Technical Centers for Farmers and Food Producers
Agriculture is the business of managing the variables of environment, commercials and supply chain. Today the variables are becoming more extensive due to disruptive factors such as climate change, pandemics, socio- and geo-political dynamics. A farmer in Shan state will always be struggling to sustain her farming operations if the input prices are too high and the products are not bought with market price due to pesticide residue on her produces. In fact, previous studies evidently show that lack of knowledge and technology is the biggest barrier for Myanmar agriculture sector which put millions of farmers in poor livelihoods.
Agri-tech solutions are very often seen as tools only relevant to more developed countries and not fit for smaller-holders. This has been proven otherwise by many case-studies in developing countries where agriculture is predominant segment of the economy. For example, a simple soil nutrient testing can help farmers reduce the cost of chemical fertilizer and become more profitable. Such technologies are crucial for farmers in Myanmar today to help them make better, evidence-based decision makings.
Technical Centers (TC) for Farmers and Food Producers (တောင်သူစိုက်ပျိုး၊ထုတ်လုပ်နည်းပညာပံ့ပိုးရေးစင်တာ) are vehicles to bring technologies for better, evidence-based decision-makings closer to farmers and food producers in non-urban, agriculturally prevalent areas.
Improving Decision Makings
With the help of carefully chosen technologies well-suitable for Myanmar smallholder farmers, TC's technical services are helping farmers improve their fertilizer decisions through soil nutrient intelligence solutions acquired from a Netherlands-based technology partner. Near InfraRed (NIR) soil scanners read the measurements of soil macro and micro nutrients within minutes and produce the crop-based fertilization recommendation on-site.
Improving Production management
Effective management of the farm is one of the most influencing factor for commercial success. Via the Technical Centers, MILS intends to help farmers record, analyze and make informed decisions based on the historical data such as fertilizer use, pesticide application patterns and other activities to efficiently manage the farming operations together with a well-recognized international partner so that farmers can save the cost, increase the productivity and market access.
Improving the Market Access
Improving market access requires fulfilling market-driven standards and certifications. Via the Technical Centers, MILS is helping farmers and food producers/processors with necessary laboratory testings for food safety and quality, implementing food safety and quality management systems and achieve certifications such as Good Agriculture Practices (GAP) and HACCP by using its strong record of helping top multinational companies and local producers.
The first Technical Center opened its doors in March 2022 in Aung Ban, Kalaw Township in Southern Shan State and has been operational, helping farmers and food producers in the region. Expansion of more Technical Centers across the country's agriculturally predominant regions is planned as interest from key stakeholders increase.