Yangon, Myanmar (August 20, 2015) – Mekong Institute (MI), in collaboration with Agricultural University Alumni Association (AUAA) of Yezin Agricultural University (YAU), organized a one-day National Consultation Workshop on Cross-Border Contract Farming (CBCF) at the Chatrium Hotel.
The workshop was conducted to disseminate the research findings from a study on the benefits of smallholder farmers involved in CBCF in Myawaddy, and consult stakeholders regarding a set of policy recommendations to improve contract farming arrangements and enforcement in Myanmar.
Attended by 40 key actors representing different stakeholders, including policy and decision makers from concerned government ministries, regional and local authorities, academic institutions, agri-business firms, farmer representatives and non-government organizations, the workshop highlighted governance issues and difficulties faced by farmers and contracting companies in relation to contract farming arrangements.
Various experts voiced out their suggestions and recommendations during the group discussion regarding the national priority and intervention areas for improving contract farming system and trade in Myanmar. The discussions focused on three major issues that surfaced during the research process, namely: Greater Empowerment of Cross-Border Contractual Farmers, Access to Cheap Credit and Land Use Certificate, and Strengthening Institutions and Rural Infrastructure.
From the discussions, a policy paper will be developed to address these key issues and provide recommendations to improve the system.
In his Opening Remarks, Dr. Myo Kywe, Rector of YAU, talked about the importance of contract farming and its potential to reduce poverty by increasing and stabilizing farmers’ income. He also explained how promoting contract farming could lead to improved access to technology, markets and credit, and increased efficiency in production and marketing.
Meanwhile, Ms. Maria Theresa S. Medialdia, Program Manager of Rural Development Program, discussed about the initiatives MI is leading to promote contract farming. “MI is taking significant actions to promote agricultural productivity and link farmers to regional and global markets by supporting contract farming and value-adding agriculture processing activities. These efforts are part of the three-year project ‘Capacity Development for Integrating CLMV Economies into ASEAN Economic Community 2015’ funded by New Zealand Aid Programme,” she said.