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PRESS RELEASE-Foundation Stone Laying Ceremony for Rice Bio Park- 19 February, 2013

The foundation stone laying ceremony for a Rice Bio Park was held today (19th February 2013) at the Yezin Agricultural University campus near Nay Pyi Taw in Myanmar that was attended by the Agricultural Minister of Myanmar Mr Myint Hlaing, Dr. M.S. Swaminathan, India’s eminent Agricultural Scientist and Dr. V.S. Seshadri, Ambassador of India to Myanmar.


The establishment of the Rice Bio Park was agreed upon between the two countries during the visit of the Prime Minister of India Dr. Manmohan Singh to Myanmar in May 2012 when a MoU was signed for this purpose. The project consists of small scale units for producing various marketable commodities, a training centre with residential facility, storage facility and administrative building and an integrated knowledge centre. The small scale centers will utilize every part of the rice plant. They will produce commodities like stabilized rice bran; cattle and poultry feed; improved livestock feed by increasing protein content of rice straw; Oyster Mushroom using paddy straw and husk and also facilitate Cleaning Hulling Polishing, Grading, Weighing and Packaging of Rice. The nodal agencies implementing the project are MS Swaminathan Research Foundation of India (MSSRF) and Yezin Agricultural University (YAU) of the Ministry of Agriculture and Irrigation(MOAI) of Myanmar. 
Speaking on the occasion, the Agricultural Minister of Myanmar Mr Myint Hlaing expressed his deep appreciation and heartfelt thanks to Dr. M.S. Swaminathan for all his efforts and enthusiasm to conceptualize and establish the Rice Bio Park. He expressed his confidence that the Rice Bio Park would further promote and enhance the excellent relations enjoyed by the two countries and would enrich the students of Yezin Agricultural University.

Dr. M.S. Swaminathan thanked the Minister for the commitment shown by Myanmar to the Rice Bio Park and for inviting him to the foundation stone laying ceremony. Stating that ‘Rice is Life’, Dr. Swaminathan expressed confidence that the Rice Bio Park would serve as a flagship for harnessing science for improving the income of small farmers for not only Myanmar but also the entire region.

Dr. M.S. Swaminathan is currently leading a delegation of agricultural experts from India with a view to reviewing and taking further steps in respect of establishment not only of the Rice Bio Park but also of the Advanced Centre for Agricultural Research and Education (ACARE) which is another important project the two countries are implementing for which again the MoU was signed during the Prime Minister’s visit last year.

The visiting delegation also called on the President of the Republic of the Union of Myanmar U Thein Sein. Dr. Swaminathan briefed the President about the concept behind the Rice Bio Park as also about the potential of ACARE. Discussions were held on food security, agricultural research and improving the incomes of farmers.
19 February, 2013