In spite of facing certain limitations at present in terms of agri exports, our country, which depends on agriculture and livestock breeding, has good prospects for shipping aquaculture products to foreign markets.
Myanmar is rich in natural resources. But, we are still weak, compared with other countries, in catching and farming fish and prawns and producing value-added products.
Myanmar people have been consuming a variety of local fish for a long time, and over the last two decades, fishes have become rare in our natural lakes.
Traditional methods of fish and prawn breeding are still being practiced in Myanmar, and modern, scientific breeding techniques are urgently needed.
To bring about a change, we need to use multi-purpose incubators for producing young fish and prawns, good breeding techniques, implement modern food businesses, develop production processes and programs for exporting fishery products at a good price to international markets, and conduct research in the sector.
Exports from fish have generated an income of about US$700 million in the last fiscal. Due to its climatic similarity with other ASEAN neighbors, such as Viet Nam and Thailand, Myanmar produces sufficient food for its citizens and tourists.
In 2018, Viet Nam exported marine products worth $8 billion and Thailand over $6 billion. Viet Nam has 48.81 per cent of the land area of Myanmar, but it has achieved success in agriculture and animal husbandry (especially fisheries) in a very short time by implementing systematic policies, plans, and projects.
There is a good opportunity and potential for producing fish and prawns, and this needs to be prioritized to upgrade the food sector.
The requirement for raw food materials can be met by using agricultural byproducts. The raw materials should be privately owned, and produced in keeping with agricultural planning. Food processing factories must be encouraged by all means.
We believe that by taking advantage of the current situation, national-level plans and projects can ensure a sustainable fishery and prawn-breeding sector
The fishery sector is important for the fulfillment of comprehensive policies and for the overall development of our country. National-level plans and projects need to be implemented to ensure future success in the sector.