The fishery sector occupies an important place in our country’s economy. Our country has a lot of potentials to earn billions of dollars from fisheries export.
To put our fishery sector, which was hit hard by the COVID-19 pandemic, on the right path to recovery in a short period, the Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock and Irrigation is taking steps to establish fish processing economic zones at border towns to produce value-added fishery products for export and local consumption.
We welcome the projects, and we are confident that these projects will bring a ray of rosy hope to put our economy, which was hit by the pandemic, on the road to recovery.
Meanwhile, we need to encourage the emergence of private laboratories meeting international standards for aquaculture products, capacity building for workers in the marketing and upgrading the cold storage facilities.
Fish farming is the key to food security and can be a significant contributor towards our economy if managed correctly and supported by all the stakeholders.
It is worth noting that the ministry is also drawing plans for establishing agro and farming based industrial zones, which will help the coming fish processing zones overcome the challenges on the fishery sector’s way from exporting raw fish to producing value-added products both for export and local consumption.
We also need to attract foreign investments, which can also offer modern technology by showing that we have the potential to develop from all sides.
Myanmar’s fishery sector operates with over 3,200 offshore fishing boats, nearly 19,200 offshore fishing boats, 260 transporting vehicles at coastal areas. Besides, there are about 500,000 acres of fish and prawn farms and 124 cold storage factories in the regions and states. Regional fishery industries and fishery authorities are working together to continue to export fish to neighbouring countries through the border amidst challenges from the pandemic.
However, fishing communities in coastal areas, factories, workers and businesses are still suffering from negative consequences of the pandemic.
Fish farming is the key to food security and can be a significant contributor to our economy if managed correctly and supported by all the stakeholders. Let us hope that “all hands are on the plough!”
Amidst COVID-19, there have been some positive outcomes such as the revival of local food networks thanks to logistics with health guidelines and increases in local sales through direct marketing and deliveries.