Myanmar and the Netherlands have planted the seeds of cooperation to develop the local agricultural sector, especially the development of high yielding crop seeds.
A ceremony to mark the program was held in Nay Pyi Taw on Tuesday, which sees the Netherlands sharing its vast research and development in seed technology with Myanmar, whose economy depends heavily on agriculture in both the domestic and export sectors.
Myanmar is keen to develop its agricultural sector and aims to improve its economic growth in order to meet domestic as well as export markets.
Speaking at the ceremony, Union minister of Agriculture, Livestock and Irrigation Dr Aung Thu said the country’s lack of technology and proper research hinders development of this vital sector.
“Although we are trying very hard to promote the agricultural sector, Myanmar still cannot compete with other countries due to low crop yields, low investment and a lack of research and development as well as technology.
And seeds are the basic ingredient for development in the agricultural sector,” said Dr Aung Thu.
In order to improve the agricultural sector, good quality seeds must be delivered to the farmers on time so that food products, which meet high standards, can be produced, he said.
According to a Department of Agriculture statement, a seed sector development project was inked in a bilateral agreement on May 19, 2015.
“The objectives of the seed sector development project are to supply high quality seeds compatible to different climates and farmers with small holdings, to promote the planting of high quality seeds and to maintain agricultural growth in the long run,” the statement added.
The project will be carried out in the country’s torrid zones such as the Mandalay, Sagaing and Bago (east) regions and Nay Pyi Taw. According to the project, the seed requirements of these regions will be determined, and the organisations responsible for seed production will also be established.
Training will be provided to 180 seed producers and seed producing groups to support the seed production and to expand the export market.
The project aims to increase crop yields of farmers in the torrid zone, who own small plots, and it will be carried out along the agricultural development support project under the auspices of the World Bank and the Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock and Irrigation. The project started on April 1, and will continue till December 2020 with a budget of 1.5 million euros.
Dr Aung Thu also said that farmers in Myanmar do not have the advantage of planting good quality seeds as they could not afford to buy high yield seeds which were very expensive.
Source: Myanmar Times