Written by Mekong Institute

Sesame is economically important not only for producing edible oil but also for export crops in Myanmar. The objectives of this study are to map actors and to analyze the value chain of sesame, to identify the issues and constraints in the value chain of sesame in Magway Township and to look for necessary conditions in order to promote the sesame value chain in Magway Township. The research questions are (1) what are the challenges and constraints at each level of the sesame’s value chain in Magway Township? and (2) what are the necessary conditions to improve the value chain as well as the sesame production to reach its potential capacity in Magway Township? Qualitative methods were applied by using in-depth interviews and semi-structure interviews to collect the primary data, while the quantitative method was used to estimate the cost and margin, and profits of actors at each level of the value chain. Marketing margin analysis and SWOT analysis were used in this study. It was found that there were many actors in the sesame value chain such as input providers, farmers, wholesalers, millers, processor and exporter. Among the actors in the value chain for sesameseed, the sample wholesalers received the highest percentage of profit (70.66%).   

The percentage of marketing margin of farmers (71.48%) was the highest among actors. The wholesalers received the largest profit because they bought the sesame directly from the farmers and store the product for approximately 6 months before selling to the exporters. For sesame oil, the sample wholesalers also received the highest percentage of profit (66.84%) and the farmers again occupied the highest percentage of margin (64.94%). In this case, if the millers could buy the raw sesame seed directly from the farmers, more profit could be allocated to farmers and millers. For sesame brittle, the sample processor gained the highest percentage of profit (84.99%) and the farmers received the lowest percentage of profit (3.94%).

Therefore, there is need to improve the efficiency of sesame value chain in the study area. It was also found that there was unequal marketing margin among actors along the value chains. The major constraints for sesame farmers were a lack of technology, low access to credit, lack of knowledge concerning quality of inputs and products. The major constraint for wholesalers, millers, processors and exporter was low access to financial possibilities. Therefore, financial constraints need to be simultaneously solved at all levels of the value chain. There needs to be promotion of farmer organizations (cooperatives) which can play a very important role in improving the bargaining position of the producers. It is also necessary to adopt standardization for the production, processing, marketing and exporting in order to improve the competitiveness of sesame in Myanmar.

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