Myanmar’s re-organized ministry of agriculture seeks to develop enabling policy framework for sustainable agriculture development and food security

  • 27 June 2016

The new Union Minister of MOALI, H.E. Dr. Aung Thu (5th from left first row) and the Deputy Minister Dr. Tun Winn (4th from left first row) were joined by OECD Officers and other high Officials of MOALI led by the Permanent Secretary Dr. Tin Htut (2nd from right first row) as well as Mr. Tin Htut Oo, Chair of NESAC (1st from left first row) and YAU Rector Dr. Myo Kyew (3rd from left second row).

NAY PYI TAW, Myanmar – The former Ministry of Agriculture and Irrigation (MOAI) has been re-organized under the new Myanmar democratic government into the Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock and Irrigation (MoALI). MoALI is an integration of the MOAI, Ministry of Livestock, Fisheries and Rural Development, and Ministry of Cooperatives.

In his speech during the OECD Seminar on Building Comprehensive Policy Framework for Sustainable Agriculture Development and Food Security in Myanmar on 13 June 2016 at Hotel Amara, the Union Minister for MOALI H.E. Dr. Aung Thu stressed the importance of “developing liberal, more flexible and more outward-looking policies for short-term and long-term development of the country’s agriculture sector.” In relation to this, H.E. Aung Thu cited the example of the Myanmar Rice Sector Development Strategy 2016 to 2030 (MRSDS), which was developed through the cooperation of the ministry with the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI). On this note, SEARCA and IRRI will jointly provide technical assistance to MOALI in the formulation of a human resource development program in support of MRSDS.

The OECD Seminar aimed to present evidences that will guide the new government in building comprehensive policy framework for sustainable agriculture development and food security in the country. It was chaired by MOAI’s Permanent Secretary Dr. Tin Htut, former Rector of Yezin Agricultural University (YAU). The seminar featured the various relevant works, and forward-looking and evidence-based studies of OECD (including SEARCA’s agricultural innovation system study), MoALI, Yezin Agricultural University (including SEARCA-funded Seed Fund for Research and Training project of the university), Yangon University of Economics, the World Bank, and FAO.

Mr.Tin Htut Oo, Chairman of Myanmar’s National Economic and Social Advisory Council (NESAC), discussed the “white paper” on A New Vision and Agricultural Strategy for Myanmar: From Rice Bowl to Food Basket. The new vision envisages agribusiness supply chains that are driven by the market; led by small farmers and SMEs spurred by larger domestic and foreign firms; and shaped by a three-pillar strategy of open-decision making by small farmers producing various agrifood products, supported by responsive input markets, and reliable and efficient output markets and value chains.

With regard to the MRSDS mentioned above, Dr. Bessie Burgos, SEARCA’s Program Head for Research and Development and Dr. Romy Labios, IRRI's Agronomist-Consultant in Myanmar made a courtesy call to MOALI’s new Deputy Minister, Dr. Tun Winn and Director General of the Department of Agriculture, Dr. Ye Tint Tun on 14 June 2016 to discuss plans for the joint MOAI-SEARCA-IRRI workshop on Human Resource Development Program for Myanmar’s Rice Sector Development Strategy: 2016-2030. The proposed workshop is set to identify strategies and specific interventions that will ensure the supply of human resources required to implement and realize the goals of Myanmar’s Rice Sector Development Strategy. (Bessie M. Burgos)

Chair of the OECD Seminar and MOALI Permanent Secretary Dr. Tin Htut (center) with Dr. Bessie Burgos of SEARCA (4th from left), Dr. Romy Labios of IRRI (5th from left), and Ms. Leah Samson of the Philippine Department of Agriculture (far left).

Dr. Bessie Burgos of SEARCA and Dr. Romy Labios of IRRI with MOALI Deputy Minister Dr. Tun Winn.

Dr. Bessie Burgos of SEARCA and Dr. Romy Labios of IRRI with Dr. Ye Tint Tun, Director General of the Department of Agriculture and Governing Board Member of SEARCA.

L-R Mr. Bernie Justimbaste, SEARCA Consultant on AIS, Dr. Bessie Burgos, U Tin Htut Oo, Chair of NESAC, and Ms. Lourdes Adriano, ADB Consultant.