Policy errors and protectionism has led to price volatility in Burma’s food market, Vice President Nyan Tun said in an address on World Food Day on Tuesday.
“Unusual agricultural policy and self-protected trade policies of countries caused volatile prices,” the vice president said, according to a news release on the President’s Office website.
He said that international assistance and investment in Burma's agricultural sector also have been declining for the past two decades.
He said the development of the fertilizer industry is a “necessity” to keep fertilizers within the reach of average farmers, and he said the cooperation of specialized companies and NGOs was needed for increased agricultural productivity.
In his speech, Myint Hlaing, the Union Minister for Agriculture and Irrigation, called for increased cooperation with the UN Food and Agrciculture Organization (FAO) and other international organizations.
Bui Thi Lan, the FAO representative in Burma, told The New Light of Myanmar that an FAO “rice study mission” was sent to Burma to observe the rice industry, and the UN agency is providing technical support to increase productivity of rice.
This year’s World Food Day was celebrated under the theme “Agricultural Cooperative – Key to Feeding the World.”
The government has a goal to cut the poverty rate to 16 per cent from 26 per cent by 2015.
Food production constitutes 37.8 per cent of Burma’s total production, according to the report.