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Abstract

Across Southeast Asia, agricultural growth has historically been a major driver of overall economic growth and poverty reduction (Christiaensen, Demery, and Kuhl 2011).1 Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand and Vietnam all enjoyed rapid agricultural growth as part of their successful development over the past several decades. Given broad similarities in the economic structures of these countries in the 1970s, 1980s and 1990s in comparison with Myanmar today, the historical evidence suggests that rapid agricultural growth in Myanmar has the potential to be the engine for broad-based economic growth and poverty reduction. Moreover, the current democratic reforms in Myanmar create opportunities for development of agricultural and economic policies for greater food security and poverty reduction.

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