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Israel plans post harvest warehouses in Mandalay

An Israeli company is in talks with the government to build warehouses within a year to help farmers with post-harvest production in Mandalay Region.

Avri Bar Zur, chief agronomist at Oz Agribusiness Projects and Investments Ltd, told The Myanmar Times that the project, estimated to cost from US$10 million to $20 million, will be carried out with a local partner.

He said local farmers lack post-harvest technology, for instance, to store sesame seeds, which they sell immediately after harvesting, so sometimes they cannot get good returns.

“Farm infrastructure is needed to help farmers. If they know about post-harvest production techniques, they can store their products for several months and sell them when prices are high on the market,” he said.

Avri Bar Zur said public and private investments are needed to develop the agriculture industry and make it more profitable.

“First farmers have to improve the quality of their products, so they they can get higher prices from China, Singapore, or other markets,” he added.

He said more than 60 percent of Myanmar’s population are engaged in farming but the sector only contributes about 35pc of the country’s gross domestic product. The productivity and quality of Myanmar agriculture crops are the lowest in Southeast Asia.

Nir Balzam, deputy head of mission at the Israeli embassy in Yangon, said Myanmar and Israel have big potential for cooperation in the public and private sector to develop agriculture.

“In the public sector, we are providing training, and the Agriculture Ministry in Mandalay is sending students to Israel to learn more about farming,” he said at the Introduction to Agritech Israel 2018 Exhibition which was held in Mandalay last Thursday.

Israeli expertise and technology in agriculture are helping Myanmar reform its vast agriculture sector, while the recently enforced investment protection agreement is expected to boost inward investment for Myanmar.

Following the signing of an agreement for reciprocal promotion and protecting of investments between the two countries in October 2014, the agreement took effect in 2017.

Myanmar is trying to tap Israel’s advanced agriculture technology to develop its own farming sector.Among the cooperation projects is the setting up of agriculture model fields in Myanmar.

Source: Myanmar Times

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