Nay Pyi Taw December 9
Chairman of State Administration Council Prime Minister Senior General Min Aung Hlaing met coffee entrepreneurs and MSME entrepreneurs from PyinOoLwin, Mandalay Region, at the town hall in PyinOoLwin this morning and discussed coffee cultivation and production.
Present together with the Senior General were Joint SAC Secretary Lt-Gen Ye Win Oo, SAC member Lt-Gen Nyo Saw, union ministers U Min Naung, U Khin Maung Yi, Dr Charlie Than, Dr Nyunt Pe and Dr Myo Thein Kyaw, Mandalay Region Chief Minister U Myo Aung, senior military officers from the Office of the Commanderin- Chief, the Central Command commander, and departmental officials from PyinOoLwin District.
Endeavors to turn PyinOoLwin into coffee city
In his address, the Senior General said the meeting was held to fulfill the needs to develop MSMEs based on coffee and local goods in PyinOoLwin. Land allotment project was undertaken to develop Pyin Oo Lwin into a coffee cultivation area. It is found that some persons, who received land, never took part in the coffee project on full scale. Entrepreneurs should actually perform their business, and the government officials should provide them with opportunities to do so.
The country’s economy mainly relies on farming. Food is important for the daily life; hence, farming must be conducted to fulfill this need. Food is a global need and the country needs to effectively utilize its favourable conditions for the success of farming. In this regard, the SAC is giving support to businesses based on farming. Actual efforts for the businesses will provide the national economy with a great deal of support.
The coffee project started in PyinOoLwin area over ten years ago. But the industry did not achieve progress as expected because of the weakness in support. If the coffee producers were really serious then, the industry would be producing more coffee. Coffee industry development is a must-do project, supportive of the business of PyinOoLwin area, which has a suitable soil and weather condition for the crop. PyinOoLwin’s coffee industry has gained progress to a certain degree as the Senior General has met coffee entreprenurs from the area time and again and looked into their requirements. PyinOoLwin should be able to sell its coffee products locally and internationally on a wider scale in accord with the goal to turn it into coffee city. The area can boost production within five or seven years if it starts a systematic coffee plantation and production project now.
The country had never supported the production businesses throughout the past successive eras. Low production was the result of annual trade deficits, while the country had to import fuel oil and cooking oil ever year. Although the country can produce cooking oil, the local agricultural industry could not supply enough raw materials for it. Hence, the government is providing support to the cooking crop growers. Moreover, the country is importing dairy products annually. So, the government is supporting the local production industry and is striving to reduce imports and boost exports.
MSMEs should extend the production of farming-based food as PyinOoLwin area has an abundant array of farm products. The government will give support to milk cow breeding and dairy industry.Locals must be able to develop the region. As coffee is a business that will benefit the region and the country, concerted effortsshould be made to transfer PyinOoLwin town, already known as a resort, the cherry city, or the city of flowers, into a coffee city in terms of economy and local products that we should be proud of. In the production of coffee, only if the quality is good and the packaging is good, will the market be more available, so the State will assist with technology and other necessary things. Improving things from the basis means promoting the national economy. The purpose of today’s meeting is to provide what is needed for the development of coffee businesses and MSMEs in PyinOoLwin, so those in attendance are urged to present their needs and suggestions.
Union minister’s reports about coffee cultivation
Union Minister for Agriculture, Livestock and Irrigation U Min Naung and Union Minister for Natural Resources and Environmental Conservation U Khin Maung Yi reported on coffee cultivation projects in PyinOoLwin area, findings of land use according to the field inspection, the revocation of coffee cultivation permits for the land where coffee is not grown at all, discussions with coffee farmers to improve coffee production, progress in coffee cultivation and efforts for cultivation boosting, conducting of a field inspection on the use of more buildings on vacant land outside the city and measures taken in accordance with the rules and regulations, measures to improve coffee cultivation in PyinOoLwin coffee project land, plans that will continue, the needs of workers to support coffee production, annual coffee production capacity in regions and states, coffee exports, and educational campaigns being conducted by teams for pest prevention.
Regarding the reports, the Senior General said that in the construction of buildings, only the buildings needed for coffee cultivation should be constructed, and other resorts and buildings unrelated to coffee cultivation should not be constructed.
To increase the yield of coffee, inputs need to be fully incorporated and managed systematically. In order to prevent the spread of pests, it is necessary to take preventive measures collectively. There is a need to take systematic measures to ensure that agricultural land is not used in other ways.
Regarding coffee cultivation, ethnic entrepreneurs who can actually grow coffee are invited. Depending on the cultivation, 5 to 50 acres will be allotted. To expand the cultivation of coffee, the government will provide necessary assistance. In order to expand the cultivation of coffee, it is necessary to collect good strains in advance, the Senior General urged. He then discussed other necessary things.
Requirements presented by those in attendance
On behalf of the coffee entrepreneurs and MSME entrepreneurs, a coffee farmer spoke about the status of coffee cultivation and market availability and efforts by all coffee farms to protect against pests. A coffeebased MSME entrepreneur reported on the building area to be allowed depending on the business only in the coffee project cultivation area, instead of specifying the size of the building, and conditions in which those who implemented coffee projects from the beginning were able handle more acres of farmland, but those who implemented their project later did not get the agricultural lands in a contiguous area, so they constructed buildings in easy-to-reach areas for administrative activities. Then, a local manufacturer spoke about the difficulties faced by wine producers in obtaining FDA approval and the need for the regulations to be relaxed.
Then, the region chief minister explained coordination for fulfilling requirements, disbursement of national economic promotion funds to agricultural and livestock enterprises and MSMEs, needs for boosting coffee cultivation and production and other necessary assi-stance to be provided.
As coffee business is operated on a team-work basis, it is to work together in unity
After that, the Prime Minister discussed the reports saying that we are focusing on development of manufacturing businesses. Regarding the economy, MSME businesses are being encouraged, and there will be products by manufacturing finished goods from raw materials, which will be helpful to the growth of the domestic economy. It is also necessary to carry out business activities in accordance with the rules and regulations. Permissions have been approved to carry out manufacturing businesses with the authority of the relevant governments of regions and states. But, it is necessary to follow the terms and conditions set for the Union level. If there are any difficulties on business activities, it is necessary to discuss with the officials, and the departments concerned need to think about carrying out their tasks with a view for the entire nation. It is necessary to carry out activities with goodwill for the long term.
In operating agricultural businesses, it is necessary to properly handle cultivated areas in accordance with the rules and regulations. Those who really want to carry out cultivation will be allowed to operate farm land. We have to work while striving for the prosperity of the country, and it is necessary to create job opportunities. Therefore, it is to properly carry out the business.
Today’s meeting is to achieve success and development of coffee plantations in the region of PyinOoLwin. All are to work together in other measures to be collectively taken including the risk of pests that may affect the coffee industry. Since coffee farming is a long-term business that consumes time, efforts must be made to achieve success. It is also necessary to constantly study domestic and foreign markets. As it is a type of business to be operated on a team-work basis, it is to be in unity in taking the measures to be collectively taken and followed.
Regarding MSME businesses, we need to think about how to improve the quality of products. It is necessary to promote MSMEs to manufacture products not only at the cottage industry level but at the regional and national level. It is also necessary to be able to improve the quality of production and packaging. Taking measures for promotion and development of MSMEs will be helpful to the growth of the nation’s economy.
The regional government and business operators are to practically take discussion and coordination to ensure improvement of the regional manufacturing industry.
Coffee products and local foodstuffs viewed and encouraged
After the meeting, the Senior-General and party cordially greeted coffee entrepreneurs and MSME businessmen and then viewed and studied local coffee products and local food-stuffs on display with interest.