Vice President U Henry Van Thio addresses International Day of Cooperatives

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Vice President U Henry Van Thio has called for more participation of coperative societies in agriculture, livestock and production sectors to develop the cooperative sector.

U Henry Van Thio made the remarks in his address at the the 2018 International Day of Cooperatives ceremony held at the Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock and Irrigation, Department of Cooperatives, in Nay Pyi Taw yesterday.

Participation in and implementing in farm sector policy works support the economic development of the country. Successful and developed cooperative works are seen to be supporting socio-economic development in the countries of the world.

Seed producer cooperatives and farm support service cooperatives need to expand the work of farm input sales according to the wishes of the peasants and provide support and assistance throughout the farm products production chain. Myanmar cooperatives are urged to work cooperatively and step in tandem toward the sustained development of socio-economic life, said the Vice President.

The 2018 International Day of Cooperatives began with a market festival held in front of the Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock and Irrigation, Department of Cooperatives office, where Union Minister Dr. Aung Thu, Deputy Minister U Hla Kyaw, Central Cooperatives Chairman U Khin Maung Aye and officials cut a ribbon to officially open the festival. U Henry Van Thio inspected the sales booths displayed in the market festival. Afterwards, a 2018 International Day of Cooperatives ceremony was held in the meeting hall of the Department of Cooperatives, where the Vice President noted the event was being held for the 24th time in Myanmar.

“In today’s world, people are facing socio-economic challenges including a growing gap between the rich and poor. In addition there are conflicts, food shortages, devastation of the natural environment and effects of natural disasters, outbreaks of disease, human trafficking, racial conflicts, unemployment and cross border crimes. Cooperatives are to do their part in reducing conflicts, problems and inequalities”, the Vice President said.

Each country in the world is implementing the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) set for 2030 by the United Nations. The International Co-operative Alliance (ICA) is urging the cooperatives of the world to implement the 12th goal of SDG – Responsible consumption and production.

In implementing this 12th goal, priority is to be given toward setting framework for sustainable consumption and production in all countries, taking into consideration the capability and development of developing countries, using natural resources effectively in 2030, and making information available to all for sustainable development.

The ministry’s Myanmar cooperative sector is to maintain the successful momentum so far achieved. Through cooperation at all levels of cooperatives and the Department of Cooperatives, peasant cooperative members were seen to be provided with small-scale loans.

For agriculture cooperatives that have repaid their loans, there is a 10th small-scale investment loan of K 542.782 billion, a Ks7.187 billion loan to upgrade 24,901.80 acres of farmland to a mechanized farm system, and a Ks1.158 billion loan for seed producer cooperatives being provided through the central cooperative. These loans are to be systematically and speedily given out to cooperative members in states and regions.

Next, Union Minister for Agriculture, Livestock and Irrigation Dr. Aung Thu explained the history and aim of the 2018 International Day of Cooperatives.

Afterwards, Central Cooperative Society Chairman U Khin Maung Aye read the message sent by International Co-operative Alliance.

Following this, Union Minister Dr. Aung Thu, Deputy Minister U Hla Kyaw, Nay Pyi Taw Council member U Aye Maung Sein, Pyithu Hluttaw Agriculture, Livestock Breeding and Rural Development Committee Chairman U Yan Lin, Farmers and Workers Affairs Committee Chairman U Aung Kyi Nyunt, Amyotha Hluttaw Farmers Affairs Committee Chairman U Ba Myo Thein, Central Cooperative Society Chairman U Khin Maung Aye, Permanent Secretary Dr. Khin Zaw, Permanent Secretary U Kyaw Ngwe and Director General U Aung Phyu presented small-scale investment loans to states/regions, support funds to upgrade farmlands, support funds for all-round development of townships, support funds for machinery, loan seed producer cooperatives and awards to the best performing cooperatives and best production/service/trade cooperatives.

After this, Vice President U Henry Van Thio posed for a commemorative group photo with ceremony attendees.

The International Co-operative Alliance was founded in 1895 with the aim of uniting, representing and serving cooperatives all over the world.

The 49th United Nations General Assembly held in 1994 set the first Saturday of July as International Day of Cooperatives, and the International Cooperative Alliance set this year’s theme as “Sustainable societies through cooperation”.

The ceremony was attended by Union Ministers Dr. Aung Thu, U Thein Swe, Nai Thet Lwin and U Kyaw Tin, Deputy Minister U Hla Kyaw, Nay Pyi Taw Council members, Hluttaw representatives, Permanent Secretaries, directors general, Central Cooperative Limited, state/region cooperatives chairmen and board of directors, INGOs, NGOs, cooperative members and officials.