Message sent by State Administration Council Chairman Prime Minister of the Republic of the Union of Myanmar Senior General Thadoe Maha Thray Sithu Thadoe Thiri Thudhamma Min Aung Hlaing to the ceremony to mark Peasants Day

2 March 2023

Esteemed peasants,

Today is a significant occasion when is specially honouring the peasants across the nation. This significant occasion, I extend my greetings with the best wishes for all peasants who are main benefactors for food security of the people and economy and development of the State to have physical and mental well-being with auspiciousness as well as enjoy greater development in agriculture and livestock farming processes for improvement of socio-economic life.

Currently, the State Administration Council on its part is implementing five objectives aimed at enhancing socio-economic life based on public-centred development undertakings in order to ensure prosperity and food security of the nation. In so doing, an emphasis is being placed on improvement of agriculture and livestock farms of the nation as a crucial duty in accord with the objectives among four economic objectives: “To enhance development based on agriculture and livestock using modern production techniques and to strengthen all-round development in other sectors of the economy” and “To assure support for the sustainability of Micro-, Small- and Medium-Sized Enterprises (MSME) that prioritize import substitution, export production, and the use of domestically produced raw materials, in order to increase domestic production and generate employment opportunities”.

Strength of peasants and their families are playing a key role in implementing the food security and consumption with full nutrition and food security in the agriculture and livestock breeding sector which is a primary economic sector of the State. As such, the government also prioritizes improvement of socio-economic life of those benefactors.

The majority of global countries are facing challenges related to food security based on climate change and political instability across the world. Hence, every country is implementing various kinds of policies to ensure local food security. So also, Myanmar is striving for extended cultivation of paddy which must have high quality and per-acre yield and increased exportation. The sector of rice and rice products is very important in prioritizing export items in the national export strategic vision being implemented for boosting the export volume. Such a strategic vision aims to cultivate the paddy strains which must be high quality and sustainable development in conformity with the natural environment and export such kinds of paddy and rice to foreign market in order to develop the rural areas and increase the incomes.

Moreover, it is necessary to prevent use of farmlands in other ways as well as to expand sown acreage of crops in order to emphasize the rise of the per-acre yield of crops not only to ensure local food security but to increase export volume and develop State economy. In an effort to increase per-acre yield of crops, the government, the private businesspersons, organizations and farmers are to join hands in seeking quality strains of crops and purchasing inputs at reduced prices. As climate change causes lesser number of water sources, the government is supplying water to farmers in various ways and means. Hence, all need to efficiently use water and avoid waste of use.

That is why the Myanmar sustainable and harmonious development plan (2018-2030) is under implementation for increase of crop production to ensure food security and export larger volume of products to foreign market. In line with the economic policies of the State, plans for each crops are adopted yearly to ensure food security and boost the export sector. In 2021-2022 financial year, regions and states cultivated 17,294,457 acres of paddy, 9,769,819 acres of pulses and beans, 7,543,217 acres of oil crops, 1,501,514 acres of maize and 393,781 acres of cotton. Likewise, 15,223,332 acres of farmlands were placed under paddy, 9,582,015 acres under pulses and beans, 7,834,376 acres under oil crops, 1,474,951 acres under maize and 458,388 acres under cotton in 2022-2023 financial year.

To have higher per-acre yield of paddy, the 100-acre monsoon model plot project is being implemented in 2022-2023 financial year through systematic cultivation system. A total of 1,600 acres of monsoon paddy on model plots were cultivated in 15 townships of 12 regions and states—Nay Pyi Taw Council Area, Kachin, Kayin, Mon, Rakhine and Shan states, Sagaing, Bago, Magway, Mandalay, Yangon and Ayeyawady regions—against the target of 1,500 acres. If farmers can boost per-acre yield of paddy, it will be sufficient for local consumption as well as it will help export surplus rice to foreign countries. Hence, farmers will have to enjoy better socio-economy and benefit the country.

A plan is being implemented to expand cultivation of 1.5 million acres of sunflower in all parts of regions and states in order to increase the oil crop sector for ensuring local oil sufficiency. In order to contribute to agricultural charges of sunflower growers in the sunflower cultivation season, the government will arrange provision of sunflower seeds and inputs in time with the use of Ks-100.248 billion approved by the government. Currently, as some people consume cooking oil rather than the necessity, they face loss in health condition whereas export volume of cooking oil is high. Just adequate volume of cooking oil helps good health condition. Striving for consumption of cooking oil manufactured at home can reduce spending of foreign exchange. Hence, I would like to urge all to increase cultivation of oil crops.

Likewise, it is necessary to meet the target of growing 700,000 acres of long staple cotton within four years and increasing per-acre yield of long staple cotton to develop the cotton crop sector, aimed at meeting the local demand and exporting cotton while making efforts to reduce import volume of threads. The long staple cotton increased production project is being implemented from 2022-2023 to 2025-2026 financial years for meeting the target of more than 700 visses per acre of cotton and producing quality strains of cotton and wool.

Esteemed peasants,

“Only when it creates good economic opportunities of the nation can develop-ment of the country be undertaken.” Hence, the green gram and summer paddy project is being drawn to implement it with the State economic promotion fund from the national natural disaster management fund so as to increase agricultural  produce  and  individual incomes  of  farmers in the  agricultural

sector and improve socio-economic life of the people and revitalize the State economy. Arrangements are being made to spend Ks-230 billion from the State economic promotion fund on cultivation of 850,000 acres of summer paddy and 500,000 acres of green gram in 2022-2023 financial year.

In order to ensure food and nutrition security and increase per-acre yield of crops, public awareness is being raised for good agriculture practice-GAP and organic cultivation techniques for cultivation of primary crops and mixed and double cropping and producing safe and standardized crops. Moreover, farmers are educated for having knowledge about efficient use of cheap fertilizers to reduce agricutural cost, and use of natural fertilizers, silage and bio-fertilizers as well as make soil preparations.

Knowledge sharing for boosting per-acre yield of crops is being undertaken to increase incomes of peasants, and agricultural techniques on correct cultivation, enhancement of seed quality, prevention of pests, improvement of fertile soil and systematic management of agricultural water are being disseminated to peasants in order to conserve bio species and sustainability of environments. Connections are being created among the seed grower association-SGA, the seed grower cooperation-SGC, farmer group association, private sector and non-governmental organizations for enabling peasants to have investments in the agricultural sector.

Esteemed peasants,

As part of efforts to develop the rural region, the government is implementing 1,204 water supply projects and 111 solar-powered water pumping projects for 4,431 acres of oil crops in 29,294 villages, water supply projects in 14 towns, 43,707 solar home system-SHS projects and eight mini-grids in 15,063 villages, manufacturing road and bridge construction projects for 5,203 acres of oil crops and regular rural manufacturing road and bridge projects for 1.86 million acres of crops, construction of 72 rural houses, conducting of vocational courses for 676 times in 2022-2023 financial year. As per the rural development projects, the emerald green village project, the rural development project, establishment of smart village project, the public-centred project and the rural economic improvement fund establishment are under implementation.

In order to develop the livestock sector, the State fund was allotted for establishment of the emerald green (livestock sector) villages, distribution of pedigree farming animals, artificial insemination in genetically improvement of animal species, reproduction and control of species, establishment of farms for control and reproduction of animal species to distribute pedigree animals to peasants, sharing of livestock breeding techniques and raising awareness with peasants to operate livestock farms in accord with the good animal husbandry practices-GAHP, vaccinating farming animals, control and treatment for animal diseases, conducting disease surveys, and providing animal feeds and medicines to the natural disaster-hit areas. The directive has been issued for those engaging in the production of corn silage to be exported as new item in trading process, and such a feed is being exported to foreign market via land borders after conducting the research.

With regard to export of animal products to the foreign market, the country earned US$-42.982 million in total from April to December 2022 of the 2022-2023 financial year. As per the production of meat/milk/egg, the country produced 555.975 million vises of meat, 977.834 visses of milk and 2,849.531 million eggs from April to December 2022 of the 2022-2023 financial year.

In the fishery sector, there are more than two million fishermen who are involved in the capturing, farming and processing industries and production chains. In the previous year, Myanmar produced 6,074.82 thousands of metric tons of fish and shrimps, some 10 percent of which was exported abroad and the remaining was supplied to the domestic consumption. Till January 2023 of the 2022-2023 financial year, fish and prawn farms and capturing produced 4,528.51 thousands of metric tons, some 300 items of marine products weighing 407,469.804 tonnes were exported abroad to earn US$-631.242 million. Up to January 2023 of the 2022-2023 financial year, 976.066 tonnes of farming shrimps were produced, some 30 items of marine products weighing 47,812.845 metric tons was exported to international market earning US$-60.285 million. As marine products are exported to more than 40 customer countries, these marine products are placed under the test for food safety to export these items meeting international standards. As production of marine products in all sectors contributes much to economic development of the State, I would like to express my recognition over the perseverance, industry and endeavours of those involved in the fishery sector.

Esteemed peasants,

The peasants playing a pivotal role in economic development of the State need to actively cooperate with those involved in the production chains of value-added products and relevant organizations. If the agriculture and livestock sector has investments, inputs including necessary machinery and agricultural techniques, productivity will improve and the State economy will have more development.

It is necessary to consider manufacturing of value-added products with the use of raw materials from the agriculture and livestock farms. Moreover, I would like to urge all to successfully operate the one region one product based on agriculture and livestock farms and the micro, small and medium sized enterprises (MSME) related to the agriculture and livestock products. Development of agriculture and livestock sector will be fruitful results for peasants, farming workers, businesspersons and those involved in the crop value chains, contributing to the State economy.

Our country is blessed with abundant natural land and water resources. Depending on the climatic conditions for agriculture and livestock tasks, the whole country has to strive for acceleration of cultivation with the use of appropriate agricultural techniques and united strength of peasants to develop the national interests of the State in all aspects including agriculture sector. I would like to express the honour of benefactor peasants who make utmost efforts for production of foods at full capacity to export agricultural produce and animal products with momentum amid some difficulties and the internal and international trade restrictions, and I send this message with deeply urging all to march towards the goals in joining hands for overcoming all challenges, hindrances and difficulties we all will face for the long term interests of all citizens including peasants across the Union.

Senior General Thadoe Maha Thray Sithu

Thadoe Thiri Thudhamma Min Aung Hlaing

 Prime Minister

Chairman, State Administration Council

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