Vice President U Henry Van Thio, Chairman of the Central Committee for Scrutinizing Confiscated Farmlands and Other Lands addressed the 2019 Peasants Day ceremony held in Taungsu Village, Ywathit Village Tract, Einme Township, Ayeyawady Region yesterday morning.
First a message sent by President U Win Myint to the 2019 Peasants Day ceremony was read by Ayeyawady Region Chief Minister U Hla Moe Aung.
Next Vice President U Henry Van Thio delivered an opening speech and said Myanmar was an agriculture based country that relied on the agriculture sector and the majority of the country’s population were peasants and farmers. Ayeyawady Region where about 11 per cent of the country’s population resides depended their livelihoods on the agriculture sector and were mostly peasants and farmers. The Region was considered as a rice bowl of the country and supported the economy of the country like a vital life blood artery. The Government was establishing a long term agriculture production system that supported the socio-economic development of rural peoples and the country’s economic development through increasing production of agriculture products that could compete internationally.
In order to develop the economic benefit of the 70 per cent of the population of the agriculture based country according to the aims of the Law of Protection of the Farmer Rights and Enhancement of their Benefits assistance has been provided for farmers whose land had been confiscated and the security and rights of the peasants and farmers to work on their farm lands were being protected.
The Union Government had formed the Central Committee for Scrutinizing Confiscated Farmlands and Other Lands and through committees formed at state, region, district, township, ward and village levels were scrutinizing farmlands confiscated for various reasons and were returning to the original owner peasants and farmers according to law, rules and procedures.
The happy outcome of such efforts was the return of 1,410 acres of farm lands to 355 farmers in Ayeyawday Region Pantanaw, Myaungmya, Kyangin and Yekyi townships in today’s ceremony.
Furthermore efforts were being made for small plot farmers to have legal ownership of their lands and to enable landless farmers and peasants to obtain rights easily to conduct agriculture and livestock breeding works on lands. The 2012 Vacant, Fallow and Virgin Land Law was amended in 11 September 2018 to prevent assigning of lands designated for ethnic national traditions and cultures, public and ethnic nationals’ religion, social, education, health and road as vacant, fallow and virgin lands.
The Government had also enacted on 18 December 2018 the second amendment Law of Protection of the Farmer Rights and Enhancement of their Benefits that provide assistance and benefits to the farmer and peasants in the form of agriculture loan, obtaining firm markets and technical support and provided assistance and support in time of natural disasters.
The Government had permitted farmers to produce crops that were appropriate for the region and were marketable while consistently studying the requirements of the farmers to provide support where necessary. Obtaining markets for the destabilized international prices of Matpe and other pulses, creating new export products and discussions to make sales through government to government were being conducted. Encouragement and support were provided to use modern processing and packaging technologies to produce value added products instead of exporting primary products.
In the same way as countries improving their capabilities to respond and overcome food scarcity in the face of natural disasters caused by climate change, Myanmar was also making preparations to collect and store reserve seeds in cooperation between government and private organizations. Basic foundations were being laid firmly towards improving the quality and reducing chemical residues in crops, fruits and vegetables, reducing post-harvesting losses and issuing of GAP certification to assure food safety for the public.
Farmer Channel program was being widely broadcasted so that farmers acquire timely price, weather and market information and new technologies and methods. Ayeyawady Region was a region blessed with natural environment and weather conditions that supports agriculture and livestock breeding. Now was the time when those assets were combined with the simple and hard-working farmers to achieve all round development of the national economy including the agriculture sector.
The government and the people were to work together and implement towards long term national benefits. Challenges and obstacles faced were to be overcome through technology, investment and cooperation so that the ultimate goal was reached, said the Vice President.
After the Vice President’s speech, Region Chief Minister U Hla Moe Aung explained about works conducted for development of agriculture, livestock breeding and the fishery sector in Ayeyawady Region.
Following this the Vice President presented prizes to U Tin Aung Than, U Tin Soe, U Shwe Pwa, U Ohn Kyaw and U Nay Soe who had worked in an outstanding manner for agriculture sector development.
Region Chief Minister U Hla Moe Aung, Deputy Minister U Hla Kyaw and Region minister for agriculture, livestock, natural resources and environmental conservation U Tin Aung Win also presented awards to outstanding farmers and public servants and a document of honor to Advanced Agriculture Engineering (AEE) Company for assisting in conducting aerial spraying of pesticides to counter pest infection in Hinthada District.
Later Region Chief Minister U Hla Moe Aung, Deputy Minister for Defence Rear Admiral Myint Nwe, Deputy Minister for Office of the Union Government U Tin Myint, Deputy Minister for Agriculture, Livestock and Irrigation U Hla Kyaw presented land work permit forms for released lands to representatives of farmers. 636 acres of lands in Pantanaw Township were released to 103 farmers by Yuzana Company, 209 acres of lands in Myaungmya Township were released to 66 farmers by Light Infantry Regiment 93, 481 acres of lands in Kyangin Township were released to 157 farmers by a Methanol Plant and 84 acres of lands in Yekyi Township were released to 29 farmers by Light Infantry Regiment 36.
Farmer U Tun Tun Win spoke words of thanks on behalf of the farmers on receiving back the lands and land work permits.
After the event the Vice President, Region Chief Minister, Region Hluttaw Speaker, Region High Court Chief Judge and Deputy Minister took commemorative group photos with prize winners.
The Vice President and officials then observed the agriculture products, agriculture machineries and technologies and departmental exhibits displayed in the Peasants Day exhibition. About 3,000 farmers attended the 2019 Peasant Day ceremony and visited the exhibition where 55 exhibits were displayed.
Later in the afternoon the Vice President U Henry Van Thio accompanied by officials went to Ngwe Saung Town Yacht Club Hotel and inspected the maintenance works conducted on Lovers Island and Ngwe Saung Beach.
Afterwards the Vice President and party arrived at the i-Green Housing Project where officials from i-Green Development & Engineering Group explained about the project.
The Vice President commented on creating job opportunities for the local people not only during but also after the project period, to put up dams and dikes to store water required for greenery works of the surrounding areas, upgrade the Pathein-Ngwe Saung/Chaungtha road foreseeing the development in travel business, arrange a waste disposal system in order not to affect the natural environment, place emphasis towards providing satisfactory service to visitors, make arrangements for providing electricity to Ngwe Saung and Chaungtha hotel zones from the national power grid, to strive towards completing i-Green house project on time and relevant ministerial departments, Region Government and zone wise responsible business persons to cooperate towards development of travel business. He then inspected the construction status of the i-Green housing project.
A total of 176,879 local and foreign visitors visited Ngwe Saung Beach situated 29 miles 4 furlong west of Pathein it is learnt.—MNA (Translated by Zaw Min)