Manufacture of agricultural machinery should be welcomed

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  • While making efforts for modernizing the agricultural sector, Myanmar is facing some challenges, including a shortage of farm labourers. There are several ways to solve that issue. Mechanized farming is one of the answers to overcome the manual labour shortage, which is a major problem in the country.
    Without an adequate number of experienced workers in the field, farmers cannot plant and cannot harvest.
    Meanwhile, the Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock and Irrigation has been making efforts to promote modernized and sustainable production techniques, package systems and marketing strategies, with a view to meet the demand from home and abroad.
    On November 17, 2017, the Ministry of Commerce issued Notification No. 55/2017, under section (13) (B) of the Import and Export Law, which grants permission for joint ventures (JV) between foreign and domestic companies to carry out the retail or wholesale trade of agricultural machinery.
    The move is intended to promote growth and mechanization in the farming industry. The government currently has to import agricultural machinery, as the domestic production of agricultural machinery cannot meet the demand. There are shortcomings to imported machinery, such as in difficulty of obtaining spare parts and the unfamiliar technology that becomes a challenge for farmers.
    It is learnt that the Ministry of Industry has formed a joint venture with India’s CNH Industrial Services and will manufacture agricultural machinery soon. In the project, Convenience Prosperity Co, a division of Yoma Strategic Holdings, will take part in the project with CNH Industrial Services.
    The project is being established at Thagara Heavy Industrial Factory of the ministry and will produce three types of tractors under the New Holland brand.
    The skill of labourers at the factory will play an important role in producing the machinery. To improve their skills, workers from the factory will be sent to India to receive on-the-job training as part of efforts for taking over the technology from India. Generally, India’s companies bought technology from foreign countries and created their own technology after doing research based on overseas technology.
    The steps taken by the Ministry of Industry to produce tractors and to distribute them to farmers is welcomed in the country.
    Currently, the Agricultural Mechanization Department is providing agricultural services to farmers with the use of 2,820 tractors, 811 harvesters and 170 planters, employing more than 2,100 workers.
    To fulfill the farmers’ needs for land repairing and post harvesting, a further 8,600 more tractors, more than 123,700 power tillers, and over 65,900 harvesters and post-harvest machines will be required. The cost is too high for the government.
    The joint venture system between the government and local and foreign investors is the best system to overcome the challenges.
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