by Dr. Kyin Kyin Win, Deputy Director (Plant Protection Division, MOALI)
A major outcome of the two-year pilot programme of Plantwise in Myanmar was the recommendation from Dr. Tin Htut, the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock and Irrigation (MoALI) to develop a Myanmar Plant Health System Development Strategy (MPHSDS) to guide the future development of the plant health system in Myanmar. Following this, a write shop with senior officials of MoALI was held on the 22nd April 2016 in NayPyiTaw,. The first draft of the MPHSDS was prepared by CABI using as reference documents the Myanmar Rice Sector Development Strategy (MRSDS) and Climate Smart Agriculture Development Strategy.
Dr. Tin Htut in his address to the participants underscored that Myanmar is undergoing transformation and needs guiding strategies for the different agricultural sectors, and focusing on plant health system is a key imperative. He suggested that the MPHSDS shall cover plant health aspects from seed health to harvest. The 5 areas of focus for agricultural development in Myanmar are: Diversification, intensification, mainstreaming, scaling up and streamlining and incorporating initiatives like Plantwise in current development is key. CABI has been working in Myanmar, a CABI-member country, for several years and proved to be an important partner in Myanmar. However, there is a need to upscale CABI’s activities to a national level. CABI, through its good reputation, can support Myanmar in accessing new external funds from multilateral donors such as JICA, KOICA, World bank , or FAO-UN.
Twenty-six senior officials from MoALI and other stakeholders participated in the writeshop which was based on the participatory approach. The write shop entailed prsentation of the draft MPHSDS followed by breakout groups to discuss the Objectives, Themes, and Activities mentioned in the draft MPHSDS. A plenary discussion was also held and feedback collected in terms of roles and responsibilities and sources of funds. It was agreed that post writeshop, the Director of the Plant Protection Department, Mr. Aung Kyaw Oo, who is also the National Coordinator for Plantwise in Myanmar, will coordinate and finalise the drafting of the MPHSDS with CABI and MoALI. The MPHSDS will be officially launched in August 2016.