Republic of the Union of Myanmar Message of Greetings sent by President U Htin Kyaw, President of the Republic of the Union of Myanmar on the occasion of the Peasants Day Celebrations which falls on 2 March 2018

President U Htin Kyaw speaks at the ceremony to confer titles for bravery at the Presidential Palace in Nay Pyi Taw. Photo: MNA
President U Htin Kyaw speaks at the ceremony to confer titles for bravery at the Presidential Palace in Nay Pyi Taw. Photo: MNA

Dear esteemed peasantry,
Today is a historic and auspicious day which has been designated to honor all the peasants in the country. On this day full of Mingalar and historic significance, I wish to send my message of greetings and good wishes for the health and happiness and blessings for auspiciousness for all the peasantry. In addition I also send good wishes for great success more than ever in their farming work.
In Myanmar, 70 percent of the population is in the rural areas and the main occupation is farming. Although about 30 percent of the GDP derives from the agricultural sector, the socio-economic life of the peasantry is still low. They are facing climate change, natural disasters, other dangers and degradation of the soil due to deforestation. As a consequence, the majority of the farmers suffer decreasing incomes which led to loss of land turning them into landless farmers. Thus their socio-economic life suffered.
During the current period, our Union Government while striving for the emergence of sustainable agricultural production has already laid down (9) goals with a view to uplifting the socio-economic life of people in rural areas and to support the country’s economic development by promoting the increased production of agricultural and livestock products capable of competing in the international markets. In addition, we have also laid down (11) goals to ensure food security, nutritional value in food and increased food safety; we worked for farmers to enjoy full rights and better benefits and to encourage local and foreign investments in the agricultural sector.
To realize the above goals, we have laid down (10) policies to expand agricultural and livestock enterprises, to enhance the income of small farmers while increasing production capacity, capacity to produce safe and nutritious food for consumers, development of agro-based enterprises, increased exports of agricultural products by linking with foreign markets and ensuring sustainable development. We have exerted concerted efforts to obtain the above benefits.

Dear esteemed peasantry,
As the Republic of the Union of Myanmar is a country based on agriculture, a law and regulations to protect peasants’ rights and promote their benefits have been formulated and passed; a Steering Committee to protects peasants’ rights and promote their benefits headed by the Vice President has been formed. This committee has been working to benefit farmers.
In the past our paddy lands had to rely only on rain. Now job opportunities and income of farmers will increase due to the establishment of irrigated farming methods where double-cropping is now possible whereas in the past they were not sure of having even a single crop. That is why repair and maintenance work has been initiated to ensure that irrigation dams and river water utilization projects could be used effectively for the long run. We have conducted demonstrations and public awareness campaigns to this end. Departments concerned with the cooperation of international organizations are also conducting public awareness campaigns to grow crops and new strains that would be compatible with the changing weather patterns.
Also, we have been providing more and more assistance to owners of small traditional plots to transform into mechanized agriculture by drawing up short-term and long-term projects stage by stage.

Dear esteemed peasantry,
To be able to compete in foreign markets we have been encouraging and promoting efforts to get good prices for agricultural products in foreign markets and to ensure that farmers producing primary products will get more income. For this we have embarked on a process to export high quality products by building high-level rice and oil mills, high-level purification plants for fruits and modern packing plants.
Also, we have been working systematically for the creation of “Wholesale Markets” which meet international standards and ensure that our agricultural and fruit products can be sold at competitive prices.
We have also been working hard to improve the cooperative sector by organizing and uniting the strength of small farmers owning small plots, all over the country, by forming agricultural cooperatives. This is to ensure that farmers will get the right to practically participate in all stages, from the planting stage to the stage where they sell their products at the market; and also to ensure that farmers get job opportunities and benefits.
We have also been broadcasting the “Farmers Channel” for maximum outreach. For increasing agricultural production, it is important to ensure that modern farming reach the farmers easily. News relating to improving agricultural production such as news about the weather and market situation on a real-time basis is included. In addition news for farmers for their recreation, entertainment and education are also featured. A Call Center was set up on March 2017 and farmers can get information about farming techniques and ask questions about the challenges they are facing on a real-time basis. In addition, in accordance with the advances in farming techniques, we have been disseminating general knowledge for farmers, farming news from mobile phones, and weather news on a real-time basis. Also, an agricultural and rural development training school has been established in the Nay Pyi Taw Council area in Zeyarthiri township, in Yezin. Basic Training courses on new village movement are being taught there.

Dear esteemed peasantry,
As the world population has been increasing and as the current population of more than (7000) million will become (9000) million in 2050, we will have to increase the needed food production. The Republic of the Union of Myanmar is also working on all fronts with heightened momentum to not only ensure food security for the country in view of the increase in population in a few years, but to be able to increase the export of agricultural products to international markets.
In the year 2017-2018 our country was able to not only attain food sufficiency but to export (3) million tons of rice. Thus we were able to set a new record for the last 70 years. Thus because of the strenuous efforts exerted by the farmers and the cooperation of responsible departments and the private sector, I wish to put on record and honor all the farmers for being able to export up to (30) million tons of rice.
We are blessed with rich natural resources and marine resources and also have favorable weather in addition to farmers who have pure hearts and work hard. The time is now opportune to work with heightened momentum for the all-round development of the economy, including the agricultural sector. Let us work with the united strength of the farmers for uplifting the socio-economic life of farmers.
As I send this Message of Greetings, as I solemnly urge all of you to work in unity to overcome all challenges, obstacles and difficulties we will have to face, for the long term national interests of all citizens, including farmers all over the country.

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