TAUNGGYI, Myanmar, 6 December 2018 – The Department of Fisheries, Myanmar Sustainable Aquaculture Programme (MYSAP) and the University of Taunggyi are bringing actors together to scale up the capacities of research and development among universities and regional and national institutions at the First Shan State Forum for Sustainable Fish Production. Over 150 representatives of government ministries, private sector companies and federations, academia, civil society organizations and development agencies conducting work in aquaculture related areas join and exchange knowledge and experiences. The target is to find out possible ways of strengthening collaboration throughout the aquaculture sector in Shan State.
“The stakeholders of the aquaculture sector in the Shan State rarely meet to discuss current challenges and possible cooperation. Now, Department of Fisheries is supporting the event to establish a cooperation platform for research and development activities among important aquaculture stakeholders in Shan State”, said U Tin Htun Linn, Director of Department of Fisheries, Shan State, stated before the event.
Than Lwin River, its tributaries and Inle Lake as one of the largest freshwater lakes in Myanmar, are the main grounds for capturing fish and aquaculture activities in Shan State. The fish consumption of Shan State, however, is higher than its production, so it depends on imported fish and fish products from Yangon, Ayeyarwady and Mandalay to meet markets demands. MYSAP is working to improve fish production in Shan State’s natural freshwater resources creating better opportunities for the expansion of small and semi-intensive freshwater aquaculture for the domestic market. This has the potential to contribute significantly to socio-economic development and food security and nutrition in the State.
“MYSAP steps up its intervention activities in the Shan state in the programme’s first implementation phase in 2018. Currently, our core objectives are food security, nutrition and livelihoods. We are working together with relevant stakeholders to establish the Shan Forum for Sustainable Fish Production as a regular networking platform”, said Peter Buri, MYSAP’s Head of Programme.
The First Shan State Forum for Sustainable Fish Production provides a chance to get together, network and built cooperation opportunities for small scale farmers having limited technical know-how. In the future, the forum at University of Taunggyi will play a vital role in providing a regular exchange platform for the sector to coordinate research and development activities in the Shan State.
“We have a plan to conduct research projects focusing on examination of common breeding approaches in local hatcheries, biodiversity in Inle Lake as well as the market competitiveness of the endemic Inle carp compared with the common carp”, said Professor Daw Nwe Nwe San, Department of Zoology at the University of Taunggyi.
On the occasion of hosting the First Shan State Forum for Sustainable Fish Production, MYSAP, will also conduct a consultation on the drafting process of the National Aquaculture Development Plan (NADP). This happens with the support of the Centre for Economic and Social Development (CESD), World Fish, the Department of Fisheries and the Shan State Fishery Federation. The NADP will describe up the development of Myanmar’s aquaculture sector in the upcoming years. Its objectives feed directly into Myanmar’s Agriculture Development Strategy (ADS).
During the event, the participants will be divided into four discussion groups on (1) policy, institutions and environmental protection, (2) Aquaculture education, inclusiveness and fair work opportunities, (3) availability and access to inputs of the aquaculture value chain as well as (4) nutrition and food security. The in-depth discussions with local actors from Shan State are part of a nation-wide series of events to collect inputs to ensure that the drafting of the NADP is inclusive and voices from different backgrounds are being heard and included.