Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Myanmar: Village-level learning alliance meetings conducted

Two village-level learning alliance (LA) meetings were held in the Maubin and Bogale townships last March 15th and 18th of 2014. These meetings aim to support project activities and the use of new technologies, including new varieties and postharvest technologies.

For the Maubin LA meeting facilitated by Rica Flor, 44 participants (13 women) from the Department of Agriculture (DOA), four key project villages, partner NGOs, millers, traders,  private sector stakeholders, and IRRI personnel attended the event in the Maubin Township. Updates on the ongoing participatory varietal selection trials and postharvest h issues were discussed among the group.

Meanwhile, a total of 36 participants joined the Bogale LA meeting held in the Bogale Township Library and facilitated by Reianne Quilloy. 23 farmers (six women), four from partner NGOs, two from the DOA, one miller, and six from IRRI attended the event.

One of the event highlights was the discussion of farmers about the benefits and challenges in piloting the flatbed dryer (FBD). The FBD, which the farmers’ group has already used in the last postharvest season, was installed by the IRRI Postharvest group and village farmers on October 2013.

The Group for Research and Technology Exchanges (GRET), which funded the FBD, has in the meantime established an inventory storage system to be used for the drying operation, enabling farmers to store high quality rice coming from the dryer until market prices are favorable for selling grains.

As a result of the meetings, the farmers have identified future learning opportunities. For instance, farmers will produce good quality grains using postharvest technology, like the FBD, sell the grains to miller partners, document how the crop is assessed, and see if the millers will give price incentive for quality.

The Learning Alliance is a platform to engage project stakeholders to share, learn from one another, and collaborate on providing solutions to produce better quality grains and link farmers to better markets in Myanmar.

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