Climate change is taking its toll on the people and economy of Southeast Asia. In Myanmar, around 250,000 people earn their living in the aquaculture sector. However, with the Mekong region getting warmer, sea levels are rising and regional water resources are being affected. Aquaculture is already under threat due to floods, while droughts and low water levels are affecting water quality, increasing toxicity, and causing fish deaths.

AQUADAPT-Myanmar, hosted by WorldFish, is one of five partners of the IDRC-funded AQUADAPT-Mekong project. The project aims to improve the capacity of fish farmers in Myanmar to manage climate-related risks and help them adapt to climate change through the adoption of innovations. The challenge was to find a means of transferring knowledge to local aquaculture farmers. One solution was to leverage the prolific growth of Myanmar’s telecommunications sector. At the beginning of 2019, Myanmar had more than one mobile subscription for every person in the country (56.8 million subscriptions for a population of 54 million people), and more than 20 million social media users. Using a mobile application (app) was a logical choice for sharing information.

With this objective in mind, a Myanmar-based social enterprise called Greenovator was approached to develop a nationwide information-communication platform. The company’s keystone product, a free mobile app called Green Way, provides farmers with information about local weather, farm productivity, and income. With features like crop guidelines, publications, a question-and-answer section, and a farming record that users can personalize, Green Way delivers practical real-time support to farmers. Currently, there are more than 120,000 registered users of the application in 327 of Myanmar’s 355 townships, 20% of whom are women. It thus provides a network that AQUADAPT-Myanmar and other research-for-development projects can use to reach a large number of farmers cheaply and efficiently.

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01 Nov, 2019 IDRC-funded AQUADAPT-Mekong project