US For­eign Agri­cul­tural Ser­vice opens Myan­mar of­fice

The Myanmar Times - - Business - SU PHYO WIN su­phy­owin@mm­

THE US For­eign Agri­cul­tural Ser­vice opened an of­fice in Yan­gon yes­ter­day with the aim of strength­en­ing trade and in­vest­ment re­la­tions be­tween Myan­mar and the United States.

The ser­vice, which is run by the Depart­ment of Agri­cul­ture (USDA), will help Myan­mar to in­te­grate into the global econ­omy, said FAS ad­min­is­tra­tor Phil Karst­ing in a state­ment.

Since demo­cratic re­forms be­gan in Myan­mar, the US has at­tempted to bal­ance its tar­geted sanc­tions pro­gramme with its sup­port for the wider econ­omy.

“USDA is com­mit­ted to sup­port­ing in­clu­sive eco­nomic growth that helps Myan­mar fur­ther in­te­grate into the global econ­omy and de­liver tan­gi­ble eco­nomic ben­e­fits to the peo­ple of this coun­try,” Mr Karst­ing said.

U Myo Tint Htun, deputy sec­re­tary at the Min­istry of Agri­cul­ture and Ir­ri­ga­tion’s of­fice, said yes­ter­day that the US Agency for In­ter­na­tional Devel­op­ment (USAID) and the United Na­tions Devel­op­ment Pro­gramme (UNDP) had been col­lab­o­rat­ing to de­velop Myan­mar’s agri­cul­ture sec­tor, par­tic­u­larly in the ar­eas of tech­ni­cal help and pol­icy.

“USAID is work­ing with our lo­cal or­gan­i­sa­tions to draw up pol­icy for agri­cul­ture and ir­ri­ga­tion. I hope that the FAS will also col­lab­o­rate on wa­ter sav­ing and flood pro­tec­tion which are cru­cial in Myan­mar,” he said.

U Myo Tint Htun said farm­ers need to change their cul­ti­va­tion tech­niques due to the se­vere im­pact of cli­mate change on Myan­mar, and that he wel­comed the as­sis­tance of the FAS, though it has no agree­ment or pro­posal of col­lab­o­ra­tion with the min­istry, yet.

The FAS works with USAID and other part­ners to help im­prove food se­cu­rity in de­vel­op­ing coun­tries.

Myan­mar is a grow­ing mar­ket for Amer­ica’s food and agri­cul­tural prod­ucts. In fis­cal year 2014, US agri­cul­tural ex­ports to Myan­mar reached a record US$15.3 mil­lion, up 24 per­cent from the pre­vi­ous year, ac­cord­ing to US gov­ern­ment data.

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