Taking Farming to the Next Level
Not long ago, Thwe wished she knew how to get more out of the acre of farmland her family owns. Her wish came true when she was selected to receive a three-month intensive course in cash crop cultivation with the support of local partner Karuna Mission Social Solidarity.
Thwe paused her college studies to help on her family farm. “My father and my younger brothers are persons with disabilities, and the family has depended on my mother’s work since I was in high school.”
She started growing a few cash crops on their land, her mother selling the vegetables at a bazaar two miles away from their village. “One acre of land is a decent-sized farm,” she said, but, due to her limited knowledge, she and her mother still couldn’t make ends meet. She needed to supplement the family income as a daily wage laborer on farms that produce betel leaves which, chewed with areca palm nuts, produce a stimulant or narcotic effect. This is when she began wishing for greater know-how and a more productive farm.
When Thwe was selected in June of 2022 as one of the two youth the program would send to receive intensive agricultural training, she was thrilled. Being away for three months was a hardship for the family, but her mother resumed the work because it was clear that the training was a way for them to finally get ahead. Thwe received both conceptual knowledge and practical experience in growing many kinds of vegetable cash crops using improved cultivation practices like crop rotation and appropriate application of fertilizers.
On course completion, she started demonstration plots on her land to test which crops would be best for her soil and weather conditions and produce the most profitable cash crops and nutritious vegetables to feed the family. She is now providing coaching services to over 50 farmers who have established trial plots like hers. Thwe believes that she can contribute to the overall resiliency of her entire community with the knowledge she shares with them.
Myanmar Nyaungdon Program
Led by Catholic Relief Services and Local Partner Karuna Mission Social Solidarity