Fostering Resilience Through Vegetables (Foster Veg): Improving the Income and Resilience of Smallholder Farming Communities in Southern Shan State Through Skills Building and Market Development in the Vegetable Sector
Context and Project Objective
With little knowledge of improved farming techniques and limited access to quality agricultural inputs, farmers in southern Shan state struggle with poor yields and low or nonexistent profits from their crops. For internally displaced people in the region, these challenges are exacerbated by a lack of land and resources.
The Foster Veg project aims to bring profitable and sustainable vegetable farming practices to diverse populations in southern Shan state, thereby increasing farmers’ knowledge, skills, and income; improving local and displaced communities’ nutrition through access to fresh vegetables; and strengthening the agricultural value chain through growth in input markets.
To achieve these goals, East-West Seed Knowledge Transfer Foundation will employ a multipronged approach:
- Using individualized coaching for key farmers, regularly scheduled on-field training sessions for neighboring (“core group”) farmers, and periodic training sessions and Field Days to reach other farmers, EWS-KT will directly train 4,105 farmers in improved vegetable production techniques. An additional 30,000 farmers will receive valuable guidance via EWS-KT social media channels and digital learning tools.
- To enhance knowledge dissemination, the EWS-KT team will set up 4 study farms. Study farms (also called learning farms) showcase EWS-KT’s recommended agricultural methods and are an excellent resource for training agricultural sector professionals and farmers in best practices for vegetable production. Each study farm will showcase techniques for both commercial farms and home gardens.
- A unique training-of-trainers component of the project will empower students to share vegetable farming knowledge at the community level. Each year, 20 students—10 from local communities and 10 from internally displaced communities—will be intensively trained at the study farms and certified as community trainers. These certified trainers will have the skills to train farmers in their communities and assist community members with establishing home gardens.
- 150 key farmers (at least 45% women and 35% youth) will be intensively trained, resulting in average net income of US$100 per crop cycle and best-practice adoption rates of 35% to 50%
- 1,000 core group farmers will be trained in all aspects of crop production
- 3,000 farmers will be directly reached through trainings and Field Days, resulting in average net income of US$25 per crop cycle
- 1,500 farmers will have improved access to quality agricultural inputs and will get better advice through more knowledgeable agro-input dealers, EWS-KT technical videos shown in agro-input shops, and printed EWS-KT crop guides in the shops
- 30,000 farmers will get better advice via social media and digital tools like VeggieTap
- 4 learning farms will be established
- 40 students will be trained as certified community trainers, and the 20 certified students within the project area will then each train 50 farmers and assist with setting up 5 home gardens, for a total of 100 home gardens and 1,000 student-trained farmers
Funding partners: Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC), HEKS/EPER
15 August 2023 – 14 August 2025
Myanmar: Shan state (Hopong, Kalaw, Lawsauk, Pindaya, and Ywar Ngan)