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Fish Farmers Gain Access To Imported Feed

Nutrition Economics +2 more

MYANMAR - Key fish feed ingredients will be imported from India from mid-September, said U Win Kyaing, secretary general of Myanmar Fisheries Federation (MFF) during last weeks fisheries industry meeting.

He told Myanmar Times, that while Myanmar is a large producer of ingredients such as rice bran, and soya, sesame and groundnut oil cake, the Ministry of Commerce last month authorised their import to stop local merchants forming a monopoly to control prices.

According to the seasonal cycle, prices rise incrementally from September until December when the next harvest begins reaching markets, which provides a tempting environment for speculators. “It [the allowing of imports] reduces the anxiety of fish farmers about potential feed price rises and this decision will help to stabilise prices. In turn, this allows farmers to get on with their work,” U Win Kyaing said.

Last year, the minimum price of rice bran was K55 for 1 viss but hit a high or K110. This year the minimum price of bran was K70 a viss and has already climbed to K110.

U Than Lwin, chairman of the Ngwe Zar Pale fish farming company, said the price of imported rice bran is only K10 a viss lower than locally produced bran. However, he said the aim of the imports was to circumvent any attempt to corner domestic production by ensuring a steady supply of imports at a lower price.

“Allowing the import of key ingredients like rice bran will control the stability of the market and should guarantee that prices do not climb about K110 a viss,” he said. Ngwe Zar Pale company imported 210 tonnes of soya oil cake from India in August, and will import another 500 tonnes this month. It will also import 2000 tonnes of rice bran this month.

“We will import rice bran until December when the rice and a number of beans and pulses are harvested here and the prices go down again,” U Than Lwin said.

The cost of buying fish feed constitutes about 80 percent of total fish farming costs.