Introduction to the Powering Aquaculture Progress partnership in Myanmar

The Powering Aquaculture Progress (PAP) project is public-private partnership set to improve the modernization and development of aquaculture supply chains in Myanmar. It is the largest project with foreign direct investment in the aquaculture sector in the country. The team of Fresh Studio Myanmar is managing this project, in partnership with leading animal feed company De Heus, the Myanmar Fishery Federation, Pathein University and Golden Fish World hatchery. The project runs from 2019-2024.

During this five year period, the PAP project aims to achieve the following overall objectives:

  1. Creating access to modern input and technologies, therefore improving quality and access to inputs for farmers, mainly seed and feed;
  2. Improvements on technical knowledge and know-how of farmers, academic institutions, and technical support staff from private and public organisations;
  3. Improvement in efficiency of farming systems through transition towards more productive, shorter cycle and more diverse species, and increased transfer of adapted technologies;
  4. Support value chain coordination between independent actors and promotion of products toward consumers.

To achieve these objectives, the project has been broken down in three main work packages:

1. Access to inputs and technologies 

To make aquaculture a more profitable inclusive business that adds value to the local community, we will start by improving access to improved inputs and technologies, which is the backbone of any agricultural revolution. Our interventions consist of setting up the first fingerling feed production unit in Myanmar; establishing professional breeding centers, by modernizing two existing hatcheries; setting up the first Aquaculture Application Centre (AAC) in Myanmar, to apply knowledge and technologies from around the world.

2. Build capacity and professionalize all actors

Without proper capacity building and technical extension approaches, the adoption of improved inputs and advanced practices will be low, as they will not used properly and result in poor financial return. Our interventions consist of developing a technical team of local aquaculture specialists in key organisations (private & public); setting up satellite farms to transfer the work conducted on the AAC to the farmers; training of trainers embedded in key organisations to guarantee continuous training of farmers.

3. Strengthen farmers’ position in the chain

Improving the (production) capacity of fish farmers is the first step towards upgrading the aquaculture sector of Myanmar. To have access to finance and the market, there is the urgency to organize them. Our interventions include forming an independent producer organization; developing a quality standard and continuous improvement program among members; actively search for linkages and alliances between various actors in the chain.

The partnership is now in Year 2 and implementation has not been without challenges with the political developments and Covid-19 situation changing the political and business landscape in which the partnership is operating. However, the partners remain committed, and the work that ultimately aims to improve the income and food security of Myanmar’s people has become all the more relevant. Detailed plans for hatchery upgrading are on the way; the design for the Aquaculture Application Center is finalized and ready to be constructed after the rainy season in October; and soon a detailed training curriculum will be developed as a collaborative effort between all partners. The partnership is committed to achieve results!

SAPA Project – Short Review

The SAPA (Sustainable and Affordable Poultry for All) project which is being implemented in Myanmar and runs from 2015-2020. The fourth project year has just been finished and we made a short preview of the project. The final documentary will be ready at the end of the project, which will show all the received results. Curious to see what the SAPA project is about and what we have achieved so far?

Please watch here:

GAP Sein Ta Lone Mango Value Chain Study in Myanmar

Fresh Studio is commissioned to analyze several reduced-input value chains in several GMS countries including Myanmar.

In the last week of November 2017, Fresh Studio Vietnam and Myanmar conducted a value chain analysis of GAP certified mango in Mandalay and Sagaing region in Myanmar. Besides analysing the mango chain in Myanmar, two other chains are being analysed as part of this assignment: coconut in Vietnam and vegetables in Thailand.

The research is part of a program, which enhances market access for sustainable environmentally friendly and safe agricultural produce using reduced chemicals. A key objective of the program is to identify opportunities and approaches to improve the competitiveness of high value fruit chains.

Only recently Myanmar started to develop GAP standards, mango is one of the first 14 products to receive a GAP standard/guideline/protocol. Myanmar produces a unique mango variety called Sein Ta Lone (‘one diamond’) and has a special flavour well adapted in the Mandalay region, Myanmar. Within the analysis a closer look was given to GAP certified mango growers and particular GAP certified Sein Ta Lone growers.

With a multi-disciplinary team consisting out of 9 members the intensive field work week focused on GAP mango supply chain actors including input suppliers, farmers (GAP and non-GAP), collectors, wholesalers, processors, exporters and policy makers. The teams collected the information through various RDA-techniques: focus group discussions, production calendar, gross margin analysis, in-depth interviews, time-lines etc. Within the teams there was a different focus on stakeholders.

The largest share of mango production is traded as fresh fruit both for export and domestic market; the remainder is mostly processed into dried and frozen mango, puree and leather. The largest portion of mango goes to China through border trade and 1st grade mangoes go to Singapore. For Sein Ta Lone (GAP) it is still challenging to get premium price. The major challenges include weak institutional linkages together with low capacities between and within the different stakeholders along the value chain and the mango-demand outside Myanmar is not requesting a Myanmar GAP-standard.

Kick-off broiler training and opening Poultry Training Centre in Myanmar

Monday 6th of February was a milestone for the SAPA project. The first broiler training took place for 10 selected veterinarians. At the same time the first Poultry Training Center in Mandalay opened as part of the training.

One of the main components of the SAPA Project is the capacity building of farmers, both broiler farmers as corn farmers. Last Monday 6th of February two milestones of the SAPA project took place: firstly, the kick-off of the first broiler training for 10 selected veterinarians in Mandalay and secondly, this training took place at the first Poultry Training Centre (PTC) of Myanmar.

The PTC is built on the farm of broiler farmer U Win Hlaing, who was selected and eager to participate in SAPA to upgrade his existing farm into a PTC. This PTC will be used throughout the whole SAPA project to train veterinarians, broiler farmers and workers until 2020 on various topics related to broiler farming. The reason why this PTC is so special is because this is the first training centre on a broiler farm, where trainees receive theory and are immediately able to observe, reflect and apply the acquired knowledge into practice. In the coming months two more PTCs are opened: in NPT and Yangon.

Esther Wintraecke of Fresh Studio Myanmar.

The first broiler farmer training is a 10 day training for 10 selected veterinarians, who have the responsibility to train 750 broiler farmers and workers throughout the whole of Myanmar. The topics of this first training were: farm management and bio-security. In the coming year two additional training modules take place so that at the end of the training courses the veterinarians are certified SAPA-trainers. The topics addressed are: health, nutrition, housing, entrepreneurship and the broiler production standard.

As the opening of the PTC and the kick-off of the first broiler training are a very important milestone in the SAPA project, a special opening ceremony was organised with members of the Mandalay Livestock Federation and the deputy general of the LBVD (Livestock, Breeding and Veterinary Department) and the director of De Heus Myanmar and a ribbon cutting ceremony.

Read more about the SAPA Project

Minister Koenders opens Dutch embassy in Myanmar

On Wednesday (12 October) Minister Koenders (Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Netherlands) opened the Dutch embassy in Myanmar (formerly known as Burma). An unique moment because everywhere else in the world the Dutch embassies are closing down or at least decreasing the number of staff. But in Myanmar a new Dutch embassy is being established.

Furthermore, this was the first Dutch political mission to the new Myanmar government. The last political elections in November 2015 were the first elections in 60 years in which the leading party (NLD: National League of Democracy) was democratically chosen by a majority of votes. After 60 years of military rule, and hardly any focus on the development of the country and the people, the current government has a very challenging task but certainly shows the mentality to succeed.

Only two months ago the first Dutch ambassador arrived in Yangon. This changed the economic mission of the Netherlands in Myanmar into a more ambitious mission which results in having a Dutch embassy present in Myanmar. Surely this indicates the potential of Myanmar in general, and specifically in trade and the water and agro-food sector.

During his 3-day visit to Myanmar Minister Koenders had meetings with the private sector in order to stimulate and strengthen the economic relationships between the Netherlands and Myanmar. This is also something he stressed several times during his speech at the opening of the embassy.

For SAPA, these are encouraging and beneficial developments: the establishment of the Dutch embassy in Myanmar; the continuous strengthening of the economic relationships between the Netherlands and Myanmar; and finally the focus on developing and improving the agriculture of the new government.

Read more about the SAPA project:

Improving food security and livelihoods in Myanmar

SAPA is a Public Private Partnership project in which strengths are combined of European companies and knowledge institutions and local NGO’s and knowledge institutes active in the poultry value to chain …

Improving food security and livelihoods in Myanmar

SAPA (Sustainable and Affordable Poultry for All) aims at improving the food security and rural incomes of smallholder poultry and corn farmers in Myanmar through a public private partnership in which several parties are involved, including De Heus, Belgabroed, Fresh Studio, Aeres Group, Myanmar Livestock Federation and Yezin Agriculture University.

Read more in-depth about the SAPA project on the project website: Visit the SAPA website


Myanmar is one of the most resource rich countries in Southeast Asia:

  • A land area and fresh water resources double in size compared to for example Vietnam
  • An estimated population of 60 million people
  • Strategically located between the two enormous markets of China and India
  • Easy access to buoyant markets in the Gulf
  • Diverse topography and eco-systems enable farmers to produce a wide range of cereals, pulses, horticulture, fruits, livestock and fish

Myanmar’s farmers find themselves well-positioned to contest both regional and global agricultural markets. Despite these rich resources, Myanmar’s economy has underperformed over the past fifty years.

In the SAPA project strengths are combined between International companies, knowledge institutions and local NGO’s active in the poultry and corn (value) chain.


The SAPA project offers solutions to improve food security in Myanmar and enhance livelihoods of poultry and corn smallholders in Myanmar, by introducing more productive, profitable and sustainable production systems for poultry and corn production. And at the same time the capacity will be built of both corn and broiler farmers to implement these sustainable production systems. For the demand for poultry this will result in more affordable and reliable access to animal protein in Myanmar. Finally, knowledge capturing and sharing is the backbone of SAPA to promote institutional learning on both micro as macro level.

The project focuses on 3 core themes:

  • Myanmar food security: more affordable and reliable access to higher quality and safer chicken.
  • Sustainable chain solutions: Myanmar farmers have the possibility to choose their own input and output for their broilers. Ownership is created and is based on developed knowledge and experience with different actors in the chain.
  • Inclusive business: the project aims at having impact on low income groups, both employees, producers and entrepreneurs in Myanmar.

Round Table ‘Developing Myanmar’s Vegetable Sector’

Fresh Studio’s Director Marketing and Business development, Sigrid Wertheim-Heck, delivered a keynote presentation during the round table meeting ‘Developing Myanmar’s Vegetable Sector’ in Nay Pyi Taw.

On the 20th of November the Ministry of Agriculture and Irrigation and the Netherlands Embassy in cooperation with Mercy Corps and East-West Seed hosted a Round Table Meeting focusing on the development of Myanmar’s Vegetable Sector in Nay Pyi Taw. The objective of the meeting was for stakeholders from government, private sector and development agencies to jointly reach consensus on the main steps that will be necessary for realizing the growth potential in Myanmar’s vegetable sector and begin planning for their implementation.

Fresh Studio’s Director Marketing and Business Development was invited to give a keynote presentation on Fresh Studio’s experiences in vegetable sector development in Vietnam.

“It was an honor to present Fresh Studio experiences from Vietnam at the round table and inspiring to join the open and constructive discussions with counter parts in Myanmar. The attendance was robust atmosphere very constructive. Conclusion: a lot needs to be done, but first steps are being made in collective addressing the diversity in topics. The organizers will share the outcomes and recommendations for concrete action shortly.”

Participants of the round table Meeting focusing on the development of Myanmar’s Vegetable Sector