Myanma Awba Group and SoilCares, a Netherlands-based company, has teamed up to deliver affordable, on-the-spot soil testing services to the smallholder farmers of Myanmar.
On 7-8 February 2017, a multi-stakeholder workshop was held in Yezin, near the capital Naypyitaw, to discuss best practices for managing soil fertility and crop nutrition. Workshop attendees included delegations from Wageningen University, SoilCares, the Embassy of the Netherlands, the Myanmar Department of Agricultural Research, the Myanmar Department of Agriculture and Myanma Awba Group.
The meeting featured a live demonstration of the SoilCares Soil Scanner, which will be further developed in the country by Myanma Awba Group for the benefit of smallholder farmers. The Myanma Awba Group will also lead the roll-out of the technology across the country.
With its reach of over three million farming families, SoilCare sees Myanma Awba Group as the ideal Myanmar partner. “With its focus on leading technologies, quality crop inputs and a value chain approach – all linked with extensive on-farm training – Myanma Awba Group clearly adheres to the profile that the SoilCares group seeks to partner with,” said Robbert Aussems, International Sales Manager for SoilCares.
“The SoilCares Scanner technology has an ideal fit in our service offerings,” said Martin Weiss, Chief Agronomist for Myanma Awba Group. “The technology will enable us to make cost-effective and grower-focused fertiliser recommendations, resulting in higher crop yields and improved return on investment for farmers.”
The Myanmar government strongly endorsed the scanner technology, with Dr. Tin Htut, Permanent Secretary of the Department of Agriculture, opening the workshop at the Department of Agricultural research facilities near Naypyitaw.
SoilCares and Myanma Awba Group will spend the next three months developing the calibration database by collecting soil samples from over 600 locations throughout the country. Roll-out to Myanmar farmers is scheduled for mid-2017.