LOS BAÑOS, THE PHILIPPINES — A workshop aiming to make irrigated agriculture more profitable was presented by the Myanmar Department of Agriculture (DOA), together with the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI) for the World Bank-funded Agriculture Development Support Project (ADSP).

The project’s other goals include diversifying, creating sustainability through participatory planning, improve management approaches and increase irrigation options. It will be implemented in Bago, Nay Pyi Taw, Mandalay, and Sagaing regions in Myanmar, and will upgrade 35,000 hectares of existing irrigation infrastructure. The initiative seeks to provide these direct benefits to 22,000 farm households, particularly those who have less than 0.8 hectares of land.

IRRI will provide farm advisory and technical services to the project’s partners for three years. These services will involve support to varietal development and seed multiplication; soil management and crop nutrition; integrated pest management and reducing losses; and extension of modern agricultural practices. In addition, IRRI will provide advice on upgrading laboratory and field equipment and facilities, developing skills and capacity of the Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock and Irrigation (MoALI) partners and other stakeholders.

During the workshop, MoALI and IRRI developed a work plan and defined the expected outputs for the project. This includes upgrading laboratory and field facilities for seed processing, mechanization and postharvest and facilitating focus group discussions on key constraints at the project sites.

Staff from MoALI and scientists from IRRI participated in the workshop held at Nay Pyi Taw Jan. 26. It was led by Dr. Ye Tint Tun, director general of DOA, and Dr. Indira Janaki Ekanayake, senior agricultural economist and agriculture global practice coordinator for South East Asia of the World Bank together with Dr. David Johnson, IRRI South East Asia representative and Dr. Jongsoo Shin, IRRI representative to Myanmar.