The Myanmar Fishery Federation (MFF) has requested that the government adopt a land use policy that encourages the development of aquaculture farming, according to MFF.
In order to enable other organizations like MFF, which are also using land, to participate at the national level land use policy formulation conferences and forums, MFF made a request for participation in the conferences at the 24th regular meeting between the vice president and entrepreneurs, held on 22 February at the Office of Myanmar Federation of Chambers of Commerce and Industry (UMFCCI).
“We want the authorities to grant us permission to be engaged in legal fish farming, because we are raising fish illegally, without fish and prawn farming licenses in Mandalay and Sagaing regions. Additionally, we want the authorities to solve the problem of the regional government imposing a fine amounting to Ks 1 million per acre to those who are still in the process of applying for the use of the land in other ways in Mandalay and Ayeyawady regions,” said U Win Kyaing, the general secretary of MFF.
Moreover, MFF has also demanded the establishment of government-to-government coordination to enable the boosting of the export sector and to solve bottlenecks that Myanmar traders are faced with, especially in matters of exporting striped catfish to China.
The government should also provide bank loans for larger investments in the development of fish and prawn farming.
“Although there are some 6,000 acres of fish farms in Sagaing region, only a few farms are working under the “La Na 39”. Some are raising fish with temporary licenses issued by the fishery department. Other local farmers have to pay fines for digging ponds to be used for fish breeding. Currently, local farmers do not receive loans from banks because they could not produce ownership documents. Even if government banks provide fish breeding loans, the amount of loans will not be sufficient for the working capital,” said U Myint Naing, a local fish breeder from Sagaing region.
According to the 2012 Farmland Law, the Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock and Irrigation requires fish breeders to apply for use of land for legal fish and prawn farming. The fish farming ponds are, in fact, being dug illegally.
Moreover, Yangon regional government Chief Minister U Phyo Min Thein said they intend to promote the raising of fish for sale in markets.
There are some 490,000 acres of fish and prawn breeding farms across the country, but only 130,000 acres of land are officially permitted by the government to operate as fish farms.
—Aye Yamon Oo (Translated by Hay Mar)