September 25, 2017

Efforts made to entitle ownership of Shwebo Paw San Hmway rice grain

Woman transplanters seen working on a paddy field in central Myanmar.  Photo: Aye Min Soe
Woman transplanters seen working on a paddy field in central Myanmar. Photo: Aye Min Soe

Efforts will be made to allow for personal ownership over the Shwebo Paw San Hmway grain of rice once it has been included on the Geographical Index (GI), according to the Myanmar Rice Federation (MRF).
A survey is reportedly in the process of being conducted in order to ascertain the required information for the grain of rice to be entitled to be listed upon the index.
“Documentation, needed to submit [the rice grain] to the GI, is being put together. The first phase is to ensure [the grain] is listed within the GI. Then, efforts will be made to seek personal ownership. It’s a step by step process which the Department of Science and Technology is carrying out.” said Dr Soe Htun, vice chair of the MRF.
Groups are currently working together in townships within Shwebo district, making a concerted effort to ensure a consistency to the quality and DNA of the rice grain which will allow for it to be listed upon the GI of goods produced from regions within Myanmar.
“Farmers will be able to get a better price for their rice if they can claim ownership over it.” added Dr Soe Htun. “It will also benefit those exporters and merchants who sell the rice to foreign markets. As a product of trade, it will also allow for more revenue to be collected by the state.”
Soil and water from across townships across Shwebo district are reportedly being tested in a laboratory in order to allow for the utilization of a comprehensive pesticide system, together with a stability in DNA and quality of current grains of Shwebo Paw San Hmway rice.
“The prerogative is to first ensure quality of the rice grain and a market for it. There’s also a need to make sure the rice isn’t being bought for low prices as farmers have agricultural debts to repay at the time paddy is ready to be harvested.” said Ko Zaw Aung, a farmer from Wuntho Township, Sagaing Region.
Efforts will be made to allow for ownership entitlement of the Shwebo Paw San Hmway grain of rice, together will such entitlement for products produced from other regions around Myanmar, with reports of agricultural experts cooperating to establish a seed industry within the country.— Myitmkha News Agency

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