Shwe Yaung Pya Agro Co., Ltd.
Max Myanmar decided to enter into rubber industry in line with its diversification strategy and accordingly, SYP Agro Co., Ltd and SYP rubber plantation were established in 2004.
- To promote the industrial raw material rubber plantation which lagged far behind comparing to Thailand and Malaysia
- To utilize the fallow land in Mon State to rejuvenate the agricultural sector of Myanmar
- To promote economic, social and community development in the area
- To provide sustainable income for the local community by creating employment opportunity.
- To preserve the environment by applying and sharing advanced and eco¬friendly plantation technology and knowledge.
- SYP plantation is the only rubber plantation of Max Myanmar Holding Co., Ltd and it is located at Shwe Yaung Pya Mountain near Awingyi Village in Belin Township, 131 miles away from Yangon. Shwe Yaung Pya area originally was mostly undeveloped, rugged hilly area with scattered swamp and covered by bushes and small trees. From security point of view, the area was not peaceful and there was occasional skirmishes between armed groups till 2000. The area did not have basic infrastructure such as paved road, water supply, irrigation system, and electricity.
- Total 3373 acres has been used for actual plantation to allow some original land owners who did not want the land compensation and preferred to continue to reside in their land. Out of 3373 acres, Kyats 423.746 Million had been compensated for 1841.32 acres which had land owners from 2005 to 2012. The remaining 1533 acres are vacant land without any owners.
- Additional compensation of 274.9 Million Kyats have been paid to owners of 1145 acres in 2013 February and April, amounting to 698.646 Million in total compensation.
- From 2010, the country embraced the transition process leading to new democratic system and introducing several initiatives to transform key industrial sectors which lagged far behind comparing to other ASEAN members. To promote the rubber industry was one key initiative and Ministry of Agriculture and Irrigation had guiding principles to utilize the fallow land across the country and also in in Mon State to rejuvenate the agricultural sector of Myanmar and to promote industrial raw material production. As such local government had encourage new investment in such sectors especially in industrial scale. On the other hand, contrary to some assumption, military did not take any role and did not involve in those plantation projects either directly or indirectly.
- Starting from 2004 inception, Max Myanmar has engaged with all stakeholders to obtain their consent and support for the plantation including land owners, local authority, community heads, religious leaders, and political organizations such as NLD, 88 Generation Students, and KNU is also one of the stakeholders participated in meetings with land owners. In particular, to fulfil the voice of the land owners were what we all cared for at that time.
- Followed up negotiation with some land owners were held in again in 2013 for the 2nd and 3rd round compensations to settle renewed claims from local people. KNU is one of the mediators at that time, together with representatives from NLD and 88 Generation Students, in helping negotiating the land owners to get a collective agreement.
- Max Myanmar has put its upmost effort to get a mutual and collective agreement to give additional compensation to original land owners at that time without any coercion of whatsoever to land owners from any stakeholders and the land price settled at that time was at market value comparing to adjacent similar area.
- Further discussion were held to discuss with other local authorities to promote the systemic and sustainable development of the region in terms of health care clinic, health screening, education, school buildings, technology and knowledge sharing, and other basic infrastructure such as building roads, establishing new mode of arable water supply, football fields and electricity from solar power to sourcing from national grid.
- Max Myanmar has invested more than 12 million USD from 2004 to 2016 in ground preparation, plantation, construction of roads, residential building for employees, management office, smoke dry kilns, infra-structure for electricity supply, machineries, logistics, water supply, training and development, and R & D.
- Total tapping area 2485 acres produced total rubber production of 2 million pounds for 2015-2016 fiscal year. Shwe Yaung Pya has a work force of 633 employees with employment contract drafted in line with our country labor laws and international norms. More than 2000 family members work and live in our plantation in housing provided by Max Myanmar with co-operative style grocery store, health care clinic, school, students ferry, solar power, water distribution system, and football play grounds.
- Current production capacity and world market price are not favorable for export especially for small farm owners. Max Myanmar supports the statement that small holder farm is a competing business model to larger estate size model which possess economy of scale. One advantage of family hold small plantation is that they can raise live stocks to increase their household income and in SYP, similar model has been in place for a couple of years. We need to conduct due diligence by all stakeholders and study more detail from different dimensions so that we can achieve sustainable socio-economic benefits, and especially a business model that can drive our country socio-economic development and higher living standards of our people as a whole comparing to neighboring countries. We understand that well developed policies and support from state are key determinants to achieve the targeted outcome for small scale, family run business model of any industry so that they can contribute the development of the community collectively. We need well developed national level strategic business plan for short and long term.
- In addition, we cannot ignore the developments in our neighboring countries as we are joining AEC in very near future. Our country industrial policies and establishments must be well positioned to be able to compete other ASEAN members. We will study more on the experiences and lessons learned by world major rubber producers like Thailand, Indonesia, and Malaysia relating to the benefits of small family owned farms. In addition we need to consider the investment we have made in terms of finance, capital expenditure, time, and others to transform the un-peaceful, undeveloped hilly rugged area to become one of the best, systematic, and eco-friendly plantation in Myanmar where several academician, master students, NGOs, INGOs, and MNCs have visited to learn.
- On the other hand, with current rubber price, some family owned plantations had already shifting to ax alternative perennial crops such as beetle nut, sugar cane, pepper, and mango since small farm owners cannot withstand the downward market pressure.
- Max Myanmar will always strive hard for the good of the country and determined to take initiatives to promote responsible business practices in our country. We will always pursue what is best for the community, for the people, and to further strengthen our country economic power, and to raise the living standards of our people.
- To be responsible and transparent in doing business, we developed and implemented several responsible business policies including “Human Right Policy which is the most complete Human Right Policy developed by a Myanmar Business Group”, “Anti-Land Grabbing/Land Acquisition Policy”, “Grievance Handling Policy” through which we can engage with not only employment but also community dispute.
- Further, we have actively participated in seminars and workshops on Transparency, anti-corruption, Human Rights, corporate governance, and sustainable business practices to name a few. For such initiative and continuous efforts, we have been bestowed with “Best ESG Transparency 2015” award by “cfi”.