FAO in Myanmar

FAO marks World Food Day in Myanmar


The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) is celebrating World Food Day and 75 years of working to achieve a world without hunger, malnutrition, and poverty.  As part of the celebrations, FAO in collaboration with the Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock and Irrigation (MoALI) held a virtual event with under the theme Grow, Nourish, Sustain. Together. Our Actions are our Future. 

H.E. Dr. Aung Thu, the Union Minister for Agriculture, Livestock and Irrigation in his address noted that FAO member countries including Myanmar have made efforts to achieve significant agricultural productivity in the past decades. However, the sector faces challenges along the food supply chain and food system such environmental degradation, loss of biodiversity, food wastes, weakness in security of life of workers in the food production chain, occurrence of disasters, disease, and more recently the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Minister outlined MoALI’s policies, strategy and short-term and long-term plans to support the agriculture sector in Myanmar and reiterated the Ministries commitment to working with FAO  to meet the three main responsibilities: for food security, for safety of food and for development of rural areas.

In a statement read on behalf of QU Dongyu, the FAO Director-General he noted the next phase of FAO’s history starts amid the wreckage caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. It has laid bare the fragility of our agri-food systems, the precariousness of the agricultural labour force, the thin line that separates many families from destitution. 

“The world is looking to us to put our actions where our words are – to be think-tank and action-tank rolled into one. Alongside our partners, we must be knowledge-generators and -facilitators all at once, together in the quest for the ultimate public good: a world free of poverty, hunger and malnutrition”  he added.

Developing a resilient Agriculture Sector

Participants witnessed the unveiling of the Agriculture Action Plan for Disaster Risk Reduction (AAPDDR) at the virtual ceremony to coincide with  commemoration of the World Food Day celebration.   

In his remarks, H.E. U Hla Kyaw, Deputy Minister for the Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock and Irrigation, expressed sincere gratitude to stakeholders and experts from all concerned departments, institutions, and organizations, especially FAO, for the technical support in the development process of the Agriculture Action Plan for Disaster Risk Reduction (AAPDRR).

“It is our Ministry’s response and strategy to promote risk-sensitive development within the agriculture and livestock sector. The plan combines long-term process outcomes, reflecting the views and priorities for AAPDRR identified through the participatory, inclusive planning process,” he said.

For her part, the FAO Representative to Myanmar, Xiaojie Fan, said that the unveiling of the AAPDDR is timely as it provides a framework to strengthen agriculture response strategies to natural disasters.

As countries develop, adapt, and implement COVID-19 recovery plans, she stated that we should not forget natural disasters that have been found to trigger a highly complex set of secondary hazards, socioeconomic risks, and transitory shocks that affect agriculture communities through their various livelihood assets.  

"FAO is pleased to have provided the technical support during the AAPDRR development process, and we commit to continue engaging as we seek to find solutions to address the challenges the sector is facing," she said.

The AAPDRR was developed with the FAO's technical support in collaboration with the Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock and Irrigation.   

In attendance were representatives of MoALI, development partners, the Diplomatic Corps, and Heads of UN sister agencies who joined in the occasion to call for global cooperation and solidarity to make sure the threats COVID-19 is posing to food security and agricultural livelihoods are confronted, and the most vulnerable can get back on their feet.