December 16, 2016

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EU’s aquaculture development project to kick off next year

An artificial pond is used for fish farming in Ayeyawady Region, which will benefit from assistance from the EU in 2016. Photo: Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO)
An artificial pond is used for fish farming in Ayeyawady Region, which will benefit from assistance from the EU in 2016. Photo: Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO)

The European Union will launch a 20 million euro (US$22.7 million) project for aquaculture sector development in Myanmar next year, the EU ambassador said yesterday.
The project will span six years, at a cost in local currency of 30 billion kyat, and will aim to develop shrimp and fish farming techniques at hatcheries across the country, EU Ambassador to Myanmar Mr Roland Kobia told The Global New Light of Myanmar.
One of the main areas of focus will be Rakhine State, where much of Myanmar’s aquaculture sector is based. The announcement was made following a ceremony held to provide certificates to local trainees who took part in an EU-funded and delivered aquaculture course in Yangon.
“The EU is promoting not only quality products but also quality jobs,” Mr Kobia told reporters after the ceremony.
According to a member of Myanmar Fisheries Federation (MFF), consultations are underway with EU experts and federation members and all suggestions are being collated.
The aquaculture project is part of a 1 billion euro ($1.13 billion) EU aid package to Myanmar.
“Myanmar’s fishery products will almost certainly gain access to global markets if we can upgrade our cold storage facilities and improve farming techniques,” said U Win Kyaing, MFF general secretary.
In 2013, the EU sent its first ambassador to Myanmar in decades, while also restoring Myanmar’s access to the EU’s generalised system of preferences, which allows developing countries to pay less or no duties on their exports to the EU.
Exports of Myanmar to the EU increased substantially since Myanmar initiated political and economic reforms in 2011, noted the EU ambassador, saying that the country doubled its exports during that time.
Between 1991 and 2013, Myanmar’s aquaculture cultivation increased from 12,225 to 180,614 hectares, while production rose from 6,397 to 944,809 metric tonnes. The sector currently employs around 130,000 people, according to official data.

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