Thursday, May 10, 2018

IRRI strengthens ties with DLG to boost farm mechanization in Myanmar

During the workshop, participants were presented with farm mechanization technologies like laser leveling. Laser leveling results in a precisely leveled field which facilitates efficient use of water, fertilizers, herbicides.

IRRI, through the Closing the Rice Yield Gap Project (CORIGAP-PRO) and and in partnership with the Agricultural Development Support Project (ADSP) is working with the German Agricultural Society (DLG-Deutsche Landwirtschaftsgesellschaft) in the delivery of mechanization technologies for smallholder farmers in Myanmar.

U Kyaw Min, senator from the Parliament opened the event. In his welcome message, Letpadan township senator U Kyaw Min recognized that the government, through the Department of Agriculture (DoA), supports and encourages farmers to adopt mechanization technologies to address labor shortage, raise income and livelihood, and ensure food security in the country.

Through a mechanization field day, participants coming from the region were introduced to laser leveling and other farm mechanization and postharvest technologies like the mechanical transplanters, tractors and disc plows, solar bubble dryers, and hermetic storage bags. In addition, the participants were also involved in discussions about the business models and experiences of others in using these technologies. According to Martin Gummert, IRRI senior scientist and postharvest  expert, “these technologies help address labor shortage, reduce costs, and introduce postharvest options to increase income of farmers in the country.”

During the workshop, U Htai Htai, a farmer and member of the Myanmar Rice Federation (MRF), has also stressed the need for farmers to use good quality seeds and adopt good agricultural practices such as mechanization to increase productivity.

Katharina Staske, German Agricultural Society (DLG) project manager for exhibitions, said that this collaboration with IRRI would be a great opportunity to learn from each other on the best agricultural practices. DLG hosts a similar knowledge sharing activity called AGRITECHNICA ASIA, taking place in Bangkok, Thailand from August 22nd to 24th, 2018. The trade fair with more than 100 international companies is accompanied by seminars and workshops jointly organized with IRRI and the Thai Ministry of Agriculture and Cooperatives. The agricultural equipment manufacturer AGCO, who presented its Massey Ferguson tractors at the Mechanization Field Day in Myanmar, will also display its latest tractor and storage solutions in Bangkok.

More than 120 farmers, government extension agents, policy makers, and partners from the private sector attended the Mechanization Field Day at Kyoet Pin Sakhan Village in Letpadan, Myanmar.

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