The objectives of the 2nd TWG Meeting are (1) to update the members, as well as the project partners, on the status of the national-level policy study being conducted by the Centre for Economic and Social Development (CESD) in Myanmar; (2) to discuss the forthcoming activities of the project where Myanmar will be involved; and (3) to tackle issues and concerns that need to be addressed in relation to project implementation. The TWG, chaired by Mr. Kyaw Swe Lin, Director General, MOALI-DOP, was composed of the following members: Dr. Thanda Kyi, Director, MOALI-DOP; Dr. San San Yi, Deputy Director, MOALI-DOP; Mr. Tun Win, Director, Department of Agriculture (DOA); Mr. Moe Aye Zin Thein, Deputy Director, Agricultural Policy Unit (APU), MOALI; Dr. Zaw Oo, Executive Director, CESD; and Dr. Theingi Myint, Professor, Yezin Agricultural University (YAU). The meeting was also attended by other representatives from DOP-MOALI, as well as observers, from the Southeast Asian Regional Center for Graduate Study and Research in Agriculture (SEARCA) and the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI), both project implementers.
Director General Kyaw Swe Lin welcomed the members of the TWG and expressed his appreciation to IFAD, IFPRI, and SEARCA for including Myanmar in the ATMI-ASEAN project, and for the opportunity to gather valuable inputs towards strengthening Myanmar's agricultural sector. He emphasized the importance of value chain development in Myanmar as part of the country's agricultural development agenda.
In this project, Myanmar focuses on pulses, mainly on pigeon peas and black gram, for the value chain development. As cited by Dr. Thanda Kyi in her presentation, the pulses sector is facing challenges due to the recent trade restrictions imposed by India. This highlights the benefits of conducting a policy study. Dr. Zaw Oo, the lead agency for the policy study, presented the preliminary findings. From the initial results of the survey conducted in Magway region, a very narrow cropping pattern, mostly rice and pulses, with very high production costs were found. Adding to this is the concern faced by most farmers on price volatility or price shocks. An open forum led by Director General Kyaw Swe Lin was then facilitated, which resulted to a good discussion of the results of the study.
SEARCA and IFPRI, on the other hand, provided updates on the progress and plans of ATMI-ASEAN, both at the national and regional levels. SEARCA was represented by Ms. Bernice Anne C. Darvin, Program Specialist of the Research and Development Department (RDD), while Ms. Aniq Fadhillah, ATMI-ASEAN Policy Facilitator represented IFPRI. (Bernice Anne C. Darvin)