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Interview with MD of Yoon Hlyan Co., Ltd on Farm Support Centre – Pilot Project Plan

What’s the objection of this project?

The wealth of , or its GDP per capita, is dependent on the well being of the 70% of the population, which settles in rural area. If the country wants to develops and get out of poverty, we need a practical approach to develop our agriculture and livestock sectors. Four stakeholders are involved in this sector: the farmers or rural dwellers, government departments, private investors and experts (in agri, livestock, logistics, storage, etc.)

I believe that the four stakeholders are not working hand in hand. Lack of networking, counter checks, sharing of knowledge becomes a stumbling block to the development of this sector. The focus has to be on successful implementation of and livestock supply chain management.

We want to set an example on how it is best to be done in this (FSC) pilot project. We want to address issues such as non-connectivity between different stakeholders, etc., to create an ideal standard for the sector.

What is the current status of agri sector?

So many problems plaguing the industry; high cost of inputs and operations, low productivity, low quality outputs hence low selling prices, high wastage due to poor connectivity and logistics, lack of access to international markets, little or no motivation to participate in the farming sector, inability to prepare for upheavals in weather conditions, lack of or improper use of farm equipments and machinery, inability to create value added products, lack of foreign investments, etc.

At present, even though the government did try to help much of this agri sector, it seems the effectiveness is simply not there. The consequences of rural poverty are very severe. No income, no job or assets (NINJA) made young rural dwellers susceptible to propaganda and the result is clearly visible in the widespread presence of terrorists in this areas, such as Magway, Sagaing and Chin regions. With higher incomes they would be more willing to further their education and as a result, possess better judgement not to fall prey to fake news and disinformation.

What would be your advice?

I believe the holy grail lies in the successful management of agricultural and livestock supply chain. Current model of cooperatives are unlikely to be helpful in this. We need investors, experts, traders, importers, exporters and machinery companies to engage in a manner defined by rules, responsibilities, regulations and checks and balances. All these matters are to be incorporated in the FSC pilot project. Then the project can be farmed out by the government to other townships and if all the townships follow the first successful example, there would be improvement across the country.  

What would be the benefits out of the success of this project?

This project is only the beginning. Development would come from successful duplication of similar projects across different townships in different regions. The benefits are huge. At the base level, it is the development of sector, that handles the livelihood of 70% of Myanmar population. More job opportunities, more business opportunities, more productivity, no more foreign brain/labour drain, etc.

GDP would increase many fold due to the change. The country would be more focus on productivity and results.

What would be involved in the pilot project?

  • Drying machines
  • Storage facilities
  • Local wholesale centre
  • Machinery repair centre.
  • Sale centre for machinery and spare parts.
  • Seeds production, storage and distribution facilities.
  • Creating a SOP and rule book for FSC operations.

I believe this is the way forward for the development of Myanmar agricultural and livestock industries.