THE value of Myanmar’s seafood exports as of 19 November in the current mini-budget period (Oct 2021-March 2022) was estimated at over US$128 million, which increased slightly from $120.6 million in the corresponding period of last financial year 2020-2021, the Ministry of Commerce’s data indicated.
In order to fulfill the needs of the stakeholders included in the supply chain for the sustainable livestock, the Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock and Irrigation holds a monthly meeting as well.
Myanmar produced 6,018 metric tons of fisheries in the 2019-2020 Financial Year, with over 4,800 MT of wild-caught fish and over 1,100 MT of farmed fish.
The ministry is focusing on boosting production, exploring new markets, inceasing export items, enhancing the livelihood of local people, providing financial assistance to the breeders, promoting the fish consumption of the people and tackling the challenges together with all the stakeholders.
Moreover, the Myanmar Fisheries Federation (MFF) is attempting to grow fishery export regardless of the COVID-19 disruption on maritime trade, closure of border gates and fuel oil price instability.
The high input cost such as fishing net, oil price posed another burden for the industry, coupled with the devaluation of Kyat in the forex market, Mawlamyine Commodity Centre stated.
The marketable fish products, especially fish, shrimp, eel and crab from Taninthayi and Ayeyawady regions and Rakhine State are primarily exported to foreign markets.
Myanmar normally exports fisheries products, such as fish, prawns, and crabs, to markets of 40 countries, including China, Saudi Arabia, the US, Japan, Singapore, Thailand, and countries in the European Union. Chinese market constitutes about 65 per cent of Myanmar’s fishery exports, which accounting for US$254 million out of overall fishery export value of over $850 million in the FY 2019-2020. At the present time, China shut down the border areas in wake of the COVID surge in Myanmar. The federation is turning to Bangladesh market with export potentials at present.
The Myanmar Fisheries Federation stated that only G2G pact can tackle problems faced in the export of farm-raised fish and prawns and ensure smooth freight movement between countries to bolster exports.
To ensure food safety, the foreign market requires suppliers to obtain Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points (HACCP) and Good Aquaculture Practices (GAqP) certificates. The MFF is working with fish farmers, processors, and the Fisheries Department under the Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock, and Irrigation to develop the GAqP system.
Processors can screen fishery products for food safety at ISO-accredited laboratories under the Fisheries Department.
There are 480,000 acres of fish and prawn breeding farms across the country and more than 120 cold-storage facilities in Myanmar.
During the last financial year 2020-2021 (Oct-Sept), Myanmar shipped $784.889 million worth of seafood, the Ministry of Commerce’s data showed.—KK/ GNLM