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Civic Engagement Alliance (CEA) Myanmar

Start project:
  • 2017
  • Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs
  • ICCO

The Civic Engagement Alliance aims to decrease inequality and injustice in Myanmar society through partnerships by improving inclusive and sustainable value chains, as well as responsible (agri)business, with focus on the pulses, beans and oilseeds value chains. A precondition to achieve this is to expand the political space for CSOs. Strengthening their lobbying and advocacy capacity is part of the Theory of Change and crucial for improving the lives of smallholder farmers.

For Pathway 3 on inclusive markets, our desired change is for empowered small-scale producers (in the pulses, beans and oilseeds sector) in Myanmar, so that they are able to increase their income through higher/better productivity, product quality and sales rates , and through access to more/better financial instruments and diversified markets . The empowerment of smallholders forms the basis of an inclusive, sustainable and climate-smart pulses value chain in Myanmar. Besides the topics mentioned above, irrigation issues, land issues, labour issues, and farmers’ organizational issues are of importance too.

For pathway 3 we work on this, because Myanmar’s agricultural sector is home to the majority of its workforce, and it remains the largest contributor to the country’s GDP. Pulses and rice belong together because of intercropping (see more info under question 2). The trade in pulses (and beans), which was liberalized in 1988, is very vibrant. Myanmar is one of the world’s largest exporters of these commodities, which demonstrates that its farmers and traders are able to respond to market signals. An improved pulses value chain has the potential to lift many small-scale farmers out of poverty. The producer becomes a strategic supplier for buyers (balanced power relations), and producers are able to supply the volume and quality needed by the market. Consumers buy good quality produce from local producers, and are willing to pay for safe, good quality produce. In terms of food and nutrition security, and climate smart agriculture, two other aspects of pulses production which are relevant to mention (although they are not visible at first sight when using the value chain approach). There is strong evidence of the health and nutritional benefits of pulses, which accounts for nutrition-sensitive interventions in Myanmar’s agricultural production. Important to say is that green gram and black gram are not part of the traditional Myanmar diet, however pigeon peas and chick peas are. Moreover pulses impact the environment positively due to their nitrogen-fixing properties, which increases
soil fertility, and as such contributes to climate change adaptation and mitigation.

For pathway 4 on responsible (agri)business, our desired change is that CSOs in Myanmar are strengthened to be vibrant and critical, and that have the capacities to claim their constituency’s rights through lobby and advocacy, and to set their own priorities in a changing and challenging environment, so that private sector companies (including largescale farmers) and government (mainly township, and regional/state level) take into account the interests, concerns and needs of farmers, workers and marginalized groups, following the UNGP (but also the Myanmar PWD Law from 2015, and the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) and the Children’s Rights and Business Principles (CRBP) which are supporting standards to the UNGP). If useful, in the CEA activities we will target private and public sector directly. Moreover, crosscutting, CSOs have the mindset and ability to include PWD into their programs. We regard these CSOs as our target groups, and, if useful private sector actors and government actors in the agricultural sector too.

For pathway 4 we work on this, because we want to support and strengthen CSOs in Myanmar to be vibrant and critical, and through lobby and advocacy claim the compliance with human rights of farmers, workers and marginalized groups by private sector companies and governments. When it concerns Responsible Business, we would like to focus mainly on fair labour conditions (including safety and protection), alternatives for child labour (working towards the absence of child labour),
inclusiveness of people with disabilities (PWD), and compliance with land rights. Value chain key stakeholders will understand that Responsible Business practices in the long run will benefit their company, by improving opportunities to access new domestic and international, by improving their
reputation and by strengthening the trust in their supply chains.

Accelerating the Myanmar Mung bean Value Chain

ICCO Cooperation (ICCO) in collaboration with Myanmar Government’s Department of Agricultural Research (DAR), Evers Specials B.V. (...

Project started:
  • 2019
More info
Read more about Accelerating the Myanmar Mung bean Value Chain

Accelerating Inclusiveness in Myanmar

Our project goal is to make Burmese inclusive business entrepreneurs investment-ready and connect them to potential investors, in ...

Project started:
  • 2019
More info
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Lobbying for the Elimination of Child Labour in Agriculture

Ratana Metta Organization (RMO) is one of Myanmar's expert ngo's working on the topic of child labour. As ...

Project started:
  • 2018
More info
Read more about Lobbying for the Elimination of Child Labour in Agriculture
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