Project Case Study
Strengthening small-scale agriculture in Rakhine State
Good agricultural practice, better water access and market linkages for improved and sustainable livelihoods of farmers in Myanmar
Sandwiched between the Bay of Bengal and the Rakhine Yoma mountain range, Rakhine State is one of Myanmar’s least developed areas. Communities face malnutrition, poverty, conflict, weak infrastructure and susceptibility to extreme weather events.
Much of Rakhine’s population relies on subsistence agriculture and more than half the population is landless and depends on casual labour for income.
Beginning in 2015, ASI implemented a 5-year NZ$11.5m (US$7.8m) project on behalf of the New Zealand Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade, providing support to agricultural communities and government extension services in some of the most politically- and operationally-challenging parts of Myanmar.
It is an ambitious programme to improve agricultural water management for the dry season and facilitate crop diversification in order to increase farmers’ incomes, employment and food security.
Project success to date
- Commercial farmers have adopted good agricultural practices
- Practices appropriate for small-scale production have improved food security
- Fundamental constraints to winter season commercial farming, including access to fresh water for irrigation, are being addressed
- The project is strengthening value chains, facilitating market access for the products of dry season cropping, and ensuring production activities are driven by market demand.
- Government staff are receiving on-the-job training to build public sector extension capacity