Now it’s time to redouble our efforts for aquaculture development

Due to impacts from the COVID-19 pandemic, 2020 had been a tough year for the aquaculture sector.
With lack of order from foreign buyers, closure of restaurants and transport disruption and the consequences of other measures, the aquaculture export and fish consumption in the country had declined significantly.
Besides, this fall has also threatened the livelihood of millions of workers relying on the fishery industry.
This situation demands all stakeholders including government departments in the aquaculture sector to take a leading role in putting the industry back on the recovery track through innovative ways. Let us hope that all hands in this aquaculture sector are on deck.
We must act now to boost the local fish consumption and find new ideas to ensure that the aquaculture sector recovers in the coming years.
Our country earned over US$ 732 million in the 2018-2019 financial year and over US$ 858 million in the 2019-2020 financial year.
But, the sector has been badly affected by the COVID-19 pandemic with a slump in aquaculture exports since February, 2019 following the cancellation of orders from foreign buyers and closure of processing plants.
Our country has good prospects for shipping aquaculture products to foreign markets.
Myanmar is rich in natural resources. But, we are still weak, compared with other countries, in catching and farming fish and prawns and producing value-added products.
There is a good opportunity and potential for producing fish and prawns, and this needs to be prioritized to upgrade the food sector.
We believe that by seizing opportunities possible from the current situation, national-level plans and projects can ensure a recovery of the aquaculture export sector and local consumption.
To put our fishery sector on the right path to recovery in a short period, we need to attract foreign investment which can also offer modern technology. For foreign investments to come in, we need to show first that we have the potential to develop from all sides. Everyone is obliged to cooperate to gain business confidence and to create a good environment for business.
We believe that national-level plans and projects which ensure future success in the sector would be seen soon.

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