Fine dining Continental restaurant The Olive at Resorts World Genting hosted a very special dinner paired with the beautiful whisky expressions of Chivas. The four-course dinner on June 22, 2018 married the exceptional ingredients and skills of the chefs at The Olive with the smooth legacy of the world’s favourite blended whiskies. It will also be an opportunity for diners to savour the taste of the beef that has reigned as the champion of Japan’s Wagyu Olympics since 2007 – Miyazaki wagyu.
IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, signed an advisory agreement with Myanmar’s Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock and Irrigation (MoALI) today to support its efforts with boosting sector productivity, quality and skill development. The technical assistance program is supported by the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade of Australia, the Department for International Development of the United Kingdom and the Government of Japan.
The country’s agricultural sector is a key pillar of the economy and provides employment to about 53 percent of the labor force and is a source of livelihood for about 70 percent of the rural population. Through this agreement, IFC’s technical assistance will support the government’s objective of increasing the productivity, market access and competitiveness of the agricultural sector by improving the provision of quality inputs to farmers. As a driver of growth and innovation, the private sector will play a significant role in assuring quality seeds, fertilizer and crop protection products reach farmers efficiently. A strong balance between efficient markets and effective regulation is needed along with an improved way of working together for the government and private sector.
“IFC’s emphasis on improving the use of agricultural inputs and strengthening quality standards of agricultural products is aligned with MoALI’s mission. I am confident that this project will be supportive to our agriculture sector development and fulfill our vision for the future,” said Dr. Aung Thu, Minister of Agriculture, Livestock and Irrigation.
IFC will also assist with establishing quality standards for key export commodities, such as rice, and local food processing, while helping farmers to develop skills related to the use of agricultural inputs and improved quality standards. In July, IFC and MoALI held a one-day workshop in Nyuang Shwe, which brought together over 200 tomato farmers to discuss Good Agricultural Practices and the importance of improving and reducing the use of chemicals on their floating farms to protect Inle Lake.
“We believe that improved access to quality agricultural inputs will elevate industry productivity and quality, while also resulting in raised incomes and job creation along the value chain,” said Vivek Pathak, IFC Regional Director for East Asia and the Pacific. “By supporting Myanmar’s agricultural development, we hope to help create potential markets for agricultural products through exports.”
As a member of the World Bank Group, IFC has been a the forefront of driving agriculture sector reforms in recent years across Asia to unlock the door for farmers and rural communities to access relevant inputs, knowledge, skills and finance to improve their livelihoods in a sustainable manner. With agribusiness as a strategic pillar of IFC’s work in Myanmar, we are supporting local firms such as the Awba Group to increase the production of good-quality crop protection products and improve access to agri-lending products for farmers.
Besides language, culture and clothings, food is also a significant piece in the collective traditions of a community. In the communities of Northern Malaysia: Penang, Kedah, Perlis and Perak, the people are known to utilise a range of spices in crafting their unique cuisines. Many among the cooks of these communities choose to combine spices from various origins – India, the Middle East, with slight touches of colourful Thailand. Because of this, the use of lemongrass, kaffir lime, dessicated coconut, spice seeds and the like are regarded as necessity rather than choice. The North is also widely known and discussed as a food paradise in Malaysia, in large part due to the significance and specialty of its cuisine. Penangites in particular employ the use of ghee and Indian spices in their curries. In Kedah, Perlis and Perak, however, the paradigm shifts in favour of desiccated coconut. Albeit little and rather unremarkable, these little nuances of flavour, when combined in blends become nothing short of culinary magic, turning each and every Northern dish into a unique dining experience in a class of its own.
Ask for a bowl of Tom Yam Soup at any seafood restaurant and you cannot help but notice a stalk or two of lemongrass among the other ingredients in the bowl. Any credible chef will tell you that lemongrass is the principal flavouring ingredient in a Tom Yam Soup. In Malaysia, lemongrass or “serai” is widely used in Malay and Nyonya cooking. It is also one of the main flavouring ingredients in our local favourites of rendang, satay, curry laksa, asam laksa and nasi kerabu.