VICE President U Henry Van Thio, in his capacity as chairman of the Farmer Rights Protection and Interest Promotion Committee, visited Pantanaw Township in Ayeyawady Region, yesterday.
His inspection tour to the Ayeyarwaddy Integrated Food Industry Complex was accompanied by Union Minister Dr Aung Thu, Deputy Minister Dr Tun Naing, Permanent Secretary U Win Tint and officials.
First, Myanmar Fisheries Federation Chairman U Htay Myint gave a short briefing about seafood processing and laboratory analysis for aquatic products.
At the project meeting hall, the Chairman gave a briefing on the development of multi-purpose project, preparations for export, coordination with international organizations, ongoing processes and future plans.
In his remark, the Vice President said that their tour was to coordinate the assistance provided by the Union government for the project with electricity and other requirements requested during the meeting at the Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock and Irrigation on 9 October.
He also said that as Myanmar was a country which relied on agriculture and livestock, farming and fisheries were the major economic drivers for the country.
While agricultural produce were subject to certain market restrictions, Myanmar seafood products were in soaring demand.
The Vice President also remarked that private-public cooperation could address challenges in the country’s seafood industry.
He said Myanmar ranked 14th in the world in the possession of freshwater fishery resources, with four major rivers.
Moreover, the country had 3,282 kilometer long coastal areas, and purity level of water at the coastline stood 10th level in the world.
Meanwhile, Viet Nam had only the Mekong river, and its land area was only 48 per cent compared with Myanmar. However, its revenue from fisheries sector fetches around US$8.8 billion annually, increasing over 12 folds of Myanmar with $700 million each year.
The Vice President concluded that Myanmar had deficiencies in modern technology and techniques compared with other countries in catching fish and prawns and in producing value-added products, although the country had abundant fishery resources. He also remarked that suitable zones should be set up in States and Regions to produce more aquatic products and master plans must be implemented by the state-owned and private firms.
The Vice President said the Ayeyarwaddy Integrated Food Industry Complex was expected to become an initial project for Myanmar fisheries products to penetrate international markets. He also pledged the Union government would provide assistance, and he called on the private sector to contribute in the national interest as well as for the interest of the private sector.
Then, Deputy Minister Dr Tun Naing explained about power supply for the Ayeyawady region, and sufficient distribution of electricity in the multi-purpose project. Vice President U Henry Van Thio gave comments and suggestions to ensure coordination with respect to the project.
Then, they inspected fish feeding, breeding, processing, freezing and refrigeration of seafood.
The Ayaywarwady Integrated Industry Complex located in Pantanaw Township with the aim of promoting the country’s fisheries industry for more export earnings, revenue and employment opportunities.
The multi-purpose project was established on 900 acres of land and has employed over 2,000 workers at present. It has a target of employing over 6,000 in the next five years with an estimated production value of US$ 3 billion to become the largest livestock project in Southeast Asia.
The project included breeding of fish hatchlings, processing, freezing and refrigerated storages, examining fish diseases, water and food quality, fish species, laboratory to test foods, staff quarters, road and security system, fence construction, sale centres, welfares programmes in social, education and healthcare for labour families, and dissemination of livestock knowledge for the locals.
(Translated by Aung Khin)
Ref: The Global New Light of Myanmar