CESD attended the First Shan State Forum for Sustainable Fish Production, organised by the Department of Fisheries (DoF) and The Myanmar Sustainable Aquaculture Programme (MYSAP) in Taungyyi, Shan State. During the event proceedings, the CESD also facilitated and conducted the 3rd State and Regional Consultation for the National Aquaculture Development (NADP) that closely resembled the previous consultations at Mandalay and Mawlamyine.
The forum focused on bringing actors together to scale up the capacities of research and development among universities and regional and national institutions. Over 150 representatives from government ministries, private sector companies and federations, academia, civil society organisations and development agencies conducting work in aquaculture attended the event.
“The stakeholders of the aquaculture sector in the Shan State rarely meet to discuss current challenges and possible cooperation. Now, Department of Fisheries is supporting the event to establish a cooperation platform for research and development activities among important aquaculture stakeholders in Shan State”, said U Tin Htun Linn, Director of Department of Fisheries, Shan State, stated before the event.
Than Lwin River, its tributaries and Inle Lake as one of the largest freshwater lakes in Myanmar, are the main grounds for capturing fish and aquaculture activities in Shan State. The fish consumption of Shan State, however, is higher than its production, so it depends on imported fish and fish products from Yangon, Ayeyarwady and Mandalay to meet markets demands. MYSAP is working to improve fish production in Shan State’s natural freshwater resources creating better opportunities for the expansion of small and semi-intensive freshwater aquaculture for the domestic market. This has the potential to contribute significantly to socio-economic development and food security and nutrition in the State.
The First Shan State Forum for Sustainable Fish Production was jointly organised and supported by the Shan State Fisheries Department, the Taunggyi University, the CESD, the Shan State Fishery Federation, and World Fish with the intention to provide a chance to get together, network and built cooperation opportunities for small scale farmers having limited technical know-how. In the future, the forum at University of Taunggyi will play a vital role in providing a regular exchange platform for the sector to coordinate research and development activities in the Shan State.
During the event, the participants will be divided into four discussion groups on (1) policy, institutions and environmental protection, (2) Aquaculture education, inclusiveness and fair work opportunities, (3) availability and access to inputs of the aquaculture value chain as well as (4) nutrition and food security. The in-depth discussions with local actors from Shan State are part of a nation-wide series of events to collect inputs to ensure that the drafting of the NADP is inclusive and voices from different backgrounds are being heard and included.
The CESD is currently supporting the drafting process of the NADP in close cooperation with the MYSAP and DoF under the auspices of the Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock and Irrigation (MoALI) with funding from the European Union and the German Government. The last State and Regional Consultation is expected to take place in Yangon which marks the end of the series of consultations for the NADP.