IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, signed an advisory agreement with Myanmar’s Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock and Irrigation (MoALI) on August 25 to support its efforts with boosting sector productivity, quality and skill development.
The technical assistance programme is supported by the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade of Australia, the Department for International Development of the United Kingdom and the Government of Japan.
The country’s agricultural sector is a key pillar of the economy and provides employment to about 53 percent of the labor force and is a source of livelihood for about 70 percent of the rural population. Through this agreement, IFC’s technical assistance will support the government’s objective of increasing the productivity, market access and competitiveness of the agricultural sector by improving the provision of quality inputs to farmers. As a driver of growth and innovation, the private sector will play a significant role in assuring quality seeds, fertilizer and crop protection products reach farmers efficiently. A strong balance between efficient markets and effective regulation is needed along with an improved way of working together for the government and private sector.
“IFC’s emphasis on improving the use of agricultural inputs and strengthening quality standards of agricultural products is aligned with MoALI’s mission. I am confident that this project will be supportive to our agriculture sector development and fulfill our vision for the future,” said Dr. Aung Thu, Minister of Agriculture, Livestock and Irrigation.
IFC will also assist with establishing quality standards for key export commodities, such as rice, and local food processing, while helping farmers to develop skills related to the use of agricultural inputs and improved quality standards. In July, IFC and MoALI held a one-day workshop in Nyuang Shwe, which brought together over 200 tomato farmers to discuss Good Agricultural Practices and the importance of improving and reducing the use of chemicals on their floating farms to protect Inle Lake.
“We believe that improved access to quality agricultural inputs will elevate industry productivity and quality, while also resulting in raised incomes and job creation along the value chain,” said Vivek Pathak, IFC Regional Director for East Asia and the Pacific. “By supporting Myanmar’s agricultural development, we hope to help create potential markets for agricultural products through exports.”
As a member of the World Bank Group, IFC has been at the forefront of driving agriculture sector reforms in recent years across Asia to unlock the door for farmers and rural communities to access relevant inputs, knowledge, skills and finance to improve their livelihoods in a sustainable manner. With agribusiness as a strategic pillar of IFC’s work in Myanmar, we are supporting local firms such as the Awba Group to increase the production of good-quality crop protection products and improve access to agri-lending products for farmers.