Exploring Sustainable Rice Cultivation Methods and Value Chain Development in Myanmar

CEDAC is not only working to promote sustainable agriculture in Cambodia, but is also sharing its expertise on organic agribusiness with its peers in Asia. A team from CEDAC consisting of President Dr. Yang Saing Koma, Health and Environment Director Mr. Keam Makarady and Program Officer Ms. Tong Chantheang participated in a training workshop entitled “Exploring Sustainable Rice Cultivation Methods and Value Chain Development in Myanmar,” organized by Global Environmental Institute and hosted by the China National Bamboo Research Centre in Hangzhou, China. The CEDAC team discussed their experience with SRI rice and developing organic value chains in Cambodia with 12 people from Myanmar who attended the workshop, which aimed to support rural development at the community level in Myanmar by drawing expertise and experience from China and Cambodia.

Mr. Keam Makarady gave an overview of CEDAC’s experience with organic rice production and certification. He also explained how to set up smallholder organic rice groups with the internal control system for certification in the domestic and international markets.

Dr. Yang Saing Koma spoke on developing the organic rice value chain in Cambodia and future perspectives. He highlighted the three steps introduced by CEDAC initiatives, which emphasize switching from:

1. Traditional/conventional rice farming methods to System of Rice Intensification (SRI);
2. Subsistence oriented farming to marketed oriented farming through use of high value varieties and organic SRI methods;
3. Selling paddy individually to collective paddy sales, followed by cooperative marketing of milled rice through integration of rice mills into the system.

Futhermore, the CEDAC delegation learned how to improve projects in Cambodia from this training workshop, especially related to the Chinese participants experience with biochar in rice cultivation and rural microfinance.