical companies are approximately 30-40% more expensive than products imported by local Myanmar companies. From 2006 to 2009, the importation varied from 4,000 to 6,000 tons, whereas after 2011 importation stabilized at around 10,000 tons. Volume and percentage of herbicides steadily increased while that of insecticide decreased thereafter. This fast change can be ascribed to massive importation from China and poor supervision of imports crossing its border.
4. Myanmar Pesticide Regulatory Framework
From a regulatory perspective, Myanmar has a basic management regime managing registration, production, distribution and use of pesticides. The overarching legislation, PESTICIDE LAW was enacted as state law in 1990, which established the general system on pesticide registration and business licensing. In 1991, the Ministry of Agriculture and Forests (now known as the Ministry of Agriculture and Irrigation), prescribed the “Procedures Related to the Pesticide Law” and more operable administrative procedure, company obligation and power exercising were stipulated.
Meanwhile, an array of guidelines was also provided by the authorities including:
- Guideline for Preparation of Bio-efficacy Test Protocols;
- Safety Guidelines for Pesticide Formulation, Repacking and Storage;
- Guideline for Pesticide Labeling;
5. Pesticide Registration
5.1 Pesticide Registration Board
Pesticides should be registered with the Pesticide Registration Board (PRB) prior to importation into or exportation out of Myanmar. The PRB was formed by Myanmar government with competent authorities from multiple Ministries covering Agriculture, Health and Trade sectors. With the support of technical committees composed of technical staff from relevant ministries, PRB summons regular meetings to make decisions on all registration applications of any type of pesticides or any registration amendments. The resident office of PRB is open at the Plant Protection Division (PPD) of the Department of Agriculture, where the PRB secretary and most of the technical members attend. PPD has 9 sections and hundreds of employees, but only a dozen employees are engaged in registration issues.
5.2 Registration Procedures
The applicant may initiate the process by submitting one original and 4 copies of the application form, the administrative and technical documents and samples as described below:
- Letter of consent form the manufacturers (1 original and 4 copies);
- Technical supporting document (1 original and 2 copies in English);
- Proposal label with Myanmar Translation (3 copies);
- Samples an materials in sufficient amount( 2ⅹ1 gram of analytical standard of each active ingredient,0.5 gram of each relevant impurity or by-product presence in technical product in case of application for provisional or full registration, 25 grams of technical product, 25 grams of GC packings and 2 HPLC columns recommended for quality control and residue analysis and 1 liter or Kg;
The secretary of Pesticide Registration Board office will check the completeness of the dossiers and allocate to corresponding technical members. The pesticide laboratory will analyze the samples to verify the product quality and the technical committee under the PPD will evaluate the technical documents. An efficacy trial will be required for limited crop/pest combinations. For example, if a pesticide registration application is made for use on 10 pests for 10 crops, only 2 or 3 crop/pest combination will be required. For each combination, a series of trials should be carried out in different places with different environmental condition for at least 2 seasons (6-8 trials for major pest/crop and 2-6 trials for minor use). Based on the analytical results and the findings of the technical committee, an external meeting will be organized to further review the pesticide. Then the evaluation result will be submitted to the PRB for final decision. If the pesticide is approved, the secretary of the PRB will issue the letter to the applicant to deposit the registration fee and the registration certificate will be issued after the payment.
Requires detailed observation before obtaining a Provisional Registration will be granted with experimental registration and only specified application on a limited area will be allowed.
Pesticides that have been marketed in the country prior to the enactment of the Pesticide Law and already undergone more practical and detailed bio-efficacy and toxicological evaluation could obtain Provisional Registration and reach marketable stage.
If the studies during provisional periods are satisfying, Full registration will be granted
Special use permit
For emergency control and prevention of unanticipated pests
5.3 Data Requirement
The requirements on technical data are clearly described, but criteria or guidance on how to evaluate the effects on human health, consumers and environment are not yet available. Data protection has not yet been specified in any pesticide regulations.
5.4 Licensing and Import Endorsement
Companies engaged in the formulating, repackaging, whole/retail sale of pesticide should obtain licenses from agricultural authorities at different level. Myanmar is currently liberalizing requirements on obtaining import license as a precondition for importing. However, pesticides are among the 4405 tariff items which still require import licenses, which are issued by the Department of Trade of the Ministry of Commerce. For pesticides, the issuance of the license is based upon pesticide import endorsement by PPD. Importers should fill an application form and submit attachments to the Secretary of PRB.
After the scrutiny of the information and attachments, PRB will issue an endorsement and the imported pesticide will be subject to PPD’s inspection on its arrival.
PRB member meeting are convened approximately twice per year and the 27th session was concluded in 2016. About 500 applications are discussed per session, of which 200 are rejected or postponed due to insufficient data (analytical data). Only applications for banned pesticides/uses will be rejected outright and all other pesticides can be registered under different types. 39 active ingredients have been banned and 7 other pesticides have been restricted.
At present, a total of 2748 pesticides and 309 active ingredients have been granted a pesticide registration license：