By Aung Kyaw Thant
The majority of global countries are facing challenges related to food security based on climate change and political instability across the world. Hence, every country including Myanmar is implementing various kinds of policies to ensure local food security.
Being an agro-based country, Myanmar is a nation that mostly emphasizes the operation of businesses related to agriculture and livestock farms to be able to provide sufficient food to the people and export surplus stocks for earning foreign exchange.
According to the statistics issued by the Worldometer elaboration of the United Nations, more than 54 million of the population is residing in all parts of Myanmar with a 0.7 per cent population growth rate. Of them, 31.4 per cent of the population lives in urban areas whereas 68.6 per cent of people reside in rural areas. Actually, agricultural produce and products from livestock farms can be sufficiently supplied to the people.
Among the three basic needs of society such as food, clothing, and shelter, food security is the most essential for all. In fact, food security directly affects the improvement of the primary economic sector of the State as well as the socioeconomic life of the people. As the population of the nation is growing year by year, it is necessary to adopt a master plan to sufficiently supply agricultural produce, livestock, and fishery products to the people in the long run. To do so, sown acreage of farmlands and croplands as well as livestock farms and fishery farms should be extended year after year.
That is why the Myanmar’s sustainable and harmonious development plan (2018-2030) is under implementation to increase crop production to ensure the food security of the country. In line with the economic policies of the State, plans for agricultural and livestock farms are adopted yearly to ensure food security and boost the export sector.
More than 15.22 million acres of farmlands were placed under paddy, more than 9.58 million acres under 20 kinds of pulses and beans, more than 7.83 million acres under oil crops, more than 1.47 million acres under maize, and more than 450,000 acres under cotton in 2022-2023 financial year.
Fish and shrimp farms are also being managed in coastal areas of the nation. Rakhine State, the Taninthayi Region, and the Ayeyawady Delta are the best locations for undertaking fish and shrimp farms not only for local consumption but for export purposes.
Likewise, more than nine million heads of cattle and more than two million heads of sheep and goats are being bred on average in the livestock sector yearly. Of them, these animals are used in meat production and export of live animals on a yearly basis, according to the CEIC Data and the Ministry of Planning and Finance.
Yangon and Mandalay markets are focal points to collect green and dry groceries, livestock products, and marine products sent by merchants from all regions and states and distribute these goods to relevant areas depending on public demands so as to solve the food security of the people.
If so, all the people need to efficiently consume agricultural produce, livestock, and fishery products without waste while agricultural and livestock farmers are striving for ensuring the food security of the whole nation under relevant long-term plans.