By Aung Ye Thwin & Aye Aye Thant (MNA)
Lack of access to sufficient underground water is the main challenge for establishing a model farm at the border of Punnagyun and Yathedaung townships in Rakhine State, it was learnt yesterday.
“When we conducted a survey to establish the modern farm, we found a lack of water resources for the farm,” said U Khin Maung Kyaw, Deputy Minister for Agriculture, Livestock and Irrigation, at the Amyotha Hluttaw yesterday.
The deputy minister made the remark in his response to a question from MP U Khin Maung Latt, of Rakhine State constituency 3, on plans to establish a model agriculture and livestock farming zone in Rakhine State.
The ministry has no plans to establish such a farm in regions and states as the budget has not been allocated, he said.
But modern farms will be established in regions and states when financial assistance from INGOs and budgets are allocated to regions and states in the future, said the deputy minister.
To improve the socio-economic status of the people in Rakhine State, 365 acres of seed production sites were established in 17 townships of Rakhine State in the 2016-2017 fiscal year to produce high-quality seeds of varietal purity for rice, winter peanuts and matpe (vigna mungo) in order for farmers to produce high-quality produce which would raise the income of the farmers.
Using these high-quality seeds of varietal purity, agriculture zones for rainy season rice, winter peanuts and matpe totaling 6,000 acres were established in these 17 townships.
During the 2017-2018 sugarcane season, 1,350 acres of sugarcane were planted in model sites within the state to educate the local farmers on sugarcane planting. High-quality sugarcane seeds of varietal purity were also distributed to local farmers. An agricultural science (Kyauktaw) school was also established for agricultural sector development in Rakhine State, said the Deputy Minister.
The Livestock Breeding and Veterinary Department is also taking part to develop the livestock breeding sector, he added.
Survey to be conducted for constructing dyke to prevent inflow of sea water in Mon State
Despite no plans to build a dyke to prevent inflow of sea water, which destroys paddies every year in several townships in Mon State, a further detailed survey will be carried out again to check whether the facility would actually benefit the paddy fields or not, said Dr Zaw Lin Htut of Mon State Constitutency-9.
He made the comment at yesterday’s Amyotha Hluttaw when asked whether there was any plan to construct sea-water dykes and related infrastructures in Tawgyi and Danu Kadike villages in Thaton Township, Mon State as rice fields in these villages were damaged by sea-water intrusion every year.
Deputy Minister U Hla Kyaw said these villages are within the new Thuwunnawadi town and is situated along the southern portion of Bilin River and rainy season paddies are annually damaged by sea-water intrusion from the Bilin River.
To prevent sea-water intrusion, a dyke 12-miles long with an 8-foot crown and 22-foot bottom width and an average height of 7 feet would require an earth work of about 115,000 pits. The dyke, together with related infrastructure like water discharge pipes, would take about 5 months to build with 6 backhoes, 10 dump trucks and 3 bulldozers at an total estimated cost of about Ks680 million.
Deputy Minister U Hla Kyaw then replied to questions by U Okka Min of Taninthayi Region constituency 8 and U Khin Myo Win of Taninthayi Region constituency 12 on installing international standard Vessel Monitoring Systems (VMS) on fishing vessels and releasing cemetery land or creating new cemetery land.
In yesterday’s hluttaw meeting, the Bill Committee report on the Canal Bill was returned by Pyithu Hluttaw after amendment and approval was read, enrollment for discussing the bill was announced, re-reading and explanation of the Bill Committee report on Oil and Petroleum Products Bill and the decision of the hluttaw was obtained.