Agri­cul­ture Dept to boost ex­port crops

The Myanmar Times - - Front Page - HTOO THANT thanhtoo@mm­times.com

The Agri­cul­ture Depart­ment was to is­sue Good Agri­cul­ture Prac­tice cer­tifi­cates to 15 crops, in­clud­ing maize and mung bean, to boost their ex­port po­ten­tial.

THE gov­ern­ment is set to is­sue Good Agri­cul­ture Prac­tice (GAP) cer­tifi­cates for 15 types of crops in a bid to boost their ex­port po­ten­tial, said U Ye Tint Tun, di­rec­tor gen­eral of the Depart­ment of Agri­cul­ture un­der the Min­istry of Agri­cul­ture, Live­stock and Ir­ri­gation.

“We’re go­ing to is­sue GAP cer­tifi­cates for 15 kinds of crops. We set out 16 pro­cesses that have to be fol­lowed be­fore we is­sue the cer­ti­fi­ca­tion. Farm­ers who can im­ple­ment this process will get the cer­tifi­cates,” he told The Myan­mar Times yes­ter­day.

Cur­rent GAP-cer­ti­fied crops such as Sein Ta Lone mango and cof­fee have seen in­creased de­mand in for­eign mar­kets, U Ye Tint Tun added.

GAP cer­tifi­cates could be is­sued for those who ap­ply to ex­port crops such as mung bean, maize, eg­g­plant, pa­paya, muskmelon and pep­per. These crops are usu­ally ex­ported to China and other neigh­bour­ing coun­tries. The gov­ern­ment also plans to ex­port onions to Thai­land ac­cord­ing to a new ex­port strat­egy, said U Yan Naing Tun, per­ma­nent sec­re­tary of the Min­istry of Agri­cul­ture, Live­stock and Ir­ri­gation.

“Duty-free and quota-free ex­ports could be in­tro­duced for onions, which are cur­rently ex­ported un­der a quota sys­tem, in line with WTO and ASEAN spec­i­fi­ca­tions since a dis­cus­sion had been made this year,” he said in an ear­lier state­ment.

The gov­ern­ment is plan­ning to in­crease the ex­ports of the coun­try’s fruits and vegeta­bles. Sev­eral ASEAN coun­tries al­ready have GAP stan­dards in place and Myan­mar is do­ing so to en­sure its crops are free of sub­stances such as heavy me­tals and in­sec­ti­cide residue that could af­fect the health of the con­sumers.

To ob­tain the cer­tifi­cates, the types of chem­i­cals, in­sec­ti­cides and the vol­ume used on farms will be re­viewed. And the farm’s land will be tested for heavy me­tals and other harm­ful chem­i­cals like mer­cury. Only af­ter clear­ing these tests will GAP cer­tifi­cates be is­sued.

GAP-cer­ti­fied fruits have more chances of fetch­ing higher prices, said Yezin Agri­cul­tural Uni­ver­sity grad­u­ate U Nay Soe. “But the cer­tifi­cate is not eas­ily ob­tained,” he said.

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