Myanmar launched the National Aquaculture Development Plan (NADP) to provide policy and institutional framework for the sustainable development of aquaculture in the country. The Department of Fisheries under the Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock and Irrigation launched the 2019 – 2023 plan to give the Myanmar aquaculture industry its first comprehensive plan for sustainable development as well as improving livelihoods and combatting malnutrition in Myanmar’s large rural population.
The new National Aquaculture Development Plan (NADP) sets an ambitious agenda to strengthen the sector, increase its productivity while safeguarding the country’s environment and natural resources. Currently, Myanmar’s aquaculture sector is challenged by restrictions in land use, insufficient access to finance, limited capacities of small-scale farmers, insufficient availability of fish seed and sustainable feed, limited market access due to weak infrastructure or occupational hazards. The new plan emphasizes the sustainable development of the aquaculture sector and promotes ecological conservation and resource efficiency to enhance sustainable agriculture.
Seventy percent of Myanmar’s total population are dependent upon agriculture as the main source of income and livelihood. Aquaculture currently accounts for 30% of the agricultural GDP. The agriculture sector is estimated to contribute to 29% of Myanmar’s total GDP while accounting for 25% of total exports by value in 2016.
The NADP seeks an annual investment of at least $15 million from 2019 to 2023. The current Myanmar government’s budget allocation is $1 million for the 2019-2020 fiscal year, lower than the budgets of neighboring countries Bangladesh and Vietnam, with annual budgets of $21 million between 2013 and 2020 and annually $20 million between 2011 and 2020, respectively.
The drafting of the NADP was supported by the Myanmar Sustainable Aquaculture Program (MYSAP), under the management of Department of Fisheries and GIZ and funded by European Union and the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ). The local Myanmar think tank CESD provided survey research, multi-stakeholder consultations and technical assistance in developing and designing the plan.