Monday, October 20, 2014

Myanmar: IRRI and partners conduct quality rice seed production

The Myanmar Department of Agriculture Research (DAR), Ministry of Agriculture and Irrigation conducted a hands-on training on quality rice seed production to improve the capacity of farmers, extension workers from both government and implementing partners, and seed producing agencies to produce quality rice seed that may ultimately increase the country’s rice productivity at Myaungmya Research Farm, Yezin from 29 September to 2 October.

The training was attended by 32 progressive farmers of LIFT A, LIFT B, ACIAR, and USAID projects with IRRI from Bogale, Mawlamyinegyun, Labutta, and Maubin townships; 13 staffs from local institutional partners (WHH, GRET, MercyCorps, Proximity Design, Radanar Ayar); and 3 Department of Agriculture (DOA) staffs. U Myint Aye, DOA district officer and U Htain Linn Tun, Myaungmya Research Farm Manager closed the session and distributed the certificates to all the participants.

The training was primarily aimed for sustainability of IRRI project in the delta region by enabling progressive farmers for seed purification and production for self-sufficiency to marketing through home-scale to community seed bank approach which plays a vital role in subsistence agriculture.

The hands-on training on quality rice seed production was based on principle of “learning by doing” and focused more on practical activities in the rice fields with only one classroom session on rice plant morphology, growth stages of rice, nursery bed establishment, crop management, quality seed production and quality control, and postharvest postharvest handling from seed drying to storage methods, and developing knowledge dissemination and action plans for quality seed production.

Practical demonstrations covered identification of distinct morphological characters of rice plant, seed purity and germination test, dry and wet bed preparation, transplanting, fertilizer calculations, panicle selection, panicle to row sowing, transplanting, rouging at different growth stages, and seed drying and storage.

The inaugural session was chaired by Dr. Romeo Labios, IRRI Scientist in Myanmar with Dr. Khin Maung Thet, IRRI-USAID scientist; and local officers from Department of Agriculture (DOA). U Myint Aye, district officer, and U Tin Myaung Nyein, township staff officer of Myaungmya area, provided the support and collaborated with IRRI in Myanmar.

The training was sponsored by LIFT-A project and Dr. Ye Tun Tun. IRRI-LIFT A team members (Dr. Swe Zin Myint Thein, May Nwe Soe, Sandar Winn, Aye Aye Thant, Aung Myat Thu, and Palal Moet Moet) coordinated and served as resource persons. Dr. R.K Singh, IRRI senior scientist, facilitated the event.

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