Democratic Revolution in Myanmar: Prof M S Swaminathan
Chennai, March 16, 2016: Myanmar is the last country in the old British Empire to take to the democratic pathway of governance. The party lead by Aung San Suu Kyi was elected by the people with huge majority. Since the constitution drafted by the army prevents Aung San Suu Kyi from becoming President. Mr Htin Kyaw selected by her will become President from April 1, 2016. India and Myanmar have had very close relationship throughout history and Myanmar used to be a major supplier of rice to India prior to World War II. Recently the Ministry of External Affairs of GoI, decided to extend on my suggestion help to Myanmar in the field of agriculture through the following steps.
Indian Agriculture Research Institute will help the Agriculture University at Yezin to develop an Advanced Centre for Agricultural Research and Education (ACARE)
M S Swaminathan Research Foundation will help in developing a Rice BioPark which will show to farmers how to increase their income through biomass utilisation. Thus, value added products will be prepared from the rice straw, husk, brawn and grain. In 2013, I called on Aung San Suu Kyi along with our Ambassador to explain the work we are doing in her country. She immediately explained that agriculture being the most important livelihood source to a majority of people in Myanmar, any help given in the field of agriculture will be very warmly welcomed. The Rice Bio-Park is in the final stage of establishment and I am confident that the BioPark and ACARE will enhance meaningful collaboration between our two countries in agriculture under the new democratic leadership.
M S Swaminathan Research Foundation (MSSRF) established in 1988 is a not-for-profit trust. MSSRF was envisioned and founded by Professor M S Swaminathan, agriculture scientist with proceeds from the First World Food Prize that he received in 1987.