Funded by the Livelihoods and Food Security Trust Fund (LIFT), this project focuses on improving the income and nutritional status of the rural poor in Thandaunggyi Township, which is located in Northern Kayin State. Since 2016, SNV implements interventions together with a consortium of CDN-ZOA, World Concern Myanmar, Cordaid and four local partners (KMSS, PKBA, BMB and KKBA).
Between 1996 and 2011, the people of Thandaunggyi township in Kayin State suffered from an armed conflict which led to widespread displacement. About 50% of those displaced fled to Thandaunggyi town. When active conflict ended in 2012, these 16,000 internally displaced people (IDPs) slowly started to resettle. The area is now populated by a mixture of IDPs, IDP returnees and hosting communities.
The project targets over 6,750 smallholder farmer households with commercial potential in Thandaunggyi to restore and improve their livelihoods. Support is extended to farmers to “step-up” and improve their position in agricultural value chains, to get connected to (international) markets and get access to credit and other inputs. Besides improving their incomes, the project focuses on improving the nutritional status and WASH conditions by addressing access to safe drinking water and nutritious food.
SNV is responsible for strengthening the farmers’ position in agricultural value chains. After three years of implementation, key achievements are:
- Three value chain assessments for cardamom, turmeric and coffee, identifying opportunities and constraints for local stakeholders and providing direction for further project activities;
- Quality improvement of cardamom in the project area as a result of training, guidance and construction of seven improved cardamom dryer facilities;
- The establishment of a Multi-Stakeholder Platform (MSP) linking farmers, traders and other stakeholders. The MSP regularly convenes, discusses the developments in the cardamom value chain, assesses constraints and opportunities and has established contact with (foreign) buyers of their produce. The MSP has successfully advocated for policy changes to enhance the profitability of the production of and trade in cardamom. It has resulted in the government declaring cardamom a priority crop, and classifying cardamom as an agricultural commodity with a related appropriate tax regime.
In 2019-2020, SNV will consolidate its achievements and add a focus on turmeric. Interventions will focus on further investment in quality improvement through improved dryer facilities and training; the implementation of a quality based payment system; strengthening the MSP as an independent platform representing the interests of cardamom and turmeric farmers, traders and other stakeholders; and supporting the MSP in connecting to new (international) markets, fetch prices that reflect the improved quality and achieve improved incomes for smallholder farmers.
Photo copyright: Jilke Tanis/CDN-ZOA