Farmers working with a new association in Magway, Myanmar, are learning how to adapt to climate change and extreme weahter by using water conservation and agroforesty practices.

Encouraged by leaders of a new, farmer-focused enterprise called Sesame Farmers Development Association in Magway Township in Myanmar's Central Dry Zone, producers in July and August 2019 began experimenting with new methods of dealing with erratic and extreme weather aimed at preventing crop losses. The Association teamed up with USAID's Value Chains for Rural Development project and the local Land Use Department to brainstorm ways they could better conserve water and control erosion in their sesame fields. By using small, easy-to-build, earthen "check dams" in shallow trenches around their fields, farmers developed new ability to prevent their fields from being inundated during periods of torrential rain. They also began planting wild almond saplings as windbreaks around their sesame fields to stem erosion and provide a second source of income (the trees produce sterculia gum that can be exported to Korea.) The new practices are working, farmers say, and sesame plants are healthier than in previous seasons, with "extra" stems flowering beautifully in advance of the coming harvest.

Sesame farmers in Myanmar adapt to extreme weather

Copyright © 2019 Timothy David May, Winrock International

Country Burma (Myanmar)
Topics Adaptation, Disaster Risk Management

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