When farmers living in isolated villages in central Rakhine State need urgent information about agriculture or livestock, their only option is to travel to the Department of Agriculture or NGO offices in town. For most this means losing a day’s work to boat, or if possible, road travel.

“If there are problems with livestock production, it’s not easy to get advice,” says Ko Sa Nay Aung from Chaung Net village in Minbya Township.

Thanks to growing smartphone use in rural Rakhine state and a new mobile phone application called Green Way, farmers might be able to avoid the slow and expensive journey to township capitals.

 

 

The app provides news on agriculture and livestock, techniques for improving production, information on fertilizers and paddy varieties, and techniques for controlling pests and diseases.

“If we have any problems we can easily access the Green Way app to find solutions,” said Ko Sa Nay Aung, one of 20 farmers who was trained to use the Green Way agriculture app by Tat Lan in Myebon in September.

The app also updates market prices for agricultural commodities like paddy, vegetables and fruits, so that farmers can make sure they are earning their fair share.

“Now I know how to get updated information about market prices by using the app,” says Ma Khin Mar Sein, 20, who attended the training on behalf of her father and plans to share what she has learnt with other farmers in Yin Chaung, Minbya Township.  “This means we can negotiate a better price when selling our paddy and other agriculture products.”

Like Ma Khin Mar Sein, U Than Shwe Maung from Laung Da Reik village is encouraged by how easy it is to access information on the app.

“We can now access information on growing different kinds of crops as well as animal production. For example, we can see which winter crops we should grow after the monsoon season so that we can best use our land to increase our income,” says the 42-year-old farmer.

“Before, we could only rely on the Department of Agriculture and INGOs for information on farming. Now we can just easily access this information from Green Way.”

 

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31 Oct, 2018 Tat Lan