The first workshop of a four-part series of consultations in the beans and pulses sector was conducted last weekend in Magway, Myanmar. The Centre for Economic and Social Development, in collaboration with the Interchurch Organisation for Development Cooperation (ICCO), is currently working on the development of beans and pulses sector through lobbying and advocacy activities. A vital element of this project is a series of consultations including key value-chain stakeholders, which aim to gather vital feedback on local challenges in the sector, as well as increasing awareness and understanding of the market in which products can be sold.
Based on previous value-chain research, the CESD will conduct and organise State and Regional Consultations in four key locations across Myanmar – Magway, Bago, Yangon and Naypyidaw. These locations were chosen based on the significance they play in the beans and pulses value-chain. The workshops will be organised in a pre-determined sequence to facilitate a bottom-up, participatory process, which will equally represent the entire value-chain of beans and pulses development. It will also ensure that the workshops are accessible and inclusive for all sections of the community, including women, youth, and other marginalised groups.
The overall objective of the series of workshops is two-fold; to increase awareness and understanding market access and negotiations with other market actors in order to improve transactions, and to gain an understanding of context-specific challenges and opportunities facing the upstream component of the value-chain through insights from grassroots participation.
The Magway workshop is the first of two grassroots knowledge-sharing workshops with local farmers, farmer/community-based organisations, and NGOs. Magway plays a crucial role in the beans and pulses sector and is one of the six regions that mainly cultivate pulses in Myanmar and is identified as a newer cultivation area of the sector.
The workshop witnessed the participation of more than forty stakeholders from various Magway institutions, which included the presence of U Toe Min, The Deputy Director of Magway Regional Agriculture and Irrigation. Following the U Toe Min, remarks were also delivered by Daw Khin Win Myint, ICCO’s Country Programme Officer, followed by The CESD’s Executive Diretor, Dr. Zaw Oo. Dr. Zaw Oo provided an overview of the beans and pulses value chain, its importance to socioeconomic development in Myanmar (particularly rural employment), as well as its positive contribution to gross domestic product (GDP) and its export potential.
The workshop then provided an opportunity for participants to discuss their challenges in the sector, and for the program to gather information through the administration of surveys.