Mung bean producers to receive international help in cultivation, diversification

A technologically-driven market access project to grow and export high quality mung beans to Europe, Japan and Southeast Asia will be launched this month, said Peter J. Brimble, Team Leader from the UK-funded DaNa Facility, which supports inclusive economic growth in Myanmar.

The Pulses, People, Planet & Profit (P4) project will be implemented jointly among East West Seed Network Activities Group, DaNa Facillity and ICCO Corporation this month. Under the project, high quality seeds will be imported and while good-quality fertilisers will be provided locally.

While development of the mung bean value chain is expected to take 2.5 years, the project aims to create business opportunities for farmers, merchants and exporters over the long term.

If successful, the P4 project will benefit farmers and seed producers by providing them with access to good quality seeds. It will be implemented in Magway, Minbu, Khayan and Thongwa and assist 10,000 farmers in the cultivation of high-quality mung beans.

Importantly, P4 also aims to create new markets for Myanmar’s mung bean exporters, namely Europe and the Netherlands, where there is demand for high-quality mung beans from Khayan and Thongwa in Yangon Region. It will also target markets like Japan, Taiwan and ASEAN.

“Now is the best time to start this project. We will support the farmers in exporting good quality beans to markets like Europe, Japan and Taiwan,” Mr Brimble said.

“Many buyers pay good prices in return for good quality. If quality is good, beans can be exported to many other markets. There are good opportunities for Myanmar,” he added.

Currently, there are 14 local firms which export mung beans to Europe. If the P4 project takes off, many more companies could come on board. “The current export volume is still small but if the exports are of good quality, there will be more market access. In order to be able to compete with other exporters to the Europe market, Myanmar mung beans must be produced with food safety technologies which P4 will provide,” ICCO Corporation P4 project manager Ko Khin Zaw Tun said.

“Europe consumers are high-class. They will not buy if the products are poor in quality or contains pesticides. Our project will mainly support mung bean growers in producing higher quality beans which meet the required standards in Europe,” he said.

In Myanmar, it takes three months to grow mung beans, which are planted twice a year. Samples of the mung beans produced under the project will be sent to targeted markets for a period of one year.