Myanmar pledges to invest more in food security

Vice President U Henry Van Thio addresses the ceremony to mark World Food Day 2017 in Zeyathiri Township, Nay Pyi Taw on 16 October 2017.  Photo: Myanmar News Agency
Vice President U Henry Van Thio addresses the ceremony to mark World Food Day 2017 in Zeyathiri Township, Nay Pyi Taw on 16 October 2017.  Photo: Myanmar News Agency

Myanmar, despite being sufficient in food, still needs to solve the problems climate change, natural disasters, internal instability and migrant issue including food and nutritional problems caused by poverty and the development gap between urban and rural areas said Vice President U Henry Van Thio yesterday.
Speaking at the ceremony to observe the World Food Day in Nay Pyi Taw, he highlighted the country’s challenges that emerged together with the nation’s independence and couldn’t have been solved till now.
“Myanmar will have to emphasize in investing more in food security and progress of rural areas like other UN member countries,” said U Henry Van Thio.
About 25.6% of the country’s population is living under poverty, according to the integrated Household Living Condition Survey collected in 2010 in Myanmar.
Most are from rural areas and majority of their livelihood are agriculture. According to the 2016 Global Nutrition Report, the nutritional development level of Myanmar is categorized as 106 among 136 countries.
“In order to reduce poverty rate and to be sufficient in food and nutrient, measures will be undertaken for the development of rural areas where these incidents mostly occur,” said the Vice President.
He also highlighted one of the State’s economic policy saying that “Establishing an economic model that balances agriculture and industry, and supports that holistic development of the agriculture, livestock and industrial sectors, so as to foster all-round development, food security, and increased exports”.
Besides, the agriculture and rural development tasks are being undertaken with the annual plan, 5-year short term plan, 20-year plan and national comprehensive development plan.
To remind thriving of Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) in the United Nations in 1945, the World Food Day is celebrated every year around the world on 16th October.
The ceremonies are held annually in over 150 countries including Myanmar, highlighting the importance of everyone participation in ensuring food security and combating hunger. Only when we, all, have the nutritious food adequately, will we possess the healthy and active lives.
According to the statistics of United Nations, the enough food is being produced for all human beings living on the earth. However, about 800 million populations went to be without sufficient food because of various reasons.
Out of nine people mostly from rural and far-flung areas and migrants, one is facing food crisis due to local/regional instability issues, climate change, natural disasters and poverty.
In accord with the international statistics, it is known that the numbers of international migrants are about 240 millions in 2015 and that of the internal migrants are about 760 millions in 2013. Moreover, one third of the migrants are age between 15 and 34 years. The shortage of labour is being faced in rural areas because of the migrations of young workers and food productions are also decreasing.
Besides, the damage in agricultural sector of developing countries is over 20% of the total economic breakdown due to the climate change and natural disasters.
FAO has designated to celebrate 2017 World Food Day with the theme, “Change the future of Migration. Invest in food security and rural development”.
“To fulfill catering of world population that is increasing gradually, we urge to make more investments because UN member countries including Myanmar are responsible for the food security of respective countries and rural development,” said Vice President U Henry Van Thio.
To narrow down the gap between urban and rural development that is the main cause for internal/international Migration, more investments are being made by the State for the rural socio-economic infrastructure annually in accord with the specifications of Sustainable Development Goals adopted by the UN. More effective way is being undertaken for distribution of rural agriculture products smoothly to the market and for smooth transportation of the people.
The event was also attended by Union Ministers, Union Attorney General, Deputy Ministers, Nay Pyi Taw Council members, Hluttaw representatives, representatives of United Nations organizations, diplomats, representatives from Food and Agriculture Organization, representatives from INGO and NGOS, invited guests and officials.
After the Vice President’s speech, Union Minister for Agriculture, Livestock and Irrigation Dr. Aung Thu explained about 2017 World Food Day and United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) Myanmar Representative Ms. Xaiojie Fan read a message sent from FAO Director General.
Next, 2017 World Food Day commemorative video and a video showing Myanmar’s effort toward food sufficiency and agriculture sector development were shown.
Afterwards, Vice President U Henry Van Thio together with event attendees took commemorative group photo and visited the 2017 World Food Day exhibition.
After the event, the Vice President, Union Minister Dr. Aung Thu and officials visited Zaman Dam and Yezin Dam and observed the maintenance status and water level in the dams.—Myanmar News Agency

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