CAPSA in partnership with the Network Activities Group (a national NGO) and the Department of Rural Development of the Ministry of Livestock, Fisheries and Rural Development of Myanmar (DRD-MLFRD) organized a ‘Workshop on Promoting Farmer-led Innovation for Climate-resilient Agriculture’ in Mandalay, Myanmar from 10-11 December 2015. The workshop was part of the capacity building component of the project titled ‘An Integrated Rural Economic and Social Development Programme for Livelihoods Improvement in the Dry Zone of Myanmar’ which is funded by the Livelihoods and Food Security Trust Fund (LIFT - http://www.lift-fund.org) and aims to support livelihoods improvement and food security in the country’s Dry Zone that suffers from a high incidence of poverty.
The objectives of the workshop were to:
- Enable a better understanding of agricultural innovation processes and the importance of farmers’ innovation;
- Provide an understanding of the concept and key approaches for farmer-led innovation for climate resilient agriculture (CRA) in context of the Dry Zone (including gender dimension);
- Discuss policy priorities and institutional mechanisms for promoting farmer-led innovation for CRA as they relate to the Dry Zone;
- Share experiences and successful cases on farmer-led innovation for CRA from within Myanmar as well as from the Asia-Pacific region.
Twenty three participants attended the event representing technical staff as well as community leaders from a broad cross-section of stakeholders including the Department of Agriculture, Department of Agricultural Research, Department of Agricultural Planning, DRD-MLFRD, Yezin Agricultural University, farmers associations from Mandalay, Magway and Sagaing regions, a seed merchants’ chamber, and LIFT development partners (NGOs).
The workshop was led by qualified International and national experts and was conducted in interactive mode with a significant amount of group exercises which saw active engagement of the participants. To enable knowledge sharing, some participants also presented their own cases and experiences with farmer innovations. Another interesting element of the workshop was a farm visit where participants interacted with farming families and got hands-on exposure to approaches for identifying farmer innovations.
Feedback received from participants in the wrap up session was quite positive. They indicated they had found the workshop useful and received many good ideas. Overall, the workshop helped to strengthen the capacities of participants to promote sustainable agriculture and rural development in order to meet the challenges posed by climate change.