Myanmar agricultural development expert and visionary to receive 2015 Dioscoro L. Umali Achievement Award in Agricultural Development
Mr. Tin Htut Oo, a distinguished agricultural economist from Myanmar, will be the fifth recipient of the prestigious Dioscoro L. Umali Achievement Award in Agricultural Development (Umali Award). The Umali Award, launched in 2007 and named after agricultural and rural development (ARD) luminary and founding director of the Southeast Asian Regional Center for Graduate Study and Research in Agriculture (SEARCA), Dr. Dioscoro L. Umali, is an honorific award, which recognizes exemplary individuals who have advanced agricultural development in Southeast Asia. It is a collaboration among SEARCA, the National Academy of Science and Technology, Philippines (NAST, Philippines), and the Dioscoro L. Umali Foundation, Inc. (DLUF).
As part of SEARCA’s 50th Anniversary Celebration, the 2015 Dioscoro L. Umali Achievement Award in Agricultural Development Conferment and Lecture will take place on 24 November 2016 at SEARCA Headquarters. Mr. Tin Htut Oo will be conferred the award and will deliver a lecture on his lifetime work on agricultural and rural development. Mr. Tin Htut Oo joins a roster of four distinguished individuals who have been conferred the award.
Before starting his career as a public servant, Mr. Tin Htut Oo earned his Bachelor of Agriculture from the University of Mandalay in 1971, and Master of Science in Agricultural Economics from the Ohio State University in 1985. He has served the Myanmar government for 37 years and was given several awards to include the Good Public Service Medal (1998) and Excellent Performance in Administrative Field (2001, 2002) in recognition of his outstanding civil service.
Among his key contributions to ARD in Myanmar are the establishment of the Agricultural Market Information Service (MIS) and publication of the Agribusiness News (ABN) weekly journal under the Department of Agricultural Planning of the then Ministry of Agriculture and Irrigation; introduction of the in-service training for young agricultural graduates in advanced technology and agribusiness; initiation of the "New Vision for Agricultural and Economic Policy" under then authoritarian military regime; and the founding of the Myanmar Agricultural Network (MAN) to promote the "New Vision in Agriculture for the New Myanmar." Mr. Tin Htut Oo prepared a white paper for the new government entitled, "From Rice Bowl to Food Basket: Three Pillars for Modernizing Myanmar’s Agricultural and Food Sector," which embodied a new vision for Myanmar’s agricultural development. The policy paper has been accepted by the government and been well-received by the international community as a new vision to accelerate growth in agriculture, the basic sector of the Myanmar's economy.
Mr. Tin Htut Oo has also worked with various regional and international organizations such as the ASEAN Ministers on Agriculture and Forestry (AMAF), SEARCA, Centre on Integrated Rural Development for Asia and the Pacific (CIRDAP), Greater Mekong Subregion (GMS), Ayeyawady-Chao Phraya-Mekong Economic Cooperation Strategy (ACMECS), Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-Sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation (BIMSTEC), and United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (UNESCAP), among others. He also serves as a consultant for institutions such as the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), Asian Development Bank Institute (ADBI), and the Mekong Institute.
Currently, Mr. Tin Htut Oo serves as Chairman of the Center for Economic and Social Development (CESD). He is also Chairman of the Agriculture Group of Yoma Strategic Holdings Ltd., a private company in Myanmar listed in the Singapore Stock Exchange. (Bernice Anne C. Darvin and Carmen Nyhria G. Rogel)