The ISSD Myanmar Programme envisions a vibrant and pluralistic seed sector that caters for the quality seed needs of smallholder farmers in Myanmar’s Dry Zone

Myanmar’s National Seed Sector

Myanmar’s seed sector is characterized by three major clusters of seed systems i.e.: the informal seed system; the intermediary seed system, and the formal seed system.

Each type of seed system differs in terms of crops, varieties, and the functioning of value chain. Farmers acquire and disseminate seed in different ways, depending on the systems in which they operate. The quality of the seed is also reflected in the type of seed systems. Each system exists in parallel to each other and fulfils the specific seed demand of farmers.

The government of Myanmar assessed the performance of the seed sector in drafting its Agricultural Development Strategy. This study of the seed sector has shown that up to 90% of farmers in Myanmar save seed of local varieties or recycle seed of improved variety at their farms. While varieties of a large number of crops have been developed and released by research centres, access to high quality seed is still the major issue for many Myanmar smallholder farmers.

The Seed Farms of the Department of Agricultural Research (DAR) and Department of Agriculture (DOA) play a fundamental role in providing farmers with early generation seed, yet their potential can be even further expanded. More specifically, the production of food crops and less-profitable crops, such as legumes, oilseeds and tubers need to be strengthened. According to our analysis, the existing Seed Farms are able to produce at a cost-recovery basis, however, to improve their performance, a rationalization in their focus, greater accountability and the creation of incentives are need.

ISSD Myanmar Programme


  • 75,500 farmers reached directly with quality seed
  • An additional 3,375 metric tonnes of quality seed produced
  • 28 new improved and well-adapted varieties promoted
  • The National Seed Association of Myanmar supported
  • A National seed sector platform established
  • Regional growers association formed
  • 180 seed producers and 6 private seed companies professionalized


Started in 2017, ISSD Myanmar Programme is a four-year programme that has been implemented in four Regions in the Dry Zone of Myanmar: Sagaing, Mandalay, Nay Pyi Taw and East Bago Regions. Rice, green gram, black gram, pigeon peas, chick peas, sesame, groundnuts as well as sunflower are the eight targeted crops of ISSD Myanmar Programme.

The programme consists of three different components:


By promoting ISSD Myanmar, the Directorate General for International Cooperation (DGIS) of the Netherlands, in partnership with the Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock and Irrigation (MOALI) of Myanmar, intends to support seed related development activities in Myanmar in general and more specifically in the Dry Zone.