En­tre­pre­neur has plans to re­form way­ward youth with fer­mented bam­boo shoots and tomato jam

The Myanmar Times - - News - SWAN YE HTUT swanye­htut@mm­times.com

IN a scheme that seems to hit all the bases, a busi­ness­man wants to em­ploy delin­quent youths in a jam-mak­ing en­ter­prise that would bring in prof­its from overseas that could ben­e­fit the old peo­ple’s home he runs.

U Soe Tin, chair of the Aye Nyein Chan Thar Gi­larna home for the aged, says he can of­fer young of­fend­ers in his tomato jam and fer­mented bam­boo shoot firm in Py­in­mana, Nay Pyi Taw, with job op­por­tu­ni­ties that could turn them into law-abid­ing cit­i­zens, while also turn­ing a profit.

“There are teenagers whose par­ents disown them. They have no jobs, and they’re up in court for tak­ing mo­tor­cy­cles or throw­ing stones at cars,” he told a July 24 meet­ing of 45 en­trepreneurs in the fer­mented bam­boo shoot and tomato jam busi­ness in Py­in­mana town­ship.

The jam is sent to Yangon and ex­ported for sale in sou­venir shops in Sin­ga­pore, the United King­dom and other coun­tries. U Soe Tint told his au­di­ence that cap­i­tal and ac­cess to for­eign mar­kets could help the trade ex­pand.

“I have a plan to open an of­fice in Sin­ga­pore. I want to build fac­to­ries and freezer plants and sell the prod­ucts all over the world. Lo­cal con­sump­tion in Py­in­mana won’t cre­ate enough jobs, but ex­pan­sion will al­low us to em­ploy young peo­ple at ev­ery stage, from cul­ti­va­tion to ex­port sales,” he said.

Fer­mented bam­boo shoot and tomato prod­ucts are tra­di­tional Py­in­mana del­i­ca­cies not nor­mally made with machin­ery or chem­i­cals. In­vest­ment would be needed in or­der to meet a wider global de­mand, U Soe Tint said. Daw Win Myint San Oo, of the Moe fer­mented bam­boo shoot com­pany, said, “A Ja­panese com­pany has asked us to send fer­mented bam­boo shoots with very spe­cific re­quire­ments, which would need new tech­niques and plant types. There are lots of prob­lems like that.”

U Soe Tint has been in con­tact with Is­raeli tech­ni­cians to de­velop a tomato jam that would sell well overseas. “Py­in­mana is fa­mous for fer­mented bam­boo shoots and tomato prod­ucts. I want to pub­li­cise them more widely,” he said.

He said he was pre­pared to pro­vide know-how, mar­ket­ing, machin­ery and in­fra­struc­ture, as well as K1.5 bil­lion (US$1.3 mil­lion) in cap­i­tal, for a big com­pany that would em­ploy young of­fend­ers to make tomato jam up to in­ter­na­tional stan­dards, with the prof­its to be do­nated to the Aye Nyein Chan Thar Gi­larna home.

Daw Win Myint San Oo, owner of the Moe fer­mented bam­boo shoot com­pany, told The Myan­mar Times af­ter the meet­ing that Py­in­mana used to churn out fer­mented bam­boo shoots and tomato and mango jams, but now con­cen­trates mainly on more pop­u­lar bam­boo shoot prod­ucts. Py­in­mana re­mains the largest mar­ket in the coun­try for fer­mented bam­boo shoots, and each en­tre­pre­neur stores about 300,000 viss of fer­mented bam­boo shoots a year (1 viss equals 1.6kg or 3.6lbs) for sale.

– Trans­la­tion by Emoon

Photo: Swan Ye Htut

Daw Win Myint San Oo owns a fer­mented bam­boo en­ter­prise.

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