YANGON, 12/20 - Myanmar will start implementing a 12.3-million-US-dollaredible oil project next month, funded by the Organization of PetroleumExporting Countries (OPEC) to help upgrade its oil crops production forself-sufficiency, the local Myanmar Times reported Monday.
The five-year project, which is the biggest of its kind since 1988 andalso involves another 2 million dollars provided by the government itself,would assist farmers in 36 main oil seed growing areas and help cut theimport of edible oil, the Myanma Agricultural Services was quoted assaying.
The project deals mainly with the development of oil palm and four oilseed crops -- sesame, groundnut, sunflower and soybean.
Myanmar obtained the OPEC`s international development fund in May lastyear after a six-month feasibility study conducted by the Food andAgriculture Organization (FAO), the sources said, adding that the loan wasprovided at an annual interest rate of 1 percent payable in 25 years.
OPEC had previously provided Myanmar with loans for agriculture,telecommunications, energy, transport and water supply improvementnetworks.
According to official statistics, Myanmar produced some 250,000 tons ofedible oil annually but still has to import the same amount of palm oil tomeet its local demand.
Myanmar`s cultivated areas of oil crops including the four oil crops andpalm have reached 2.8 million hectares.
Meanwhile, Myanmar has been making efforts to turn southern Tanintharyidivision into an oil bowl of the country.