Clamping down on spurious inputs can keep farmers away from poverty

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  • Myanmar is an agro-based country. More than 70 per cent of the country’s population is residing in rural areas, and most rural people are relying on agriculture for their livelihood.
    To develop the country, we need to work to improve the socio-economic life of the rural people in every possible way.
    To help farmers, the incumbent government has increased the amount of agricultural loans and is providing assistance to farmers in land preparation. The government has also been lending agricultural machinery and allowing farmers to buy machinery on instalment.
    The government has also set the basic price of rice, the staple food of Myanmar, at K5,000 per basket so that growers do not suffer losses.
    Meanwhile, the standard of inputs, such as pesticides, fertilizers, and seeds, has become an important factor in the production of quality crops.
    Pesticides, fungicides, herbicides, crop seeds, and topsoil are available in the market when the growing season draws near.
    We would like to urge the authorities to step up efforts to investigate spurious inputs in the market before they reach the farmland, at the request of farmers.
    At the same time, businesses and organizations interested in trading agricultural inputs must follow the set procedures. For instance, those engaged in seed trading need to apply for a seed recognition certificate and then apply for a business license. A business license permits traders to only deal in crop seeds they have obtained a certificate for. Only if they meet these requirements can businesses produce and distribute crop seeds, in accordance with the Seed Law.
    Businesses seeking to import pesticides have to submit a sample product to the license verification board, which sends it to a laboratory for testing whether the sample meets the set standards. If all requirements are met, then a license is issued along with a permit from the Department of Agriculture.
    The department also inspects every import shipment to see if it matches the specifications of the sample product submitted during the examination.
    Shipments are only allowed to leave ports and enter the market after passing these inspections.
    Farmers can send a product they are suspicious of to the local agriculture department, in accordance with the rules and regulations.
    If the product does not match prior standards, then the matter can be relayed to a relevant committee for further action.
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