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February 29, 2020

Investing in agricultural sector key for lifting living standard of farmers

The time is ripe to transform the country’s agricultural sector by switching from a traditional system to mechanized farming, as part of efforts to boost the economy.
We need to set a target of producing safe and nutritious food using Good Agricultural Practices (GAP) and organic farming methods to penetrate foreign markets.
We need to step up efforts to raise awareness about the excessive use of chemical inputs, such as pesticides and fertilizers, to ensure that farmers as well as consumers enjoy good health through the production of safe food.
Agricultural experts are obliged to conduct research and disseminate knowledge to farmers who are dealing with the consequences of using chemical inputs and the impact of climate change.
The other sectors we need to improve through research are highland cultivation, boosting production of rice through water management, and fighting diseases using methods that do not affect the natural environment.
We need to intensify efforts for providing training to farmers on using critical inputs in an economic and sustainable way to obtain higher yields and follow a pattern of sustainable agriculture in the future.
Meanwhile, we should not forget that mechanization is an important tool in crop production. Farmers who have access to improved tools and technologies have the opportunity to shift from subsistence farming to market-oriented farming.
Theoretically, delivering mechanized solutions and providing training to farming cooperatives on equipment, business systems, and soil management can help us raise the living standards of farmers.
However, modern processing machinery and technologies are beyond our farmers’ means. There are many other obstacles, including lack of storage facilities.
We need to attract local and foreign investment in the sector. But foreign direct investment in agriculture is still low.
To achieve the sustainable development goal in the agricultural sector, Myanmar is encouraging public-private-partnerships, while assessing the strengths and weaknesses of rice and other crops, and making efforts for improving agri-technologies.
We should not forget the fact that small farmers play a crucial role in ensuring food sufficiency and nutritional content, abolishing poverty, and promoting inclusive and sustainable agricultural development operations.
The time is ripe to invest in the agricultural sector.

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