With the aim of promoting harmonization of sugarcane production and its market, the Myanmar Sugar Forum 2019 was opened at Horizon Lake View Hotel in Nay Pyi Taw yesterday morning.
Vice President U Henry Van Thio delivered an opening speech at this forum.
In his address, the Vice President said that the Myanmar government has adopted the 12 point economic policy on 29th July 2016, aiming for multi-sector development, food efficiency and promotion of exports through harmonized development in agriculture, livestock and industrial sector. It also adopted an economic model that called for maintaining equilibrium between the agriculture and industrial sectors.
Sugarcane is grown as a commercial and industrial crop in developing and developed countries. Although some other crops such as carrots and cassava can be used in sugar production, sugarcane is the major crop for Myanmar in production of sugar for both domestic consumption and export.
The Myanmar sugar industry is an agro-based industry for domestic consumption, production of sugar-based foodstuff and export commodities. Moreover sugarcane is a multi-purpose raw crop that also produces other byproducts such as molasses and bagasse. It can also be used in production of alcohol, bio fuel, natural fertilizer, paper, card board, household items and some construction materials. Therefore, these products can help the economic development of the country.
There has been an increase in consumption of sugar-based foodstuff such as soft drinks, coffee mix, tea mix, cakes, jams and dairy products with the increasing economic development of the country. As a consequence, the number of industries in sugar-based foodstuffs has gradually risen, with development in terms of product categories and quality.
Food production in rural areas has developed from a manageable scale to a commercial role thanks to electricity supply and better transportation. Therefore, this is a transition period to gain momentum in the agribusiness development.
The Myanmar sugar industry needs to increase sugarcane cultivation for the sufficiency of domestic consumption, to produce quality sugar, and to turn byproducts into value-added products. Moreover, trade agreements should be made to export the surplus sugar.
The lives of farmers should be definitely supported in promoting cultivation of sugarcane. Research and development experts need to help them with modern agricultural methods, good varieties in quality, easy access for cultivation, establishment of contract farming between the farmers and the industries, adopting appropriate policies in this industry.
The Vice President also emphasized the harmonious development among all the stakeholders such as farmers, sugar producers, sugar-based industries, traders and consumers.
Any dysfunction in the supply chain will have the most serious impacts on the farmers, and that the industry should abide by the Law of Protection of the Farmers’ Rights and Enhancement of their Benefits.
U Henry Van Thio also advised the attendees to adopt short and long plans after reviewing the prevailing situations in this industry, and the relevant government ministries are to support with appropriate policies.
Then, Union Minister Dr Aung Thu explained the ministry’s works to promote sugarcane cultivation, substitution with 60 per cent good varieties, continuous production of good varieties and research for development in this industry.
Dr Ye Tint Tun, the Director-General of Department of Agriculture, presented appropriate policies on sugar industry. Chairman of Myanmar Sugar and Sugarcane Product Entrepreneurs Association U Soe Lin explained the goals of their association.
The opening ceremony was concluded with showing a video clip that demonstrated sugarcane cultivation and the importance of sugarcane.
The ceremony was attended by Union Minister for Agriculture, Livestock and Irrigation Dr Aung Thu, Union Minister for Commerce Dr Than Myint, Agricultural Ministers from State/Region governments, members of Hluttaw Affairs Committees, Permanent Secretaries, Chairman and executive members of Myanmar Sugar and Sugarcane Product Entrepreneurs Association, responsible persons from sugar mills, local sugar producers, representatives of sugarcane farmers, representatives from the Union of Myanmar Federation of Chambers of Commerce and Industry and NGOs, departmental officials and invited guests.
After the opening ceremony, the Vice President posed for documentary photos with the attendees.
Then, they looked around the exhibitions of sugars, sugar-based foodstuff and agricultural machinery displayed by the Department of Agriculture, the Myanmar Sugar and Sugarcane Products Entrepreneurs Association, Kubota Myanmar, Delicious Foods Limited, Super Coffee Mix, and Great Wall-Wilmar.
The forum was continued with paper reading sessions on the topics of using high-yield techniques, factors influencing contract farming in sugar industry, analysis on the capacity of sugarcane farmers, data collection, sugar export to China in government to government system and business to business system, survey on domestic consumption and the use of sugar and opportunities for production of ethanol fuel.
The attendees also took part discussions on the papers, and the strategy for Myanmar sugar and sugarcane industry development.—MNA
(Translated by Aung Khin)