In Kyauk Se township of Mandalay Region, Network Activities Group (NAG) has been introducing a ‘Farmer to Farmer Sesame Programme’ focusing on Good Agricultural Practice (GAP) for improving sesame produce quality (chemical free products), collective selling/ buying and enhancement of value chains. With just support of NAG, the programme is mainly led by Farmer Development Association (FDA) members as they are invaluable to the sharing process because of their own experiences.
The programme is rooted in Magway FDA success practices and extended as an expansion practice. The project is part of an effort to test GAP and sesame market development in Kyauk Se area where there are many irrigated sesame plantation acres and most of the farmers depend only on Madalay market to sell sesame products.
Based on the success of sesame production in Magway, stakeholder meeting was initially and formally organized in April 2018 in Kyauk Se Township, despite of the fact that there had been many informal visits by NAG and some FDA members. The major organizers of the event are NAG, Magway FDA members, Kyauk Se Department of Agriculture (DoA) representatives and private sector export companies. They directly liaised with the local farmers from twenty six villages in the township – answering their questions, clarifying post harvest techniques and assisting them in the adoption of GAP practices etc.
The programme will facilitate expanding the sesame export market from regional market to international market such as Japan while also amplifying the reach of government, civil society organizations and private partners through efficient dissemination methods.
Why this Programme is Important
Agriculture remains the predominant form of income generating livelihood in Dry Zone (DZ) Myanmar. Approximately 70% of total population in the DZ is farmers. The farmers have been con-fronted by many challenges– the negative impact of climate change, increased frequency of natural disasters, inefficient and unreliable supply chains and information access. So, the knowledge of making decisions on selection of the agricultural commodities they plant, choice of markets to sell their agricultural products have been becoming increasingly and intensively demanded among the farmers.
NAG has strongly witnessed the development of collective selling or buying and GAP practices in agricultural sector in the DZ has brought economic growth to the farmers in Magway by emerging FDAs to provide new opportunities, to address the challenges through increasing collaboration and discussion about quality seeds access from credible government and private sources, pest control and market access.
This farmer participation and knowledge sharing programme will soon engage with the farmers from Pyaw Bwe, Yamethin and Ayartaw townships in Mandalay region. It is likely to happen that the farmers wish to learn from each other and bond with that which they share mutually. NAG also believes this element of geographical sameness or deep similarity allows for better engagement with the agricultural related practices and procedures.