Myanmar Grants U.S. Potato Market Access

Published online: Aug 29, 2017 Articles
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In an announcement on its website, the Myanmar Ministry of Agriculture formally approved U.S. seed and fresh potatoes for importation as of Aug. 21, 2017. U.S. potatoes are the first U.S.-origin horticulture product to be approved under Myanmar’s pest risk assessment (PRA) requirement, which came into effect on Jan. 1. Potatoes USA experts prepared the potato pest documentation for USDA submission to Myanmar to accelerate the process.     

In May, Potatoes USA staff, consultants and representatives accompanied USDA officials to a meeting with Myanmar Plant Protection Division (PPD) representatives to educate them about the U.S. potato dossier, which highlights the industry’s protocol for pests. Potatoes USA also stressed how accepting the dossier would benefit U.S. growers as well as growers and processors in Myanmar.

U.S. seed potatoes were the first product detained and released under the new rules in January, as the PRA requirement was not announced ahead of implementation. Potatoes USA worked closely with the American Embassy Agriculture Office to secure the release of U.S. seed potato donation for field trials and to convince Myanmar’s PPD to allow an extension of the deadline to Aug. 31. The import approval came just 10 days before the deadline expiration and just in time for Potatoes USA’s container of fresh chipping potatoes to arrive on Aug. 22. These chipping potatoes are samples for Myanmar snack food manufacturers to process for testing purposes. 

The Southeast Asian nation of Myanmar (formerly known as Burma) is Potatoes USA’s newest target market. In 2016-17, total U.S. potato exports reached 290 tons worth nearly $384,000, a tenfold increase in five years, during which time Potatoes USA first introduced U.S. potatoes and launched its marketing efforts in Myanmar.


Source: Potatoes USA