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October 24, 2013

Myanmar

Shrimp Farmers Quitting

 

It’s difficult to determine why it has all gone wrong, but nearly half the shrimp farmers on 7,000 acres of prime sites in Kyauktan Township, Myanmar, only 30 miles from the country’s biggest city and market, Yangon, are giving up.

 

The Township includes nearly 50 farms, but 22 say they will soon stop working because they are not making money.

 

The Myanmar Fisheries Federation (MFF) Vice President U Kyee Ngwe says MFF will do what it can to provide technology and attract foreign investment, adding that farmers face high production and transport costs and do not have the capital needed to improve their operations.  “There are no good highways or roads and no electricity, which makes life difficult for farmers,” he said.  “And farmers cannot upgrade their farms.  Only about 700 acres of the zone can be said to have really good production.”

 

When farmers sell their produce locally they are unable to get the best prices because the shrimp must be transported to Yangon, said U Thein Kyaw Nyunt, owner of a 200-acre shrimp farm.  “We cannot sell our products in Yangon markets because transport and freezing is expensive,” he said.  Ice is three times as expensive in the Township as it is in Yangon.

 

A Myanmar Shrimp Association spokesperson said farms that used technologically advanced farming techniques could significantly increase yields, but the cost of production could be 30 times higher when the capital investment is included.

 

Current plans to attract foreign investment are based on government-to-government assistance programs or direct joint ventures between companies, said U Kyee Ngwe.  “If other countries want to assist the ministry, we will help that process.  Currently Japan, Vietnam and Indonesia are interested in investing,” he said.

 

Information: U Kyee Ngwe, Myanmar Fisheries Federation, Corner of Bayint Naung Road and Say War Sat Yone Street, West Gyo Gone, Insein Township, Yangon, Myanmar (phone 095-1-683652, fax 095-1-683658, email info@fishfedmyanmar.com, webpage http://www.fishfedmyanmar.com).

 

Source: Myanmar Times.  Kyauktan Shrimp Farmers Consider Quitting.  Myat Nyein Aye.  October 20, 2013.

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