Academic journal article Southeast Asian Affairs

Performance

Academic journal article Southeast Asian Affairs

Performance

Article excerpt

Over the decade since the disastrous year of 1988/89, during which real GDP declined by 11 per cent, Myanmar's overall real growth rate recovered briefly in fiscal year 1989/90, declined to 1991/92, recovered again in 1992/93, and has declined since (Figure 1). Agricultural output has mirrored the overall performance of the economy, but its worsening performance since the early 1990s has been the most dramatic (Figure 2). The deteriorating performance of agriculture in recent years is indicated by the growth of real agricultural output per head of the total population. It grew at 4.8 per cent in 1994/95, 3.6 per cent in 1995/96, 1.7 per cent in 1996/97, 1.3 per cent in 1997/98, and 0.6 per cent in 1998/99. At the end of the century, real agricultural output per head of population remains below its level in 1985.

About 25 per cent of Myanmar's total land mass is arable. Roughly half of the arable land, 23 million acres, is cultivated, mostly by farm families holding small plots of land. The average size of a farm holding is around 5.6 acres. About 86 per cent of Myanmar's farms are less than 10 acres in size and they account for 58 per cent of the total cultivated area.2 Farms over 50 acres comprise less than 1 per cent of the total number and they account for only about 3 per cent of total cultivated land (Table 2). …

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