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Government sees food, development as keys to reducing migration

HTOO THANT 18 OCT 2017 (mmtimes) - The government will invest more in food security and rural development as a key strategy to reduce migration of young people in the villages, Vice President U Henry Van Thio said on Monday.

“Myanmar plans to invest more in food security and rural development,” he said in a ceremony to mark World Food Day held at Yezin Agricultural University in Nay Pyi Taw.

Myanmar’s economy mostly depends on agricultural sector but more and more young people in rural areas are migrating to large towns and cities in the country as well as in other countries due to a big development gap between rural and urban areas, as well as lack of job opportunities.

“By supporting rural development, we can reduce the migrate population and also promote the food security”, he said.

The Integrated Household Living Condition survey conducted in 2010 showed that 25.6 percent of the population lives below the national poverty line in Myanmar and most of them are farmers from rural areas.

Vice President U Henry Van Thio said that like previous governments, the present government has also made more investments annually in rural socio-economic infrastructures.

“Most of the migrants are those dependent on the agricultural sector and natural resources for livelihood, the poor and those suffering food insecurity,” he said. Due to migration, the agricultural sector is facing labour shortage.

The government has worked on providing better transportation and electricity supply for the development of rural areas. It has also provided agricultural loans to farmers and other supports for the development of agricultural products.

Dr Tun Lwin, the agriculture ministry’s deputy permanent secretary, said lighting up all villages and building all-season roads by 2030 are among the projects to develop rural areas.

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