The United States and Myanmar partners celebrated achievements in Myanmar’s melon, sesame, coffee, ginger, and soybean sectors at the #MarketNext event yesterday, according to a press release.
Agriculture is vital to the livelihoods of the majority of people in Myanmar. U.S. Ambassador Scot Marciel answered questions from trade association leaders, farmers and other Myanmar partners during today’s event. He said, “Myanmar has tremendous potential to produce and export a wide range of agricultural products. Our programs are designed to help farmers and others expand quality production and find good markets that allow them to increase their incomes.”
The #MarketNext event marks the end of the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) Value Chains for Rural Development project. USAID invested $27 million from 2014-2019. This project has helped 40,000 farmers, at least a third of whom are women, and 400 private sector partners. Strong producer and exporter associations such as Myanmar Coffee Association, Myanmar Fruit, Flower and Vegetable Producers and Exporters Association, and the Sesame Farmer Development Association will carry on the work of helping farmers improve their production while also establishing new markets for Myanmar products.
USAID Mission Director Teresa McGhie opened the afternoon Market Place. Speaking to more than 40 private sector firms and associations, she said, “In its work around the world, USAID has learned that three things are essential to inclusive economic growth. The first is that agriculture is important. The second is that women must be part of the solution. And the third is that responsible private investment is necessary to drive sustainable economic transformation.”
In Myanmar, the U.S. Government continues to invest over $17 million each year as part of the U.S. Government Feed the Future Initiative.