Myanmar Nyaungdon


$50,000 needed of $100,000

Implementing Organization

Catholic Relief Services (CRS)

Program Summary

The dual challenges of COVID-19 and political unrest ihave made life difficult for farmers in Myanmar.  Even before these challenges arose, agricultural extension services were limited.  Since February 2021, those services have completely halted. In addition, challenges with linkages between farmers and market actors means that access to key agricultural inputs as well as opportunities to sell crops at harvest have been limited.  Farmers have to figure out the markets by themselves, although many lack access to market information.

In order to address this situation, CRS and local partner KMSS Yangon are helping farmers to build their knowledge of improved cultivation methods that reflect changing weather patterns and natural resource management in order to improve resilience and food security. At the village level, farmer producer groups are being established to improve the access to market information and market engagement.  The program is also promoting nutrition-sensitive homestead gardening, which is intended to improve dietary diversity and promote gender-equitable behaviors at the household level.

Success Stories

Farming…For Profit, For A Change

This year, Mr. W didn’t need to take out a high-interest loan as he usually does in order to pay for seed and inputs to begin planting. By following agricultural practices he’d learned through the program, he’d increased his previous season’s yields by 50% and had earned enough, and then some, to handle all the expenses.

He lives with his two sons and their families and makes his living mainly from rice, but also keeps some livestock. He’d used traditional seeds and farming methods for 20 years, just like his parents before him, but his results had begun to worsen.

His fortunes reached a turning point in 2022 when he started participating in training presented by local partner Karuna Mission Social Solidarity (KMSS). KMSS’s focus is on enhancing productivity for smallholder farmers through a variety of best practices, access to inputs, and market linkages.

“I’ve changed my perspective on farming,” he says. “For example, I now understand the importance of seed quality for higher yields, and I use the manure from my livestock as organic fertilizer. This not only improves my harvest but saves me money on commercial fertilizer.”

Eager to embrace positive changes, Mr. W welcomed an in-kind loan of seed and input support provided by his producer-group management team. Without the financial burden of the initial yearly investment, he could start right in on new cultivation practices. Recognizing the critical role of weed control in boosting yield, he direct-seeded his rice and made timely applications of small amounts of herbicide and commercial fertilizer along with the organic composted manure.

He proudly announced that, “One of the first things I bought out of my profits was a solar battery for nighttime lighting in the house. This has significantly improved our quality of life.”

Mr. W expressed deep gratitude for the support he’s received and affirmed his commitment to participating in the in-kind loan program in the coming years. His success story stands as a testament to the transformative power of knowledge and technical advice in revitalizing agricultural practices and uplifting rural livelihoods.

Myanmar Nyaungdon Program
Led by Catholic Relief Services and Local Partner Karuna Mission Social Solidarity (KMSS)