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 day 17 hours ago

Act Alliance: People will suffer if only investors' concerns are considered

The European Union (EU) and Myanmar have entered the final negotiations on an Investment Protection Agreement. The agreement aims to promote EU investment in Myanmar, investment intended to bring foreign capital, employment, new technologies, skills and know-how to the country. However, a new report, commissioned by ACT Alliance EU and Myanmar, warns that the agreement, alongside stimulating investment, may also lead to human rights violations and hinder future development.‘Investment agreements have failed to prevent human rights abuses by foreign investors. And I am sorry to note how we as European countries prioritize growth and trade above basic human rights. Many governments are eager to attract and promote investments, but if these come at the expense of human rights, development for poor and vulnerable people may be jeopardized’ says ACT Alliance EU Director, Floris Faber.On the one hand, investment a

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Myanmar Mango & Tea Festival, Horti Trade Fair

Event posted by in AgriProFocus Myanmar
  20 May 2017 to 22 May 2017 - All Day Event
  Institute of Sport & Physical Education in Mandalay

The event is organized by the Myanmar Fruit, Flower and Vegetable Producer and Exporter Association (MFVP) Yangon & Mandalay.

The goals of the event are:

· To boost the quality of existing Myanmar Mango and Tea varieties for export to International markets

· To identify new kinds of Myanmar Mango and Tea and give their names

· To distribute the awarded varieties to different regions of Myanmar

· To create the market linkages with producers, buyers, exporters and others

· To display different kinds of Agricultural fresh produces and other commodities

The 3 Day event will be attended by:

· Exhibitors showcasing their companies

· 88 Booths with Chinese Exhibitors

· Farmers/Producers

· Importers / Exporters

· Buyers

· Input suppliers

· Agricultura

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Posted By in AgriProFocus Myanmar
Posted 1 day 20 hours ago

Agriterra Myanmar is hiring

Job Description

The local business advisor will work according to the ‘Job description Business Advisor’ and under the direct responsibility of the manager Agri-Advice in the Netherlands. He or she will work in close collaboration with the other business advisors for Myanmar (currently 1 person) and of the Agriterra Asia Team. This person will provide expert advice, coordinate advisory trajectories with clients, and have an advisory and broker role in the closing of business deals aimed at building well-organised and operational cooperatives and farmers’ organisations. In order to achieve this, the successful candidate will initiate and maintain a network that will include cooperatives and farmers’ organisations, financial institutions, traders, service providers and other stakeholders in the value chain. He/she will initiate and guide change trajectories with clients, and will lobby, mediate and support negotiation processes, as well as prepare busine

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Posted By in AgriProFocus Myanmar
Posted 4 days 15 hours ago

East-West Seed supports Myanmar government in improving the productivity of vegetable farmers

Registered as a foreign company in Myanmar, East-West Seed is engaged in producing and distributing high quality vegetable seeds, as well as providing training to farmers through its Knowledge Transfer activities.

The Hague, 20 April 2017 -- A high level political delegation from Myanmar, led by second vice president of Myanmar, H.E. Henry Van Thio visited the Netherlands from 19-23 April. East-West Seed, represented by Ard Groot (vice chairman of the Supervisory Board), took part in a dinner reception for the Myanmar delegation along with other private Dutch companies who are operating in Myanmar.

Other members of the high level delegation are the minister of Transport and Communications, H.E. U Thant Sin Maung, the chief minister of Yangon, H.E. U Phyo Min Thein, and the chief minister of Ayeyarwady, H.E. Mahn Johnny.

“We are honored to have this opportunity to share with the leaders of Myan

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Posted By in AgriProFocus Myanmar
Posted 3 weeks 1 day ago

A new network and fresh perspectives on Nuffic Alumni food security event Yangon

On March 31 and April 1, MDF Myanmar, Holland Alumni Association Myanmar (HAAM), Golden Plain and AgriProFocus Myanmar organized a Nuffic Alumni event about food security in Yangon.

All Myanmar professionals that studied in the Netherlands or received training from a Dutch institution were invited to network and learn about hot topics related to food security. Furthermore, Dutch and Myanmar companies, NGO’s, farmers organizations and even members of parliament active in the food security sector attended the two day event.

On the first day, Ohnmar Khaing, Myanmar Program Manager at the Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research (ACIAR), introduced the food security framework and current debates. Participants then were invited to share their own ideas about lessons learned and opportunities in shaping food security in Myanmar in a world cafe discussion.

Critical questions to the government


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Wim Goris thanks for the update. will you circulate presentations too?

3 weeks 1 day ago

Bente Meindertsma Yes, we sent around the presentations to all the participants. If you're interested, I can share them with you too. 

2 weeks 6 days ago

Posted By in AgriProFocus Myanmar
Posted 1 month 1 week ago

Great interest in Geodata for Agriculture and Water workshop in Myanmar 

On March 16, AgriProFocus Myanmar, together with the Netherlands Space Offcie organized a information and matchmaking workshop for Geodata for Agriculture and Water (G4AW). The aim of the workshop was to inspire and facilitate potential partnerships for the 3rd call for proposals of the G4AW Facility with objectives, criteria, and timeline information.

The G4AW Facility is a programme of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Kingdom of the Netherlands. The Netherlands Space Office is responsible for the implementation of this programme. G4AW supports projects to develop and operate information and/or financial services to improve food security in partner countries. The projects are aimed to improve sustainable food production and to increase the efficient use of inputs like seeds, fertilizer, pesticides and water in agriculture by providing satellite information based products and services to smallholders. S

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Posted By in AgriProFocus Myanmar
Posted 1 month 2 weeks ago

Fruits of labour; Following Myanmar's produce trail

TAKE AN early morning walk down almost any street in the commercial capital and it’s likely you’ll stumble upon a group of street vendors laying out their wares for the day ahead. These stalls sell the fruits and vegetables that Yangonites – both native and adopted – consume on a daily basis.

But where did their produce come from and how did it get here? Frontier travelled to the bustling Thiri Mingalar Market in Hlaing Township, one of the largest wholesale bazaars in the city, to find out.

Orange – lainmaw thee

At this time of year, fruits such as apples, grapes, pears and small oranges that are sold in Yangon mostly come from China. The larger, better quality oranges are grown in Hsipaw in northern Shan State, said fruit vendor Ma Moe Moe.

The small oranges from China, known as pya lainmaw in Myanmar language, are cheap and considered less nutritious. The Shan State oranges are thought to be healthier but are more expensive,

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Posted By in AgriProFocus Myanmar
Posted 1 month 4 weeks ago

Did you study in the Netherlands or receive training from a Dutch organization in Myanmar? 

Then we are looking for you! 


Food Security Nuffic Alumni Event

Event posted by in AgriProFocus Myanmar
  31 March 2017 to 01 April 2017 - All Day Event

MDF Asia, Holland Alumni Association Myanmar (HAAM), Golden Plain and AgriProFocus Myanmar are organizing a two day conference about challenges in achieving food security in Myanmar and the Dry Zone specifically. The aim of the conference is to bring together Nuffic Alumni from the agricultural sector and Dutch and Myanmar businesses, NGO’s and researchers to discuss innovative approaches to addressing challenges in achieving food security in Myanmar.   

More information will follow soon. If you are interested to join, please send an email to


G4AW information and matchmaking workshop

Event posted by in AgriProFocus Myanmar
  16 March 2017, All Day Event

By mid March 2017, a third call for proposals will be announced for the Geodata for Agriculture and Water (G4AW) facility.  To inform all relevant stakeholders and support the setup of public-private partnerships for G4AW, Netherlands Space Office and AgriProFocus will organize a workshop in Yangon. If you are interested to join this workshop, please contact Bente Meindertsma by sending an email to

G4AW improves food security in developing countries by using satellite data. The facility promotes and supports private investments for large scale, demand driven and satellite based information services. It provides a platform for partnerships of public organisations, research institutes, private sector operators, NGO’s, farmer cooperatives, satellite data/service operators, businesses and transmission operators, developing space for food security.  Please find more information here. 

Posted By in AgriProFocus Myanmar
Posted 2 months 3 weeks ago

Netherlands Space Office visits Myanmar to support food security

From January 25 to 27, AgriProFocus Myanmar, in collaboration with the Netherlands Embassy, organized an inventory visit for Netherlands Space Office (NSO), the Dutch governmental agency for space. The Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs commissioned NSO to execute the Geodata for Agriculture and Water (G4AW) Facility. The purpose of the visit was to prepare for the third call for proposals for G4AW, which will open mid March, 2017 and will be announced via Dutch Governmental Gazette . (NSO will publish the official announcement on the G4AW website in due time.

G4AW improves food security in developing countries by using satellite data. The facility promotes and supports private investments for large scale, demand driven and satellite based information services. It provides a platform for partnerships of public organisations, research institutes, private sector operators, NGO’s, farmer cooperatives, satellite data/servic

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MiTA MYANMAR Agriculture & Food Exhibitions and Conference

Event posted by in AgriProFocus Myanmar
  24 February 2017 to 26 February 2017 - All Day Event
  Tatmadaw Exhibition Hall, Yangon, Myanmar

Mita Myanmar Agriculture and Food Exhibitions & Conference is a 3 day event being held from 24th February to the26th February 2017 at the Tatmadaw Exhibition Hall in Yangon, Myanmar. This event showcases products like Tractors, cutting machinery, tilling, seed, grain handling equipment, miling and processing machinery, drainage & irrigation equipment, pipe & piping equipments, packaging, canned food, dried food, seafood & much more etc. in the Agriculture & Forestry, Food & Beverage, Industrial Products industries.  

Free entrance. 

Register at 


NW Myanmar Agriculture and Community Development Workshop

Event posted by in AgriProFocus Myanmar
  07 February 2017 - 08:00 to 10 February 2017 - 17:00
  Kalay Myo, Sagaing Region

ECHO Asia, in partnership with the CSSDD of the Myanmar Babtist Convention, is pleased to offer training in NW Myanmar. 

Some of the 14 topics presented may include: 

- Biochar and water filters

- Seed banking and seed saving

- Integrated agriculture options for sustainable land use

Presented in both English and Birmese. 

Registration fee: $110, including workshop, meals and basic accomodation. 

For more information or to register please contact: 

Expats:, or register at

Myanmar nationals: CSSDD at Myanmar Babtist Convention,

Posted By in AgriProFocus Myanmar
Posted 3 months 1 week ago

Myanmar Department of Agriculture to open call centre for farmers

The Department of Agriculture has plans to open a call centre aimed at quickly answering agricultural questions from farmers throughout Myanmar.

While the Department of Agriculture’s main task is to provide educational support to rural farmers, problems arise when sending individual staff members to conduct field inspections on land plots as large as 1000 acres.

Ideally, the call centre employees operating the hotline and staff in the field will work together to answer farmers’ questions and concerns, said U Ye Tint Tun, the director general of the Department of Agriculture.

“We are trying to open the call centre by mid February or early March,” said U Ye Tint Tun, the director general of the Department of Agriculture.

Read more here

Posted By in AgriProFocus Myanmar
Posted 4 months 1 week 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!

4 months 1 week ago

Posted By in AgriProFocus Myanmar
Posted 4 months 4 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,

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Posted By in AgriProFocus Myanmar
Posted 5 months 5 days 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

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Posted By in AgriProFocus Myanmar
Posted 5 months 2 weeks 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

5 months 1 week 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

5 months 1 week ago

Posted By in AgriProFocus Myanmar
Posted 6 months 5 days 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

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Posted By in AgriProFocus Myanmar
Posted 6 months 1 week 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

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