Ye Tun Win, the head of the Livestock Breeding and Veterinary Department in Myanmar’s Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock and Irrigation (MOALI), discussed potential collaborative opportunities with the International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI) in Nairobi, Kenya, in late November 2018.
The discussions focused on how the two organizations could tackle challenges in the livestock sector in Myanmar that affect the well-being of millions of people in that country.
Win met with Jimmy Smith, ILRI’s director general, and other senior ILRI management including Iain Wright, deputy director general; Tom Randolph, director, CGIAR Research Program on Livestock Agri-Food Systems; and Jacob Mignouna, director, BecA-ILRI hub.
Win outlined the priorities for livestock development in his country. Among them, he emphasized:
- The development of a livestock master plan;
- Stronger food safety programs, with a particular focus on antimicrobial resistance;
- Sustained, ongoing research in avian influenza;
- The importance of strengthening the beef cattle value chain to gear up beef export to China.
He also emphasized capacity development programs, especially laboratory research and post-graduate scholarships.
Win concluded his visit by requesting that ILRI help interest international donors in supporting his country’s livestock sector, which he said would do much to improve the livelihoods of millions of smallholders, accelerate the country’s economic transformation, and ensure his people’s food security and food safety. Both organizations agreed to organize joint workshops and dialogues among their scientists and major donors to develop detailed partnership and intervention plans.
Win also toured ILRI’s advanced biosciences laboratories, including its biorepository, genomics, , livestock vaccine, analytical chemistry, forages, and training labs, as well as its environmental research facilities and the Kapiti Ranch, an ILRI research station located on 32,000 acres of semi-arid rangeland in southeastern Kenya that focuses on field-based animal and environmental research.
This visit from Win was a follow-on to a meeting Win had with Smith last year in Hanoi, where they first discussed possible collaborations. Earlier this year a delegation from ILRI/Vietnam visited Myanmar and met with potential partners there.
Myanmar is currently undertaking substantial political, economic and social reforms, which are expected to pave the way for increased openness to other countries and to productive partnerships with international organizations such ILRI.