Pyithu Hluttaw: Pesticide regulations, stockpiling crops and plant species

By Aye Aye Thant (MNA)

The 11th -day of the Second Pyithu Hluttaw’s tenth regular session was held yesterday. Deputy Minister for Agriculture, Livestock and Irrigation, U Hla Kyaw, replied to starred questions.

Crop protection product regulations
U Myint Han Tun from Budalin constituency raised a question asking who is authorized to inspect the quality of pesticides, fungicides, herbicides, crop seeds and topsoil on the market, and what processes will be followed on the request to investigate suspicious products on the market.
Deputy Minister U Hla Kyaw replied that businesses and organizations interested in the seed business or are currently engaged in it have to first apply for a seed recognition certificate and then apply for a seed business license that only permits dealings with the crop seeds they have a certificate for. Only then can they produce and distribute crop seeds in accordance with The Seed Law, said the deputy minister.
He explained that businesses that want to import pesticides have to submit a sample product to the license verification board where it will be examined at a laboratory on whether it reaches set standards. He said if all requirements are met, then a license is issued along with a permit from the Department of Agriculture. He said the board also inspects every import shipment to see if it matches the specifications of the submitted sample product during the examination. The shipments are only allowed to leave the port and enter the market after passing these inspections, said the deputy minister.
The deputy minister said farmers can send a product they are suspicious about to the local agriculture department in accord with the rules and regulations. He said if the product does not match prior standards then the matter is relayed to a relevant committee for further action. He added that they provide educational programs and training to pesticide sellers.

No plan to map freshwater lakes yet
U Sai Aung Naing from Kyonpyaw constituency raised a question asking whether there are plans to detail the map boundaries of freshwater lakes in the Ayeyawady Region. The deputy minister said there are currently no plans to undertake the project as the necessary budget for it has not been submitted in the 2018-2019 fiscal year proposal. However, the project will be included in the Ayeyawady Region government’s fund proposal for the 2019-2020 fiscal year, he added.
Deputy Minister U Hla Kyaw also replied to questions raised by U Myo Zaw Oo from Lewe constituency, Dr. U Lin Lin Kyaw from Myittha constituency, U Sai U Kham from Hsenwi constituency and U Khin Zaw from Kawthoung constituency.

Education Promotion Committee reads a report
Next, U Kham Khant Htan, secretary of the Pyithu Hluttaw Education Promotion Committee, read the committee’s report evaluations. The report said if the departments under the Ministry of Education (MOE) communicated their processes with the education promotion committee then education reforms can be better achieved. It said the MOE should disseminate how it has resolved the committee’s reports in a transparent way.
The report said Hluttaw representatives are primarily in contact with the people and can uncover their education requirements to better fulfill them. It also said the committee is working together with international education organizations, scholars, professors and experts to exchange experiences and establish a sustainable education system with international standards.
Speaker U T Khun Myat then announced for MPs interested in discussing the report to register their name.

Another report, a bill discussed
Next, Daw Mar Mar Khine from Thaton constituency, U Thaung Htay Lin from Patheingyi constituency and U Lone Jone San Mai from Sumprabum constituency discussed a report from the Pyithu Hluttaw Farmers’ and Workers’ Affairs Committee.
The committee’s chairman, U Kyaw Myint, replied to the MPs’ discussions and then tabled a motion for the assembly to approve the report. The Speaker called for the deliberation of the Hluttaw.
The Speaker then announced that the Amyotha Hluttaw has sent back the Industrial Design Copyright Bill with amendments and Bill Committee secretary U Stephen submitted a report. The Speaker announced for MPs interested in discussing the report and submitting amendments for the bill to register their names.

Motion to establish strategic crop reserve
Afterwards, U Sein Win from Maubin constituency tabled a motion on behalf of the Pyithu Hluttaw urging the Union government stock up and store regional plant species, fruits and vegetables, grains, rice and rations in response to climate change.
He explained that if plants and commercial crops were stored as a backup then they can be used to restore the crops in an area in time if any losses were caused by natural disasters or manmade issues. He said if there was a national grain reserve then the government can stabilize the market when needed and export to foreign markets on time. He said this is one solution to the possible food shortage that can occur as a consequence of climate change.
The motion was supported by U Aung Thaung Shwe from Buthidaung constituency.
Speaker U T Khun Myat then received the deliberation of the Hluttaw to discuss the motion. He called for MPs interested in discussing the motion to register their names. The 12th day of the tenth regular session of the Second Pyithu Hluttaw will be held on 11 December. (Translated by Zaw Htet Oo)

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