September 23, 2017

Communities in Myanmar’s Dry Zone Adapting to Climate Change

Volunteers learn new farming techniques at a gree house in Mangway located in Myanmar’s dry zone. Photo: oilseedcrops.org

Communities in Myanmar’s Dry Zone are benefitting new farming techniques, including crop spacing methods, drought resistant crop selection, water conservation and environmentally sensitive livestock husbandry practices, as part of a United Nations Development Programme program, according to a press release issued by the international organization yesterday.
The agricultural techniques are being implemented as part of a project called “Addressing Climate Change Risks on Water Resources and Food Security in the Dry Zone of Myanmar”. The project is targeting 250,000 people living in the townships of Shwebo and Monywa in Sagaing Region, Myingyan and Nyaung Oo in Mandalay Region, and Chauk in Magway Region.
The four-year US$7.9 million project is the first in Myanmar to receive funding from the Adaptation Fund. The project is being implemented by UNDP in partnership with the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environmental Conservation and the Dry Zone Greening Department based in Mandalay. The project started in 2015 and will conclude in 2019.
Through the project, freshwater is made available to communities during the dry season and skills and tools for climate-resilient agricultural and livestock practices and climate risk information are provided.
Last week, UNDP Country Director, Peter Batchelor and the Director General of MONREC’s Dry Zone Greening Department U Htay Aung visited some villages in Shwebo township in Sagaing Region and met with communities which are beneficiaries of the project. Some farmers are rearing climate resistant goats, pigs and poultry, while others are planting specially developed climate resistant pulses and other crops. As part of the field visit, they also had the opportunity to see a field where scientists from the Yezin Agricultural University and local farmers are selecting a rice variety best suited to the current local climatic conditions.
During his visit, Mr. Batchelor also met with the Chief Minister of Magway, HE Dr Aung Moe Nyo; the Chief Minister of Sagaing, HE Dr Myint Naing; and the Chief Minister of Mandalay, Dr Zaw Myint Maung. During his meetings he briefed them on the progress of the project, and assured them of UNDP’s commitment to improving the livelihoods, and building resilience, of communities living in Myanmar’s Dry Zone.—GNLM

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