Monday, June 8, 2015

Myanmar: Learning Alliance reviews impact of improving rice production and linking farmers to market

Members of the Postharvest Learning Alliance reviewed the impact of its activities on trying new varieties, exploring market options, testing postharvest technologies, and sharing rice-based management options with farmers in Maubin Township. The Learning Alliance (LA) aims to bring  farmers, scientists, extension agents, and other stakeholders together to field-test, refine, and adapt integrated rice production systems, and learn and share good practices.

The 38 farmers who participated in the activities shared their experience in growing the salt-tolerant Sin Thwe Latt (use less input) and the Sin Thu Kha (use more input) in the previous cropping seasons. They also discussed key information on seed production methods and crop production practices they gathered from interacting with the Shwebo farmers who produce high quality Paw San variety and reported a better understanding of how rice quality affects prices after visiting different markets in Yangon.

U Nay Lin Oo, a farmer from Tar Pat village in Maubin Township, shared his experience using the IRRI-designed TC-800 lightweight thresher.“I was able to thresh faster and improved the quality of grains,” he said.

In addition, members planned their future activities that include planting Pyi Taw Yin that they have selected from the participatory varietal trial for its good yield. They also discussed how the project could further help farmers and other end users to boost their rice production with the review team from the Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research (ACIAR) and Department of Agriculture officials.

The Postharvest Learning Alliance is implemented through Diversification and Intensification of Rice-based Cropping Systems in Lower Myanmar (MYRice), an ACIAR-funded project in partnership with the Department of Agriculture, Department of Agricultural Research, and key private sector partners.  The meeting was held in Maubin Township on 25 May.

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