How to promote Good Agricultural Practices to ensure there will be enough quality food for sale and consumption? That was the main question during a Policy Dialogue in Myanmar, organized by ICCO Cooperation and the Food Security Working Group (FSWG) on June 25. It was attended by more than 100 stakeholders
The Policy Dialogue - named ‘Research Presentations on Food Security and Trade Policy’- took place in Nay Pyi Taw. Many politicians and government officials were there, including Members of Parliament, Officials from the Ministry of Agriculture Livestock and Irrigation (MoALI) and officials from the Ministry of Commerce. They gathered to discuss agribusiness with the also present farmer organizations and civil society organizations. An important topic was the promotion of Good Agricultural Practices (GAP), to regulate the use of chemical pesticides, encourage climate smart agriculture and farmer cooperation, to increase food safety.
The event was organized to inform Myanmar decision-makers on means to identify gaps and issues faced by smallholder farmers who want to access markets and find fair trading opportunities, and fair prices. ICCO and the FSWG provided recommendations to two parliamentary committees involved in rural development. Their key recommendations included:
- Build a much stronger system to prioritize quality within Myanmar’s agricultural value chains, which highly affects export marketing possibilities as well as domestic food safety;
- Promote Good Agricultural Practices (GAP) and input quality (seeds, pesticides, fertilizer) with all stakeholders (farmers, businesses, government agencies) along these value chains;
- Ensure GAP standards and certification are in line with ASEAN GAP standards, and provide support to farmers to meet those standards;
- Enforce and implement the current Pesticide and Fertilizer Laws, including labeling, usage and disposal of chemical pesticides and fertilizers;
- Strengthen and resource the national Food Safety laboratory under the Plant Protection Divisions of the Department of Agriculture to ensure food safety and traceability.
With a review of Pesticides and Fertilizer laws coming up, these research-based suggestions were appreciated by the government officials. At the end of the day, committee officials invited the organising parties to further collaborate and support each other with concrete suggestions. ICCO Cooperation, together with our pulses farmer association members, welcomed the invitations. We will continue to push for an agricultural sector that is inclusive, sustainable and fair!