Myanmar Pulses Farmers Discussion
ICCO and the Network Activities Group (NAG) together with farmers’ representatives raised their voice to parliamentary Agriculture, Livestock and Rural Development Committee. On the 4th day of December 2019, two farmers representatives from Magway Region Farmer Development Association (Magway RFDA) and two from Yangon RFDA had the chance to highlight their experience of collective action and the challenges associated with that.
ICCO presented the recommendations from high level consultations on improving the quality of agriculture production for trade promotion and food safety, and from the pulses and oilseeds working group learning workshop. NAG highlighted the approaches and achievement of the P4 project.
ICCO proposed five points for a statement to the Government:
- Securing adequate budget for a food safety testing laboratorium is very important. These kinds of quality testing labs are much in need of investments urgently.
- In the pesticide law and fertilizer law amendments are needed especially related to the penalties for sale and usage of unregistered pesticides.
- Additional clauses to the pesticide law or regulations stating the responsibility for agribusiness companies to provide the personal protection equipment whenever pesticides are sold.
- Additional clauses to the pesticide law or regulations that companies have a systematic disposal plan of the pesticides/ herbicides containers by collecting back with some amount of cash reward.
- To smoothen the rules and regulations for the formation of farmers development organizations.
Photo: Parliamentary committee, farmers and Khin Myint (in purple dress), ICCO's Country Programme Officer.
The parliamentary committee chairman and the members appreciated the work of ICCO and NAG, and discussions with the farmers. The chairman responded that their duties related to the budget allocation are particularly to check reasonability and to reduce the unreasonable budget, but not to increase the budget. The committee was especially impressed by the recommendation on amendment of pesticide law and encouraged to do more research. The Agriculture, Livestock and Rural Development parliamentary committee of Lower House advised the farmers to connect more with members of parliament on union level, regional and township level for the benefit of farmers associations.