A major South Korean aid organization has begun constructing a research center in Myanmar dedicated to studying "post-harvest" techniques as the country is seeking to improve its relatively low productivity in the farming industry.
The ground broke for the Post-Harvest Research Institute on June 6 in a small town located in Myanmar's capital city of Naypyidaw. Construction is expected to be completed within 12-14 months, according to the Korea International Cooperation Agency.
The institute will be tasked with studying techniques related to packaging, processing, storage and others deemed to be critical to improving the yields and productivity of farming products after being harvested.
Myanmar is known for its large amount of farmland that produces many different fruits and vegetables. Lack of know-how and sophisticated techniques, however, has been cited as a major problem that drives down its overall productivity.
The research center, if completed, will be the first of its kind built in the country.
KOICA, a major aid group under the wing of South Korea's foreign ministry, plans to inject US$4.5 million to help construct facilities and to supply the equipment and training necessary to operate the institute. The Myanmarese government is providing land, workers and other administrative support.
"On behalf of the agriculture ministry and the government, I would like to express my great appreciation to KOICA for providing
$4.5 million and much other support to make it possible to build this institute that deals with the most important thing in the farming sector," Farming and Livestock Minister Aung Thu said in a speech.
"Through this institute, we will be able to do many things before farming products reach the market. We expect they will help make high-quality and competitive produce and contribute to raising farmers' income and knowledge," he added. (Yonhap)