Tuesday, December 17, 2019

IRRI, Myanmar and Germany partners make history, organized the first agricultural machinery trade fair

Myanmar ramps up its efforts in advancing mechanization in the country. Agritechnica Asia Live 2019, a spin-off of the world’s leading machinery trade fair Agritechnica, was organized for the first time in Myanmar last 29-30 November 2019.

The agricultural machinery trade fair was co-organized by IRRI, World Bank, Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation, Myanmar Rice Federation, and German Agricultural Society (DLG). Hosted by Myanmar’s Agricultural Mechanization Department, it was the first and biggest live demonstration of agricultural machineries in Myanmar.

U Aung Win, Director of Planning Department, said, “With the help of the World Bank through the Agricultural Development Support Project (ADSP) and CORIGAP project, we are able to host this mechanization field day to enable the farmers to use the machines which are suitable for their cultivated crops,  get in contact with a private company to acquire the appropriate farm machineries, and promote the private sector in Agricultural Machinery Service in Myanmar.”

“I believe very strongly that mechanization is one of the pre-conditions to lift farmers from the life that does not allow them to have better livelihoods. Mechanization addresses labor shortage, make agriculture and service provision a value proposition for the young people to get interested in agriculture again,” Martin Gummert, IRRI’s Mechanization and Postharvest Cluster Leader said.

U Soe Hlaing, Director General of the Agricultural Mechanization Department and host of the event said, “Agritechnica Live is first of its kind for our country. Our farmers can see machines from international companies and local distributors. In a way, they can see the modern way of doing agriculture. We plan to make a similar event in other regions. The market for agricultural machinery in the country is promising. But the challenge is how to make these machineries available for farmers in a way that the farmers can also get good income." 

Agritechnica is the flagship event of DLG which aims to create a platform for all the leading companies in the industry to showcase their agricultural engineering technologies globally. The event also aims to provide an avenue to drive the future of plant production through fora and networking opportunities.

DLG is widely known to offer platforms for knowledge exchange between stakeholders in the agricultural sector to adapt methods and technologies to the actual needs of farmers in different regions worldwide.

Klaus Erdle, Division Manager at the DLG Competence Center Agriculture, related his welcome message to DLG’s 130-year history. “With this event, DLG follows its tradition and mission to build up an international network of experts to improve farming systems,” he said.

About  30 local and international farm machinery companies were present in the two-day event to provide opportunities to 3,000 farmers, service providers, and government representatives to experience state-of-the-art farm machineries and services that improve agricultural productivity. About 300 machines and implements were showcased.

His Excellency Dr. Aung Thu, Union Minister of the Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock, and Irrigation (MOALI), firms up its commitment to improve the country’s agricultural mechanization sector.

“Myanmar farmers are using machineries in the most difficult activities and to overcome such challenges, the MOALI is doubling its efforts to achieve custom hiring services, development of systemic mechanized farm lands, shifting to modern farming systems, increasing access of farm machinery and equipment, and wide information dissemination about agricultural mechanization research and development activities,” he said.

The event was packed with seminars about advanced research and various technologies in agricultural mechanization. Guided tours were also organized to bring in opportunities for local and international rice industry actors to foster collaborations and facilitate exchange of knowledge and experiences in order to advance the agricultural machinery initiatives in the country.

A similar event, Agrifuture Conference 2019, was conducted in Thailand last 2-3 December 2019. With Agritechnica Asia Live in Myanmar, Agrifuture Conference in Thailand, and the 3rd edition of Agritechnica Asia Trade Fair in Bangkok in May 2020, DLG is building up different access points for farmers and agribusiness stakeholders to benefit from each other’s expertise.

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