The former Department of Agriculture, Agriculture and Rural Development Corporation and Land Use Bureau were amalgamated into the Agriculture Corporation on March 1, 1972. Next the Agriculture Corporation was renamed as Myanma Agriculture Service on April 1, 1989.
The main functions of the Myanma Agriculture Service constitute agricultural research and extension developments, with objectives directed towards:-
(a) the increased production of major crops;
(b) the development of improved production technology through proper researches on management of soil crop and pest control;
(c) development of suitable high-yielding crop varieties;
(d) the transfer of appropriate crop production technology through agricultural extension programme;
(e) distribution of certified seeds through the seed program;
(f) the provision of agricultural inputs;
(g) classofication of soils and advising on soil conservation techniques; and
(h) the exploration of export markets on some agricultural produce.
The functions of the Myanma Agriculture Service are carried out by the Managing Director, with eleven divisions namely, Central Agricultural Research Institute, Seed Division, Land Use Division, Agricultural Education Division, Oil Crops Division, Pulses Division, Vegetable and Fruit Division, Plant Protection Division, Procurement and Distribution Division, Project Planning and Management and Evaluation Division, Administration Division and Accounts Division, under his supervision, and a total staff of 13 thousand.
The strength of staff for various Divisions of the Myanma Agriculture Service was 18615 in 1997-98.
CENTRAL AGRICULTURAL RESEARCH INSTITUTE(CARI)
The Central Agricultural Research Institute is located near Yezin, some 250 miles north of Yangon. It constitutes 10 disciplinary divisions and 7 crop divisions, namely as under:-
(b) Other Cereals
(c) Fibre Crops
(d) Oil Crops
(e) Food Legumes
(f) Sugar Crops
(b) Plant Physiology
(c) Plant Pathology
(e) Agricultural Chemistry
(f) Small Scale Farm Implement
(g) Seed Bank
(h) Regional Research & Development
(i) Agricultural Economic
(j) Management & Accounts
The research work at the Institute is fully oriented to increase crop production, by way of quality seeds, improved crop husbandry and protection techniques, more efficient application methods of plant nutrients and better cropping system suited to various agro-ecological conditions. Scientists in each crop division are assisted by specialists from different disciplines so that agriculture research as a whole is
integrated in a multi-disciplinary approach. In-services training to both research and extension personnel are also undertaken by the Central Agricultural Research Institute.
The former Applied Research Division was transformed into the Seed Division in April 1990. The Seed Division has objectives as under, in order to implement its activities successfully:-
(1) To produce and distribute quality seed systematically
(2) To conduct systematic quality control activities to maintain seed with genetic identity,
varietals purity and high germination
(3) To conduct training, workshop and field days
(4) To establish Model Registered seed growing villages for multiplication of certified seed
(5) To demonstrate the effective use of small farm implements and machinery
The two main activities of the Seed Division are quality seed production and seed quality control. Different stages of seed multiplication activities are jointly carried out by the three technical divisions of Myanma Agriculture Service namely, The Central Agricultural Research Institute (CARI), The Seed Division(SD) and The Agriculture Extension Division(AED).
SD is mainly responsible for the production of foundation seed and registered seed classes of improved varieties of various crops on its 14 central farms and 22 seed farms.
Registered seed is transferred to AED for further multiplication of certified seed.AED is responsible for organizing farmers to multiply. Certified seed on the farms of model registered seed growing villages in the certified seed growing townships.
The Seed Division has made great efforts in producing seed by closely supervising all activities, Field inspection, seed sampling, seed testing and seed certification are being carried out at various farms and model villages. Foundation seeds and registered seeds are produced by the seed farms of Myanma Agriculture Services whereas certified seeds are by the contact farmers.
In order to guarantee that the prescribed quality and specifications of a crop, regular seed sampling and testing has to be conducted in the central seed laboratory as well as in the field stations, according to the regulation of quality seed testing program.
LAND USE DIVISION
This Division takes the responsibility of making soil surveys, soil maps and co-ordinates research activities with related agencies for introduction of soil conservation and land improvement practices. It also undertakes research activities for problem soils, ameliorration and soil fertility investigations in farmers' fields.
AGRICULTURAL EXTENSION DIVISION
Among the twelve Divisions of the organization, the Agricultural Extension Division makes up for the largest proportion of the total strength of staff, having more than 8,000 extension agents right down to the village level in the whole country. Its major function is to transfer agricultural technologies appropriate to different resource status to farmers. And it also organizes and motivates farmers to adopt proven technologies for better livelihood in rural farming community and increased national agricultural production. Extension methods in practice are: (a)launching special programmes in selected areas in selected crops (b) establishing efficient contacts between farmers and extension agents through agricultural education camps and seasonal demonstrations (c) training and visit systems on farmers' fields (d) conducting demonstration of technology packages in large blocks on farmers' fields (c) launching regional development programmes in border areas and (f) conducting
integrated rural development programmes, in addition to traditional extension methods. Having both research and extension wings under the same organization, there is a close and effective linkage between them, the Agricultural Extension Division receiving new technologies, transferring them to farmers and feeding back of the field responses to the Research Division.
The General Manager of the Agricultural Extension Divisions, in carrying out these duties, is assisted by :-
(a) State or Divisional Managers at the State and Divisional level;
(b) District Managers at the district level;
(c) Township Managers at the township level;
(d) Village Tract and Village Managers at the village level.
A Village Extension Manager has to take charge of a few village tracts or village with 3,000 to 6,000 acres of crop land depending upon the locality and state of communication, while a Village Tract Manager supervises the work of 10 Village Managers who are in direct contact with farmers.
It also undertakes seed multiplication and distribution works in coordination with the Seed Division.
PROCUREMENT AND DISTRIBUTION DIVISION
The main function of this Division is procurement and distribution of farm inputs viz. chemical fertilizers, pesticides and other small farm implements. Close coordination with the local fertilizer factories, pesticide formulation plants and also with transport agencies has to be undertaken for timely supply of these agricultural inputs down to farm level. In addition, it is responsible for the import of government sector chemical fertilizers, pesticides and agricultural inputs, according to its financial allocations. And on the other hand, it also assists and supports private entrepreneurs to meaningfully participate in this field.
PROJECT PLANNING MANAGEMENT AND EVALUATION DIVISION
This Division undertakes formulation of agricultural plans, identification and formulation of new projects, monitoring and evaluation of project progress, and reporting. To carry out these duties, data collection, agricultural economic survey and agricultural technological situation
survey are undertaken. Moreover, the Division co-ordinates with other Divisions within the Myanma Agriculture Service, other Departments, Services, and Enterprises concerned. It also assumes an advisory role to decision making levels, relative to future programmes on agricultural development. Additionally, the Division organizes local and foreign trainings. Locally, the Division has training facilities at the Central Agricultural Development Training Center (CADTC) in Hlegu Township, Yangon Division, capable to enhance staff efficiency by provision of theoretical training in scientific agricultural practice.
VEGETABLE AND FRUIT DIVISION
This division was newly set up in order to concentrate and give further momentum to activities on development of fruits and vegetables. These currently exist 23 farms that are engaged in research as well as transfer of technology to growers. New varieties of quality
fruits and vegetables are introduced and multiplied for distribution. Collaborative research
activities with foreign companies and agencies are also conducted to improve the quality as well as yield of fruits and vegetables. Contract farming on selected vegetables between target beneficiaries and private companies are also undertaken. Training for staff and growers are carried out, for dissemination proven technology.
Similarly, vegetable and fruits exhibitions are organized by this division with a view to promote interest and awareness, both in growers and consumers. Various efforts are being made to step up of domestic consumption and also catch on to exports by means of vertical expansions of commodities under production.
A new Pulses Division was also established in 1995, to lend increasing emphasis towards higher production and exports of Myanmer's pulses. As part of the Division's objectives, expansion of areas under pulses are being speeded up, as and where feasible; measures are being taken for pulses to be widely adopted as a second crop after paddy- and thereby secure larger export volumes, under current lucrative international markets. In support of pulse production, research on
varietal improvement programs, introduction of new adaptable cultivars and formulation of improved production technologies are being carried out and all remain in line to the Ministry of Agriculture and Irrigation's policy directives of stepping up production and export of pulses.
PLANT PROTECTION DIVISION
The Plant Protection Division is responsible for adopting national plant protection policies and strategies of agricultural crops and implementing those in collaborating with other relevant agencies under the Ministry of Agriculture and Irrigation.
The division is composed of various sections assigned
with technically qualified personnel to carry out plant protection
activities, assisted by trained personnel at state, division and district
levels, co-operating with agriculture extension staff of Myanma
Agriculture Service as well as with those of other agencies. The major
functions being carried out by each sections are as follows:-