Bente Meindertsma

Country Coordinator

Yangon, Myanmar

About Me

I am the country coordinator for the new AgriProFocus network in Myanmar. The job is part of the Young Experts Programme (YEP).
After studying International Relations, I started working as a Supply and Development Manager for Max Havelaar, the Dutch Fairtrade Foundation. Furthermore, I have worked as a reporter for Vice Versa, the Dutch platform for journalism about international cooperation.

Skills and Expertise


Posted By in AgriProFocus Myanmar
Posted 1 month 2 days ago

Welcome drinks AgriProFocus and MDF Myanmar

Yesterday evening, AgriProFocus and MDF celebrated the opening of their joint office in Myanmar. At the side of the beautyful Inya Lake in Yangon, we raised the glass with our first Dutch and Myanmar partners. Ambassador of the Netherlands Wouter Jurgens stressed the importance of capacity building and links between different stakeholders in the value chain in Myanmar. There embassy therefore warmly welcomed AgriProFocus and MDF in Myanmar, and wished us growth and success for the coming years. 

Janine Schoeman Congrats with the official opening! It looks like you picked an amazing spot to celebrate!

1 month 1 day ago

Posted By in AgriProFocus Myanmar
Posted 1 month 2 weeks ago

Myanmar Farm Production Economics

This report was prepared by the World Bank in partnership with the Livelihoods and Food Security Multi-Donor Trust Fund (LIFT). Both the World Bank and the LIFT are actively involved in supporting Myanmar’s agriculture sector given its significance in poverty reduction and food security, and they both consider the lack of reliable farm data to be a significant constraint to designing effective programs and policies. This report fills some of the data gaps. In addition to presenting the collected data, the report offers the first analysis of these data. 

The four main findings of the report are as follows: (i) Myanmar’s farming systems are diversified and during the monsoon season most farms produce paddy, during the cool and dry seasons most farms produce crops other than paddy, mainly beans and pulses, oilseeds, and maize; (ii) the analysis reconfirmed that agricultural productivity in Myanmar is low, irrespective of what indicators are used,

... Read more

Posted By in AgriProFocus Myanmar
Posted 1 month 3 weeks ago

A positive start in Myanmar  

Three weeks ago, I arrived Yangon, the biggest city of Myanmar to work as the Country Coordinator for the 13th AgriProFocus network. I am impressed by the positive spirit and feel Myanmar has a lot of opportunity for economic development. With nearly 70% of the labour force dependent on agriculture, this sector has a crucial role to play in improving food and nutrition security for all. My first goal now is to further explore the role and added value of the AgriProFocus network in Myanmar and start up linking and learning activities with our Dutch members and local partners.

I would like to share some first conclusions and next steps that we want to take as the network.

We made a good start, with the visit Rolf Schinkel, network facilitator and interim Director of programs the week after my arrival. Together, we conducted an intensive round of introductions. The AgriProFocus network was warmly welcomed by many of our members from civil society, the priv

... Read more

Posted By in AgriProFocus Myanmar
Posted 2 months 3 days ago

Access to Finance for Businesses in Myanmar: A Constraints Analysis

Last year, the Dutch NGO SPARK commissioned a comprehensive study to identify the main restrictions to getting access to finance in Myanmar. This policy-oriented document aims to: i) identify the main constraints that entrepreneurs and companies face when seeking to access finance in Myanmar; ii) give an indication of the adverse impact that stems from these constraints; iii) where pertinent, suggest how other transitional and developing economies have sought to address this issue; and iv) offer some recommendations as to how these constraints could be addressed by policy-makers and other stakeholders.

The report focusses on general principles of finance provision, current debt finance constraints in Myanmar and emerging non-debt financing constraints. Please find the full report by clicking the link below. 

Karina Ufert Thank you for posting Bente! The report is also available in Myanmar language, if anyone interested. Cheers, Karina

2 months 1 day ago

Bente Meindertsma Thank Karina, it would be great if you could share the Myanmar version on the platform or with me directly. Best, Bente

2 months 1 day ago

Posted By in AgriProFocus Myanmar
Posted 2 months 3 weeks ago

From Rice Bowl to Food Basket; Myanmar Agricultural Reform White Paper

Last April, the Myanmar National Economic and Social Advisory Council (NESAC) developed a new vision for Myanmar’s Agricultural Development: From rice bowl to food basket; Three pillars for modernizing Myanmar’s agricultural and food sector.

'Myanmar is ready to seize that promise for its own future. But we must break away from a legacy of policies that have held back, rather than stimulated, our farmers’ potential', writes Tin Htut Oo, Chairman of the National Economic and Social Advisory Committee. 'A mind-set change is needed to step out of the Green Revolution, business-as-usual approach that focused on supply-led yield increases and domestic food self-sufficiency. We need to shift to an innovative new agricultural policy vision that centers on a demand-led approach driven by domestic consumers and foreign markets with increased productivity throughout the sector. To succeed in practice, we need to break do

... Read more

Posted By in AgriProFocus Myanmar
Posted 3 months 21 hours ago

Dutch minister of Foreign Affairs opens Netherlands Embassy in Yangon 

On Wednesday, foreign minister Bert Koenders opened a new Dutch embassy in Yangon, Myanmar. It is the first time in nearly 50 years that the Netherlands has an embassy in the Asian country. ‘This is the right moment to strengthen our ties,’ Mr Koenders said at the opening ceremony. 

In a meeting with foreign minister Aung San Suu Kyi earlier in the day, Mr Koenders expressed his support for democratic developments there. He affirmed the Netherlands’ intention to provide support to the peace process through various channels.   

 The embassy will work to further enhance economic relations. ‘On the one hand, the Netherlands is keen to contribute to the economic development of one of the poorest countries in Southeast Asia. On the other, Myanmar’s need for good water/delta management, clean drinking water, navigable rivers and better defences against natural disasters offers great opportu

... Read more

Posted By in AgriProFocus Myanmar
Posted 4 months 1 week ago

Today is my first day as the new country coordinator for Myanmar. I am very excited to start this new adventure and look forward to get to know my new hometown Yangon! But first of all I will start with a three week training course to learn about personal effectiveness, project management, intercultural communications and many other things. This is part of the Young Experts Programma (YEP), a 2 year Dutch traineeship I'm participating in. 

After the training, I will work at the AgriProFocus office in the Netherlands for a few weeks to prepare everything. I intend to start working in Yangon by early November. 

I'm looking forward to this new challenge and hope to get to know you all soon! 

AgriProFocus Indonesia Welcome Bente, looking forward to work with you in the near future!

4 months 1 week ago