Small & smart
Myanmar small farm’s development is key to reduce poverty and mitigate climate risks. In the last three years, our partner GRET worked closely with smallholder farmers in the Dry Zone, an arid region in the centre of the country.
Myanmar is undergoing intense and rapid changes. Modernization of the country’s agricultural sector is, rightly, a priority, but it is small farms’ development the only commercially viable option in terms of poverty reduction. The country’s millions of small-scale farms absorb labour, allow communities to build assets and help local markets flourish.
In the last three years, our partner GRET worked closely with small-farmers in the Dry Zone, an arid region in the centre of Myanmar to disseminate agro-ecological farming practices, and introduce farmers to simple, affordable and effective measures to reduce soil erosion and harvest rainwater. The support contributed to increasing their average income and strengthened farmers’ networks and overall knowledge.
“I used to grow pepper, cotton and sorgo. After having put all the conservation measures in place, I could switch to tomatoes, a more valuable crop, because more water was available. I earned 1 million kyats (about 744 dollars) from my second tomato harvest.”
“Personally, I think the greatest benefit the farmers draw from these soil conservation measures is the possibility to extend their plot. If they can cultivate a larger surface in a more effective manner, they can also diversify their income. The farmers in the programme also learnt to monitor and keep accounts of their expenditure and profits. They didn’t know how to do that previously.”