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Media »Opening of Chin Hills Treasure Elephant Foot Yam Factory

January 28, 2020

Peter Brimble, Senior Technical Advisor, The DaNa Facility

Mindat, Chin State

 

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Vice President, Chief Minister, Honourable guests, ladies and gentlemen. Minga-la-bar.

 

My name is Peter Brimble and I’m the senior technical advisor, private sector development, at the DaNa Facility in Myanmar, supported by UK aid..

 

UK aid leads the UK government’s work to promote sustainable development and fight poverty around the world, including here in Myanmar.

 

The DaNa Facility, which is wholly funded by UK aid, essentially promotes inclusive economic growth through responsible and sustainable private sector development, thereby creating and expanding economic opportunities, and broader access to these opportunities.

 

In particular, we have been leading an ambitious series of activities in Chin State.

 

I’d like to personally thank Chin State Chief Minister and his team for the chance to work alongside you as you strive to improve the business environment in Chin and contribute to jobs and incomes and poverty alleviation across your state.

 

Indeed, DaNa started to work in Chin State in late 2016 to support investment promotion and facilitation through a series of promotion activities and capacity development sessions. We have held a number of missions to Chin since that time and worked with a core group of public-private stakeholders to promote Chin State.

 

We have facilitated the pioneering Chin State Investment and Product Fair in March 2019 which truly opened Chin State to outside investors and showed government commitment to creating an investor-friendly environment. We also worked with Chin authorities to project a successful Chin element to the InvestMyanmar Summit in January 2019 and the Euromoney Forum in September 2019.

 

In early 2020, we will complete the Chin State Investment Promotion and Facilitation Strategy and work with Chin stakeholders, including the Chin State Chamber of Commerce and Industry, to ensure the sustainability of the activities.

 

The DaNa Facility has also been working with The Asia Foundation to develop the 2019 Myanmar Economic Governance Index in all Myanmar’s states and regions to assess progress on reforming the business environment and identify measures to improve it. This will support the preparation of the Chin investment promotion and facilitation strategy and also guide Chin authorities in undertaking the reforms need to enhance the business environment.

 

Lastly and importantly, DaNa is supporting the Myanmar Fruit, Flower and Vegetable Producer and Exporter Association (MFVP) and Pragma Ventures through the DaNa Facility to increase income and create job opportunities in agribusiness and the textile sector in Chin State.

 

MFVP’s Coffee; Avocado; and Elephant Foot Yam (EFY)” project is the reason that we are here today.

 

The project aims to empower around 3,000 small farmers in Chin through increasing and diversifying incomes from a series of value chain interventions in isolated, upland areas of southern Chin state, covering coffee, avocado and elephant foot yam. In alignment with Myanmar’s national export strategy, the project will create new economic opportunities for smallholder producers, including ‘inter-cropping’ and shifting away from unsustainable ‘slash and burn’ cultivation techniques.

 

I would like to express our deep appreciation to Daw Sandar Myo and her team at the MFVP for their innovative and entrepreneurial efforts to guide the DaNa/UNaid support to southern Chin in such a productive and impressive manner.

 

Ladies and gentlemen,

 

On behalf of UKaid and the DaNa Facility, I congratulate the principals and farmers groups of the Chin Hills Treasure Company for this momentous success in strengthening and deepening the EFY value chain in southern Chin State.

 

We are particular pleased to observe that this ambitious processing project yields significantly higher incomes to poor EFY farmers in Chin. More than 800 EFY growers from 63 villages in southern Chin State will sell their fresh EFY to the factory and many other people will be indirectly benefiting from the EFY production chain.

 

The DaNa Facility has been actively promoting inclusive business in Myanmar – to create triple wins, serving the interests of companies (higher profits and less risk), the poor (improved incomes and services), and governments (reduced poverty and inclusive growth).

 

I am really pleased to see that the EFY factory and related operations indicate serious attention to enhancing social impact and I urge you all to continue to serve as a demonstration inclusive business for Chin State and beyond. I feel sure that the quality facility we are launching here today will greatly increase the confidence of Chin entrepreneurs to when considering similar activities.

 

We at DaNa stand ready to continue to support this initiative through working with MFVP and CHTC to address constraints faced by the processing plans and the farmers – including access to finance, improving quality, and so on.

 

I wish you all success in this impressive endeavor.