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Myanmar has the potential to reclaim its position as a global agriculture powerhouse due to its rich soil, favourable climate and strategic geographical location. After decades of isolation the country is opening up, making it possible for new technologies to be developed and for its markets to connect globally. Smallholder agriculture represents more than 40% of Myanmar’s economy and involves more than 60% of its population. Agricultural production is still sub-optimal as rural farmers lack access to essential knowledge and services, which disadvantage them from improving their livelihoods. To systematically improve this sector, greater access to knowledge and agronomic advice, broader access to markets and better financing options are required. The smartphone penetration of more than 70% provides an opportunity to develop this at a rapid pace.
We are working to enhance existing farming advisory services on the Golden Paddy app using real-time and personalised crop calendars. Based on these specific crop calendars, satellite-based insights, agronomic models and farmer feedback, we will provide agronomic advice around crop planning, extreme event management and productivity improvements. The objectives are to improve productivity and reduce on-field crop loss by reducing the effect of major events. The Golden Paddy platform also enables access to input and offtake markets. It provides market prices, product, retailer and buyer profiles and facilitates matchmaking between the farmers and seller/buyer. To stimulate financial inclusion, the program will develop tailored financial products with local financial institutions, develop bankable portfolios of farmers and facilitate loan origination and delivery. The aim is to improve the attractiveness of this new market segment for financial institutions by making risk, delivery and operational costs transparent and manageable.