The World Seed Partnership (WSP) steering committee met, in Nay Pyi Taw, Myanmar on September 25th, 2018 to discuss the work of each of the partner organizations, and to provide suggestions to Myanmar about how to develop a better seed system and means of increased production for Myanmar farmers.
The day included opening remarks from the Union Minister for Agriculture, Livestock and Irrigation, Dr Aung Thu, and the Ambassador from the Netherlands, Mr. Wouter Jurgens.
Presentations were made by WSP partners, UPOV, OECD, ISTA, ISF and by WFO, WSP Advisory partner, followed by presentations by Myanmar officials, private companies and NGO representatives involved in the local seed industry.
Ms. Karen Williams, National Board Member and Arable Chair of Federated Farmers of New Zealand, participated as WFO representative.
During her speech, Ms. Williams discussed the role of the WFO and its relationship with the WSP. She gave an overview of the challenges farmers are facing, with a focus on Myanmar seed industry, comparing the geographical and political structure of Myanmar and New Zealand.
Ms. Williams’ presentation included also a discussion on the New Zealand seed industry and certified seed system, and some recommendations for Myanmar to strengthen their seed industry and farmer opportunities.
What came up during the WSP meeting and the next day at the 4th National Seed Sector Platform was that farmers are not particularly well represented as a cohesive cluster in Myanmar.
WFO contribution at these events was greatly appreciated by the participants, especially the Myanmar government, that expressed through its Agricultural Department some interest in WFO activities.