Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Myanmar: Team reviews impact of improved rice–based cropping systems project in Ayeyarwady Delta

A team of experts conducted mid-project review of Diversification and intensification of rice-based cropping systems in Lower Myanmar (MYRice) in Ayeyarwady Delta. MYRice conducts research on cropping options for the Delta, to increase and sustain productivity of both rice-rice and rice-pulse cropping systems. It will also support the introduction of options to reduce post-harvest losses. The review looked at the progress of its outputs, progress towards impacts, lessons learned as well as its planned activities in rice-rice and rice-pulse systems in the area.

One of the highlights of the review was the discussion with farmers from the project sites. Farmers shared how the project has helped them and identified other needs they hope MYRice could address. Farmers of rice-pulse systems from Nga Gyee Gayat and Pan Pin Su in Maubin township shared their experiences with the rice varieties they selected from the Participatory Varietal Selection trials, provided insights on post-harvest losses, and noted activities on exploring market options and seed sources.  Farmers of rice-rice systems from Tar Pat and Ah Lann, on the other hand, said they would like to participate in learning activities about market options and knowledge sharing with other farmers.

Project staff from the Department of Agriculture, Department of Agriculture Research, and the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI) provided the reviewers with updates on the adoption of new, suitable varieties, alternative cropping systems, and post-production options.  The reviewers also interacted with MYRice gender research team and members of the Postharvest Learning Alliance. Research and extension officials from the Department of Agriculture and Department of Agricultural Research provided insights on the lessons learned and possible future opportunities where the project could help.

Dr. Grant Singleton, IRRI scientist and project leader, was pleased with the review that showcased suitable technologies for the Delta. He also noted how farmers are actively participating and keen to raise their needs and share their experiences, which triggered strong discussion between the end- users, project implementers, and reviewers.

The reviewers were Dr. Gamini Keerthisinghe and U Aye Tun.Dr. Robert Edis, manager of the Soil Management and Crop Nutrition Research Program of the Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research, served as resource person. The mid-project review was held from 25-27 May in Yangon City and Maubin Township.

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