BUSINESS – Burma as 21st century rice bowl

Burma’s rice exports last year leapt 50 percent on the previous year, reaching their highest level for over 50 years, according to commerce officials. Once known as ‘the rice bowl of Asia’, the country’s trade in the grain diminished under military rule. In the last fiscal year exports hit more than 1.80 million tonnes, worth over US$65 million, Reuters cites an official as saying. Increased mechanisations, greater access to international markets such as China and the European Union and more imported materials are attributed with the growth.