Myanmar

ADVANCE

2017 - 2020

MEDA, in partnership with Australia’s Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT), aimed to improve smallholder farming practices through training and demonstration plots, and facilitate market linkages to support farmers to sell their produce.

Overview

ADVANCE

The ADVANCE Myanmar partnership pilots the development of a new regional market for East West Seed (EWS), an international seed supplier in Kayin, Myanmar, primarily using a ‘woman lead farmer’ model.

Goal

This initiative aimed to improve smallholder farming practices through training and demonstration plots, and facilitate market linkages to support farmers to sell their produce.

Reach

Through MEDA’s Improving Market Opportunities for Women (IMOW) project, MEDA was active in 29 villages in Kayin, improving rice production and working closely with the private sector. EWS worked with over 4,000 smallholder farmers in other parts of Myanmar, and across South East and South Asia.

Context

Due to more than sixty years of armed conflict, Kayin State in Southern Myanmar has been isolated and economically disadvantaged from other regions of Myanmar. As a result, many people from Kayin State have migrated to Thailand and many are internally displaced people (IDPs) who have dispersed throughout the country. The agricultural industry in Kayin State faces a number of challenges, including an inability to train farmers on improved agricultural practices and little means to provide incentives for agriculture sector development.

Opportunity

 With many refugees and IDPs moving back to the area to reclaim land and pursue greater incomes and livelihoods, local vegetable agriculture has an opportunity to grow in the region and stem the tide of agricultural imports from Thailand. Through EWS’ large share of the vegetable seed market in Myanmar, MEDA and EWS increased its seed sales in Kayin State. Supply chain actors, including input suppliers, traders and wholesalers  benefitted from the availability of new products and business opportunities. 

Strategy

The ADVANCE Myanmar partnership piloted the development of a new regional market for East West Seed (EWS), an international seed supplier in Kayin, Myanmar, primarily using a ‘woman lead farmer’ model. This initiative improved smallholder farming practices through training and demonstration plots, and facilitated market linkages to support farmers to sell their produce.

The ADVANCE initiative brought together EWS and MEDA. Through MEDA’s Improving Market Opportunities for Women (IMOW) project, MEDA worked in 29 villages in Kayin, improving rice production and working closely with the private sector. EWS worked with over 4,000 smallholder farmers in other parts of Myanmar, and across South East and South Asia.

This initiative promoted women’s economic empowerment by improving female farmers’ as well as male farmers’ knowledge and practices in growing market vegetables. It also supported their efforts to form new market linkages for the sale of their products. In addition, it enhanced women’s voices in community leadership by promoting lead farmers and sales agents.

Funder

This project was undertaken with the financial support of the Government of Australia through the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade

Partners