About the Myanmar Sustainable Aquaculture Programme (MYSAP)
With a coastline of nearly 2,000 km, several large estuarine delta systems as well as permanent and seasonal freshwater bodies of a total of 82,000 km2, Myanmar provides habitats for a considerable diversity of aquatic species.
Consistently, fisheries and aquaculture products account for the main source of animal protein and micronutrients in domestic diets. The sector directly employs some 3 million people and provides livelihoods for up to 15 million. Amid the recent return to international markets, the country’s rich aquatic resources offer many opportunities for a thriving economy to create jobs and export earnings.
However, in some coastal areas of Myanmar, unsustainable management has led wild fish stocks to decline by 90% since 1980. This significantly threatens both nutrition and income particularly in rural areas, where 70% of the population live.
Myanmar is among 24 “high-burden” countries, ranked by the largest number of chronically malnourished children under the age of five. Therefore, aquaculture development has become a priority area for the Myanmar Government, which recently launched a largescale campaign to tackle malnutrition.
In aims to support these efforts, MYSAP works to intensify the productivity and production of selected coastal and freshwater aquaculture value chains in a sustainable way. Its intervention areas include input supply, production and product transformation, while also channelling trade and consumption to benefit communities suffering from malnutrition.
Major beneficiaries are the local population and SMEs in the inland fish-deficient regions of Sagaing and Shan as well as the coastal areas of Ayeyarwady and Rakhine. The target group includes over 250,000 smallholder farmers and other stakeholders involved in the sectors, e.g. 25,000 smallholder rice farmers, who could improve their income by application of rice/fish culture or shifting to aquaculture production, as well as landless workers who can benefit from new employment opportunities.
MYSAP is jointly implemented by the Myanmar Department of Fisheries and Deutsche Gesellschaft fuer Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ), with the European Union as its main funding agency, followed by the German Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development. The programme works with all members of aquaculture value chains, including Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs), Government and Non-Governmental Organizations, private sector associations, academia and other stakeholders.