Aquaculture production in Myanmar was hardly hit by the Cyclone Nargis in 2018 and a lack of preservation fishery resources. We need a proper aquaculture development plan in Myanmar to put the country’s fish production and exports on the right truck to development.
As part of the plan, the Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock and Irrigation is striving to establish a fishery university following the Hluttaw’s green light for such move.
But, we still need to seek fund, modern farming technology and researchers to bring about the emergence of the university.
With higher aquaculture and fisheries production, Myanmar, which lagged behind in aquaculture education compared to its neighbouring countries, needs specialized experts for producers and marketers to apply advanced technology
Aquaculture production in Myanmar has been increasing year by year, providing protein-rich food, income and employment as well as export earnings. In 2017-18, over 560,000 tonnes of aquaculture and fishery products, worth US$ 711 million were exported, breaking the 20-year fishery export record.
Due to its growth potential, the Union Government has set aquaculture intensification as a national priority. To meet the high private sector demand for specialized professionals, the parliament approved the establishment of the Fishery University, where professionals will be educated to preserve aquatic resources and to promote the aquaculture industry.
The Department of Fisheries is actively supporting the establishment of the Fishery University as well as focusing on the promotion of the B.Sc. Fisheries and Aquaculture course for all students at University of Yangon.
The Myanmar Sustainable Aquaculture Programme (MYSAP), funded by the European Union and the German Government, is working with the Department of Fisheries to support the sustainable intensification of the aquaculture sector, and to realize its potential for food security, nutrition and livelihoods. To achieve these objectives, MYSAP is working to improve aquaculture education and vocational training.
To develop the fishery sector, the Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock and Irrigation has also encouraged fish farmers to seek help from the ministry if they wish to receive assistance from the ministry to overcome their challenges for the fish farming in accordance with the existing laws as the government is committed to development of private sector.
The ministry is also striving to promote the quality and quantity of fishery products in cooperation with local and foreign organizations.
Fish farming is the key to food security and can be a significant contributor towards our economy if managed correctly and supported by all the stakeholders.