Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Myanmar turns to coffee as crops threatened by climate change

May 23, 2017
WITH climate change affecting crop production, Myanmar is taking steps to boost the coffee industry by holding events such as the Coffee Forum in Nay Pyi Taw yesterday.

“With the development of the Myanma Coffee Sector, Myanmar coffee growers and entrepreneurs will earn more foreign exchange,” said Vice President U Henry Van Thio at the opening of the forum.

“Yet, compared to that of coffee growing countries in South-East Asia such as Indonesia, Thailand and Vietnam, Myanmar’s coffee sector was found to have lagged behind due to weaknesses in technique, lack of exchange of news and information and a shortage of experience in growing the coffee crop,” he added.

The Vice President made the remarks came at the Coffee Forum in Myanmar held under the sponsorship of the Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock and Irrigation at the Thingaha Hotel in Nay Pyi Taw yesterday.
Dr Aung Thu, Union Minister for Agriculture, Livestock and Irrigation said, “In the period between 2018 to 2030, it is targeted to increase the coffee growing acreage up to 200,000, with 600,00 tonnes of high-quality coffee expected to be produced by 2030. Now that coffee organisations such as the coffee forum organisation has emerged and Myanma coffee is being exported to the global market, prospects for Myanmar coffee are found to be going well.”

Present at the forum were Union Minister for Commerce Dr Than Myint, ministers for agriculture in Regions and States, Hluttaw representatives, economists, association of Myanmar coffee growers and producers, coffee growing and producing entrepreneurs, professionals from home and abroad, invited guests and responsible officials.

In the world commodity market, coffee follows petroleum as the most exported crop from developing countries. Of the exported agricultural produce from Myanmar, rice and varieties of beans are a staple source of foreign exchange. Likewise, coffee is a kind of crop bringing in foreign exchange, the Vice President said.

Myanmar Arabica Coffee produced in Pyin Oo Lwin and Ywangan in Shan State is now ranked on the list of world-standard specialty coffees, fetching reasonable prices.

“By holding coffee forums in such a way, we can get benefits that will help for the development of the coffee sector,” said the Vice President.

In doing so, matters for the Union government and the Ministry to assist coffee growers, challenges experienced presently, tasks for future development of Myanma Coffee, present market situations, and supply needs of coffee growers were discussed at length, with economists urging participants to discuss and suggest with economic perspectives.

Dr Ye Tint Tun, Director-General of the Agricultural Department, clarified the aims of holding the coffee forum, coffee and health, exports and sales of Myanma coffee, coffee-growing special regions, coffee production, distribution of coffee, prospects of the Myanma coffee market, coffee research works, difficulties, opportunities and benefits.

At the event, economist Dr Zaw Oo, coffee expert U Okkar Aung and professionals from home and abroad read out research papers.

It has been learnt that the Coffee Forum was held under the sponsorship of the Agriculture, Livestock and Irrigation Ministry with a view to increase coffee production, conserve the natural environment, expand coffee crops by growing on hillsides and other  methods.
Myanmar News Agency

Ref; The Global New Light of Myanmar

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