Govt to create agri and rural jobs to support farmers under CERP

Jobs in agriculture and construction will be made available to the unemployed under the COVID-19 Economic Relief Plan (CERP), the Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock and Irrigation (MoALI) announced on May 13.

“Jobs will be provided by the Agriculture, Irrigation and Rural Development Department under a Cash for Work program for the grassroots to earn some income,” said U Myo Tint Tun, permanent secretary of MoALI.

“The program is being implemented in line with the CERP. It is also intended to create agricultural job opportunities as well as support farmers by providing inputs for cultivation and financing. This will also ensure production does not decline during COVID-19,’’ U Myo Tint Tun added.

To yield jobs, MoALI will harness a total of 400,000 acres of farmland on which it will work under a a joint venture with the Myanmar Rice Federation to produce seeds for planting. This will take up half the land. The remaining half will be used for the growing and harvesting of crops. Funds are expected to come from the government budget as well as international financing.

The land will mainly be used to cultivate monsoon rice, U Myo Tint Tun said. Work will include planting, tilling, administering fertilisers and pesticides, irrigation, harvesting, processing and packaging. This also aligns with the CERP, under which the government has pledge to support farmers with small-scale faring and seed production.

This plan is estimated to produce jobs for at least 800,000 people, who will be needed to work on 400,000 acres of farmland, said U Tun Wai, a farmer with over 50 years of experience in Pyinmana township.

“The job nature necessitates at least two people per acre to work for four months so the total requirement should be around 800,000 workers. This guess is based on my working experience as a farmer,” he said.

Meanwhile, the Irrigation and Water Utilisation Management Department will also create jobs by starting several irrigation improvement projects. Those interested are also invited to apply for work across five irrigation improvement projects, which will be carried out in Bago, Mandalay, Sagaing and Nay Pyi Taw.

The Rural Development Department will also start implementing road and bridge construction work in rural villages. More details are expected.

The World Bank has said that it will provide an International Development Assistance loan of US$200 million for the Myanmar: National Food and Agriculture Systems Project. – Translated

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Source : Myanmar Times

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