India extension of bean import quota to benefit Myanmar farmers

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This extends the original three-month window between June and August for the import quota to be fulfilled. It will also drive prices up and give local farmers and traders an opportunity to generate more revenue.

“We were not able to get a good price from India in the past as we could not meet the import quota volumes.  With the quota period extended, we should be able to export more and get better prices,” said U Aye Lwin, a local mung bean trader.  

India began setting an import quota on beans in August 2017 to protect its local farmers. This year, the quota was set at 400,000 tonnes of beans to be delivered between June and August. However, Myanmar farmers were only able to export 100,000 tonnes, according to the Myanmar Pulses, Beans and Sesame Seed Merchants Association. Myanmar is the largest supplier of beans and pulses to India, supplying the bulk of the country’s needs. 



Now that the Ministry of Commerce and Industry of India has issued a 150,000-tonne import quota for mung beans, those who have export licenses in Myanmar have the chance to do so until March 2021.

India is importing more beans as some of this year’s domestic harvests were damaged by rain. In Myanmar, U Aye Lwin said there is currently just about 100,000 tonnes of beans stockpiled for trade, so bean farmers will be under pressure to harvest enough volumes for export within the new deadline.

At the same time, Myanmar is also exporting beans and pulses to the UAE, Bangladesh and Nepal. The higher demand is likely to drive prices higher.  Mung bean prices have already crept up  to K1.12 million per tonne compared to K1.08 million per tonne before the October 1 announcement.

“As we could  not export to India after August, the other countries purchased beans from us at more favourable prices than India,” said U Tun Lwin, chair of the Myanmar Pulses, Beans and Sesame Seed Merchants Association. 

Despite the tight deadline, U Aye Lwin said local farmers “should have enough time to produce enough volumes to meet international demand.” – Translated 

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