National Natural Disaster Management Committee Chairman and Vice President U Henry Van Thio arrived in Kalay, Sagaing Region on Wednesday to visit disaster prevention works, and also visited a research and development coffee programme in Chin State.
U Henry Van Thio was briefed about the Kalay District natural disaster prevention works in the local military guest house by district administrative officials, while Deputy Minister for Social Welfare, Relief and Resettlement U Soe Aung gave additional explanations for future programmes. The Vice President gave comments to ensure proper coordination and advised on how to effectively use the funds requested for long-term natural disaster prevention programmes and how to use the natural disaster fund.
The Vice President and party then inspected the status of a river bank retaining wall being constructed on the banks of the Nayritzara River near Phaungku Bridge in Kalay. The retaining wall is being constructed with Ks 264 million allocated in fiscal year 2017-2018.
From there, Vice President U Henry Van Thio inspected the status of the construction of a Myitha River bank retaining wall beside the Kalay-Kalewa road. The 5,100 ft. long Kalay-Kalewa road retaining wall was constructed with Ks 2.20 billion allocated in the 2018 six month fiscal year. The construction is 60 per cent completed, it was learnt.
The Vice President went on to the public service office in Kalay to observe the works conducted and then met with the local people.
Accompanied by Chin State Chief Minister U Salai Lian Lwal and State Hluttaw Speaker U Zo Bwe, he then travelled to Tiddim Township, Chin State, to visit a coffee research and development farm (Htayzan) and inspected the systematic planting of coffee and production and sale of high-grade coffee.
Afterwards, in the briefing hall, U Min Lwin Oo from the farm and Department of Agriculture Director General Dr. Ye Tint Tun explained about the coffee planting and quality testing works being conducted.
In his comment to the explanations, Vice President U Henry Van Thio said that, according to the coffee quality specification of the world, a Cupping Score of 80 and above was considered a special grade coffee, and coffee produced in Pyin Oo Lwin, Ywangan and Thandaung had a score of between 84 and 90, while coffee produced in Chin State was of special quality, achieving a score of 96.
“Farmers in Chin State are being urged to expand and plant this high-quality coffee. This will increase the income of the farmers as well as increase the value of the state’s export products. The land situation in Chin State remains in its natural state to this day, and local farmers should use this opportunity to produce chemical-free organic crops”, said the Vice President.
To date, Chin State has more than 560 acres of coffee plantation. Annually, there will be an increase of 220 acres. By 2021, there will be a total of 1,220 acres, it is learnt.
The Vice President and party then continued on to Sial Lum Fort in Tiddim Township, which has been preserved by the Department of Archaeology and National Museum, where they were greeted with traditional dances. The state head of the Department of Archaeology and National Museum explained the history of the fort and the preservation works conducted. Afterwards, the Vice President toured the fort and took a commemorative group photo with local ethnic nationals.
On 4 May 1889, a fierce battle was fought in Sial Lum Fort, resulting in 36 deaths among the attacking foreign invaders, while a total of 28 defending Chin nationals, 18 men and 10 women were killed.
The Vice President went on to inspect the maintenance of a retaining wall, construction of a new one and widening of the Kalay-Tiddim-Tonzang road. He then went to Tonzang town in the evening, where local ethnic people greeted them with traditional dances.
During his travels in Sagaing Region and Chin State, the Vice President was accompanied by Sagaing Region Chief Minister Dr. Myint Naing, Deputy Minister for Defence Rear Admiral Myint Nwe, Deputy Minister for Border Affairs Maj-Gen Than Htut, Deputy Minister for Social Welfare, Relief and Resettlement U Soe Aung, regional government ministers, Permanent Secretaries and departmental officials.