The Myanmar Fishery Federation (MFF) has submitted projects to the union government on establishing fish and prawn farming zones.
The MFF has conducted a feasibility tour of the project areas and will execute the projects in the Yangon, Ayeyawady, Bago, Mandalay and Taninthayi regions, Mon and Rakhine states, and Nay Pyi Taw, when the government gives the green light, said U Win Kyaing, general secretary of MFF.
Saltwater fish will be farmed in the coastal regions, such as the Taninthayi and Ayeyawady regions, and Rakhine State, while freshwater fish breeding zones will be set up in inland areas, such as the Bago and Mandalay regions, Nay Pyi Taw, and Kayin and Mon states.
“On receiving the government’s approval, fish and prawn farming zones will be established, in cooperation with the related regional and state governments,” U Win Kyaing added.
Union Minister for Agriculture, Livestock and Irrigation Dr Aung Thu said on 8 March that the fishery sector will be given second priority after rice. The agriculture ministry will also establish plantations of export-marketable crops.
“The Union Minister wants the MFF to assume responsibility of production and technology, while the related regional and state ministries will take up responsibility of their management,” said U Win Kyaing.
MFF has submitted the project to the Commerce Ministry, the Planning and Finance Ministry, and the Agriculture, Livestock and Irrigation Ministry. The plan to establish fish and prawn farming zones was unveiled in detail during the 15th regular meeting between Vice President and businessmen on 7 March. If these projects are permitted, the MFF will be able to invite more foreign investors and hire experts.
“In a bid to produce pedigree larvae, international cooperation is a must. Foreign investors can invest in the production process, including in the building of the feedstuff plant, the hatching process, establishing processing plants such as cold storages, providing other farming related machinery and the export market. If they are not interested in investing in this sector, they can provide loan plans,” said U Win Kyaing. These projects will create several job opportunities for the local people and help improve the GDP growth rate. Additionally, these farming zones are likely to not only help achieve self-sufficiency in fish and prawns production but also help earn foreign currency through exports, he maintained.
There are more than 480,000 acres of fish and prawn farming lakes. As of the first week of March in the current fiscal year, fishery exports fetched US$647 million.
By May Thet Hnin