Myitkyina - US Ambassador Scot Marciel met with more than 60 members of the Kachin State agriculture sector in Myitkyina last Thursday, to discuss how the new US Agency for International Development (USAID) Agriculture and Food-Systems Development activity can help overcome constraints that farmers and the private sector face in improving agriculture and livelihoods in the state.

“The United States is committed to supporting inclusive agriculture-led economic growth in Kachin State. USAID recently expanded its agriculture activities to include Kachin State,” said Marciel. 

“The Agriculture and Food-Systems Development Activity is the first USAID agriculture programme to expand into Kachin State.”

The Agriculture and Food-Systems Development Activity is a five-year, US$38 million programme expected to reach over 125,000 individuals in Kachin State, Shan State, and the central dry zone. The support aims to increase the sales of farmers and agricultural firms in the project area by by US$42 million, catalyse US$20 million in private-sector investment, and help create 3500 new full-time jobs.

The ambassador spoke with farmers,  community-based organizations, faith-based organisations, local and international development organisations, representatives of the private sector, business and industry association leaders, and Kachin government officials during the visit.

The information shared by the participants will inform how US investments can support the private sector to expand and improve the delivery of services. This includes providing inputs such as seeds to rural farmers, as well as purchasing high-value raw and processed goods from farmers. 

The approach is expected to create more inclusive livelihood opportunities for diverse communities in Kachin State.

“The United States is committed to implementing development assistance programs in an open, transparent manner. Today’s consultations are part of this effort.” Marciel said at the workshop. He added, “We are here to listen and learn.”