Mung bean is a low-input crop that can provide green manure as well as livestock feed and thus is favoured by smallholder farmers in Myanmar. As rice production is increasingly becoming less profitable for smallholders, mung bean is gaining popularity as a rotation crop for cash income. Non-availability of seed of improved mung bean varieties, various pests and diseases and poor crop management practices are some of the major factors contributing to significant yield loss.
The project titled “An Integrated Rural Economic and Social Development Programme for Livelihoods Improvement in the Dry Zone of Myanmar” is funded through the Livelihood and Food Security Trust Fund (LIFT) and led by the Centre for Alleviation of Poverty through Sustainable Agriculture (CAPSA-ESCAP) in partnership with the Asian and Pacific Centre for Transfer of Technology (APCTT), the Centre for Sustainable Agricultural Mechanization (CSAM) and the Network Activities Group (NAG). Under this project APCTT and NAG organized a ‘Workshop on Best Practices in mung bean (Green Gram) Seed Production, Quality Control and Maintenance’, in Magway, Myanmar, from 29 February-1 March 2016.
The workshop focused on brainstorming on the constraints in mung bean seed production in the Dry Zone of Myanmar and identifying possible solutions to improve mung bean seed production systems. Over 25 participants representing a diverse stakeholder group including lead farmers, farmer association representatives, NGOs, research institutions, key nodal agencies of the government including Department of Agricultural Research (DAR), and private sector participated in this workshop.
The active deliberations during the workshop helped APCTT to develop a blue print for future activities that could be implemented in Myanmar to strengthen the value chain for mung bean production through policy, technology and market-related interventions. This workshop also provided a valuable platform for the World Vegetable Center (AVRDC), APCTT’s knowledge partner for this workshop, to understand the various needs and constraints of farmers in the Dry Zone and to plan launch of new and improved mung bean varieties in Myanmar to meet these needs through their ongoing project funded by the Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research (ACIAR).
This LIFT-funded capacity-building initiative also provided a valuable opportunity to contribute to the International Year of Pulses 2016 (IYP 2016) declared by the United Nations General Assembly to heighten public awareness of the nutritional benefits of pulses as part of sustainable food production aimed towards food and nutrition security.