Myanmar-Japan venture to farm eels for export

Myanmar is set to increase its exports of farmed eels to Japan, the world’s biggest consumer of the fish, under a joint venture between companies from the two countries.

Under an agreement between Myanmar’s Anawa Devi Fishing & General Trading Co-op Ltd and Daiichi Koutsu Sangyo Co, a major Japanese taxi operator which has diversified into real estate, finance and other businesses, the firms will farm level-finned eels, which are consumed domestically but have not been cultured commercially yet, said Toe Nandar Tin, chairperson of the Myanmar company.
Under the agreement, Daiichi plans to invest UScopy million in the project while Anawa Devi will provide land, research and other basic infrastructure. The project will start on 1 hectare of land at Yangon Pauk Village in Dala Township, a southern part of Myanmar’s business hub Yangon.

Last November, the two companies formed a new firm, Anawa Devi Daiichi Joint Venture Co, to manufacture fish fillets and value-added fishery products.
Toe Nandar Tin said the new business is also an attempt to establish eel cultivation in Myanmar, which mainly depends on capture fisheries for eel exports.

“We have lack of technology on eel farming,” she said. “The drop in eel exports indicates that there are lesser fish stocks in nature as well and we need to cultivate eel for export rather than depending on capture fisheries,” added Toe Nandar Tin, who is also the chair of the Myanmar Eel Entrepreneurs Association.

Myanmar mainly exports mud eels, which are particularly popular in China. The country used to export 12,000 tonnes at a maximum in the past, but was able to export only 7,000 tonnes last year and set the same export target figure for this year due to the lessening fish stocks.

Toe Nandar Tin said there is huge potential for level-finned eels in other markets besides China, as they are similar to Japanese eels.

According to a 2015 research report on Myanmar’s inland fish farms, the fish farming industry grew rapidly over the past 10 years, posting an estimated 250% increase in fish farm output from the Delta region, which accounts for 90% of farmed fish in Myanmar.

Anawa Devi started its fishing business in 1977 and later expanded into food processing in 1997. It has pioneered the cultivation of hybrid catfish — crossbred between channel and blue catfish — in Myanmar It also exports fish fillets to Australia.

Source: Bangkok Post

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