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Myanmar govt channels funds to support fisheries sector

Calls for support from the fisheries sector are now being heeded by the government with the latest move involving a sum of K6 billion earmarked for fish
breeders.The funds are being distributed as subsidies for breeders to develop fish ponds across 150,000 acres of land, said U Ye Tun Win, Director General of the Livestock and Veterinary Department.

“The work to subsidise fishery businesses impacted by COVID-19 will be complete in September,” he said during a video conference with State Counsellor Daw Aung
San Suu Kyi.

He added that cold storage facilities will also be built in Yangon, Bago and Ayeyarwaddy, where a larger density of fisheries businesses are located. This will be set up with a US$4 million loan from the World Bank, U Ye Tun Win said.

A sum of K1.4 billion has also been allocated to support training and technology for breeders under the government’s COVID-19 Economic Recovery Plan. The funds
will be distributed by September. In total, the government has allocated up to K91.5 billion to support the agriculture and livestock sector.
According to research, 40 percent of some 4900 livestock and fisheries breeding businesses have been negatively affected by COVID-19. Earlier this year, the Myanmar Fisheries Federation reported that exports had ground to a halt after international orders were cancelled as a result of the pandemic. The EU and other western countries accounts for about 45pc of Myanmar’s fisheries exports, while China and Thailand account for the remaining 55pc.

The impact has cascaded down the fisheries value chain, leading to delays in transport and logistics and large quantities of spoilage.
Meanwhile, the government is also raising efforts to lure investments in the sector to support growth. Last week, the Myanmar Investment Commission approved the
development of a $115 million prawn farm across 828 acres of land at Kyar Gyi Aw Island in Myeik, Tanintharyi Region.

Environmental assessments have been conducted, according to U Htoo Htoo, director of Taninthayi Region Directorate of Investment and Company Administration.
During a video conference on July 7, State Counsellor Daw Aung San Suu Kyi had urged Myanmar fish and prawn traders to promote new types of fisheries products and
expand the export market.
She said producing value-added products like canned fish will help the industry generate new streams of revenue and diversify away from fresh fish and prawns. This would help protect fisheries businesses and prevent them from relying too much on a single source of income.

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Source : Myanmar Times

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