Economic development of sustainable agriculture in Magway, Union of Myanmar
Myanmar is ranked 149th in Human Development Index 2013, the third worst performance in Asia after Afghanistan and Nepal. The reform process, started in 2011, helped to achieve a real growth rate around 9%, but growth did not reach a large share of population: according to a survey conducted by a government committee in 2013, 37% of people is unemployed and 26% is living under poverty line. The groups excluded from the growth process include rural people living on agriculture, a sector employing a 65% of labor force. Historically, also due to chronic dryness, the Magway region shows the highest poverty peaks in the country. Women are more dramatically affected: only 64.9% participates to the labor force compared to 84.4% for men.
The economy is based on agriculture: this sector accounts for 60% of GDP, and employs a 65% of labor force. Notwithstanding, the sector appears substantially weak: yields are poor due to inadequate farming techniques, crop diversification is low and infrastructure in support of small farmers is totally lacking, causing progressive marginalization of the latter.