Myanmar SURE Project
Sustainable Rural Economic Development Project
One in three children in Myanmar experience stunted growth due to malnutrition. Compared to New Zealand more than 10 times the number of children under five die every year. The story behind these statistics is the great difficulty families have in providing adequate nutrition or earning an income that can support their growth, health and education.
The Sustainable Rural Economic (SURE) Development Project works in 12 villages in Myanmar’s Chin State to ensure families have the skills and resources they need to produce more nutritious and profitable crops, while at the same time taking better care of their environment.
This project will impact thousands of families by increasing their harvest through more productive and sustainable farming techniques, providing access to more profitable local and international markets and see innovative irrigation systems installed to allow a more diverse range of crops to be grown.
This project is a part of the NZ Government match scheme in which ADRA contribute 25% for projects in South East Asia. To help ADRA with this contribution please click on the donate button above
Project Cost: $3,900,000
Project Length: 2016 – 2022
U Ho Ling's Story
My name is U Ho Ling and I am 52 years old from Siatalai village in the Chin Hills. I have 11 family members including 6 sons, but not all live here.
In the past our main livelihood was shifting cultivation, primarily growing maize. During that time it was very difficult and there wasn’t always enough food for our village, sometimes there were shortages.
Because of this, we decided to change to Elephant Foot Yam farming which is very popular in our area, especially selling to the Chinese. We believed it would benefit our family.
It was very difficult to start and required a lot of hard work. We would find the seeds in the forest to plant but it would take several years for them
to grow big enough to sell. Each year it cost 20 lahks ($2,000 NZD) to grow Elephant Foot Yam, and I now have 15 acres. It was difficult on me and my family.
In 2017 we heard about an ADRA project that provided training in new agriculture techniques and distributed different vegetable seeds. This inspired us to be more interested in agriculture.
ADRA introduced us to an Elephant Foot Yam cutting machine and washer which cuts labour time and is cheaper to manage. ADRA also provided us with a solar dryer which keeps the rain and dust off the sliced Yam while using the sun to dry it. In the past we depended on clear sunny skies, but in monsoon season we couldn’t dry the harvest well. The solar dryer has really improved our situation as farmers for time and cost.
Today, all farmers in my village have become Elephant Foot Yam farmers like me.
Story: Pyae Phyo Lin
Photo: Emma McCrow