Teaming up with the European Union (UN) and the German International Cooperation Agency (GIZ), the Myanmar Department of Fisheries officially launched a new €22.5 million Myanmar Sustainable Aquaculture Programme (MYSAP) programme to improve the management of fisheries and boost the development of aquaculture in Myanmar.
Fish and seafood – great sources of vitamins and minerals – is a staple of Myanmar cuisine. Households spend nearly as much money on fish as on rice. But most of the available fish comes from wild stocks – only 20% of domestic fish consumption is supplied by aquaculture. Unsustainable management of marine and inland fisheries results in declining wild stocks and threatens both nutrition and income, in particular in rural areas, where 70% of the Myanmar people live. The five years programme will support the government’s plan to make aquaculture stronger and more sustainable, and address underlying causes of malnutrition. “MYSAP will benefit children and nutrition, create jobs, stimulate investments and trade, benefit the environment and increase government capacity,” said Kristian Schmidt, Ambassador of the European Union to Myanmar emphasising how MYSAP will contribute to realising multiple Sustainable Development Goals.
MYSAP now initiated work on a National Aquaculture Development Plan (NADP), an institutional and policy framework for the inclusive and sustainable development of aquaculture in Myanmar. The NADP will be developed in consultation with all members of aquaculture value chains: farmers, Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs), Government and Non-Governmental Organizations, the private sector, academia and researchers.
Khin Maung Maw, Director General of the Department of Fisheries explained. “Our goals are food security, increased export and the expansion of rural employment opportunities, granting fish farmers better access to credit, increasing private investment and competition in the fish sector”. MYSAP is being implemented until 2021 by the German International Cooperation Agency.