- By Dr. Mway Ku
[Nay Pyi Taw]
Myanmar abounds with natural resources [land, water, forest resources]. Abundance of agricultural zones, livestock breeding farms, rivers, creeks and ponds for fish breeding, prospects for extension of dam-irrigated farming land may lead to good opportunities for plenty of agricultural produce—paddy, pulse, fruits, corn and etc., and agro-based industries of animal husbandry.
The sector for livestock and fishery industry in FY 2017-2018 includes 3.4 percent of GNP. Out of the national livestock breeding, private sector occupied 98 percent, most among which breed animals on-self-help-basis. Accordingly, it is of great importance to know the accurate amounts of farm animal population so that actual productions of governmental, cooperative and private sectors can separately be distinguished and national plans can be laid down.
An important fact
Due to failure to know accurate amounts of animal population, inaccuracies [excess or dearth] in the matters such as production of drugs and vaccines for animals, supplies of feeds for cattle, fulfillment of necessities for animal breeding may emerge. If so, it can cause great loss for the nation and its national populace, so as to avoid such losses, it is urgently needed to accurately collect animal population in Myanmar and to release the approved data.
Thus, in coordination between the animal husbandry and veterinary department, the Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock Breeding and Irrigation and FAO, the program for launching the campaign for farm animal population census was drawn up for FY 2017-2018, and it will be implemented in January, 2018 across Myanmar.
By doing so, the following benefits will be achieved.
1—acquisition of accurate amounts of animal population
2—helping the national economy by implementing projects on the development of breeding successfully, based on the amount of animals according to the data collected
3—drawing and implementation of projects of animal hygiene based the data of animal population collected
4—providing actual facts and figures in laying down projects and policies on provision of adequate food and alleviation of poverty
On the review of the background history of animal population census or data on animal amounts in Myanmar, it was collected prior to 1983-1984 by the department of land records, the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry, with the annual collection made by the Ministry of Livestock Breeding and Fishery from 1983-1984 to 1993-1994. From 1994 till now animal population data collection could not be done on the ground. Instead, veterinary surgeons did it just by calculating heads of animals they gave treatment while performing their duties, reaching for 23 years. So, statistics on animals of the livestock breeding sector did not agree with that on the ground.
The national net production is now being implemented in long-term and short-term projects. But, in some parts of the urban areas, for example in places such as Hlaing, Mayangone, Kamayut, Insein animal breeding can be managed, and due to urban regeneration and urban sprawl the township where livestock breeding is not allowed for production of meat for consumption were extended. Therefore, the statistics of the amount of animal on the ground are different from the target of the project.
At the time when the incumbent government took office, the animal husbandry and veterinary department had collected 60 percent of statistics of animal population in 8 townships—4 townships of Myingyan, Taungtha, Nahtogyi, Mahlaing in Mandalay Region Pakkoku and Yezagyo townships in Magwe Region—altogether 30 villages in 6 townships in December, 2016; in Kyaukse, Sintgaing, Myittha and Tada-U in Kyaukse District, Meikhtila, Thazi and Wundwin in Meikhtila District, Ngazun township in Myingyan district in March, 2017, as a pilot project for collecting animal population with the aid of FAO LIFT Fund.
Statistics on animal population
Concerning with data collection of animal population carried out by the animal husbandry and veterinary department and FAO in cooperation, FAO assigned Dr. Murry Maclean as an expert on provision of technical aids. Depending upon results of advantages and disadvantages of pilot project on animal population census, coordination meeting was made in advance for systematic collection with related departments and organizations, and projection for implementation of farm animal census collection, FY 2017-2018 was drawn up.
For successful implementation of animal population census farm, FY 2017-2018, the President Office formed the Central Committee presided by the Minister for Agriculture, Livestock Breeding and Irrigation with 8 working committees under it.
Based on the accurate statistics of cattle population, assessments were made compared to present amounts of animals. Plus, with a view to helping in laying down policies on meat and supporting in assessing as to whether projects are effective or not, the animal husbandry and veterinary department and FAO had conducted trainings on collection of animal population and listing them, with the help of skilled trainers.
Therefore, farm animal census collection will be launched in January, 2018 across the country—20 percent of all the villages in a respective township to be selected randomly. It is necessary for township and village administrators, local breeding entrepreneurs and those managing to breed animals, on-self-help-basis to help for filling facts and figures rightfully in the prescribed forms. As for the animal husbandry and veterinary department, will spread pamphlets on animal population census and erect advertisement billboards in advance.
To sum it up, by helping for the acquisition of accurate statistics in the campaign to be launched under the leadership of the government, cooperation of respective ministries and close supervision of Regions, States, districts and townships’ committees for the national development of meat sector, the year—2017-2018 will be able to be recorded remarkably as “the Animal Population Census Year.”
Khin Maung Oo