LIFT_Promoting sustainable growth of aquaculture in Myanmar to improve food security and income for communities in the Ayeyarwady Delta and Central Dry Zone (MYFish-Culture-MYFC)_Annual report 2018

This annual report of MYCulture project covers activities delivered and lessons learned throughout January-December 2018) of which a summary with key highlights are briefed below.
A total of 191 farmer groups were formed with a total of 3,149 farmers across 287 villages so far in the Delta and CDZ regions. A total of five aquaculture systems continued to be tested in the learning phase under different systems (ponds, chan myaung and WISH ponds) in Delta and CDZ under various water availabilities and access regimes (irrigated all year round, seasonally irrigated and rain-fed). During reporting period, a total of 888,969 fingerlings were stocked in grow out ponds in fifteen townships collaboration with PACT, GRET, NAG, HKI and DoF. Out of total number of fish seed distributed, 2,265,460 seed in the project area, a total of 430,770 fingerlings were nursersed and accessed by the farmers from the nursery farms established with the project supports. Overall, during this reporting period, 28 nurseries were established in both Pyapon and Daedaye (NAG area) in Delta, 13 nursery ponds in Yinmarbin and Meiktila (PACT area), 11 nursery ponds in Bogale and Mawlamyinegyune (GRET area). On average, the survival rate of fish fry in nursery ponds throughout project period was 67 % in NAG, 44% in GRET and 51 % in PACT supported areas respectively.
One of the key interventions of this period was facilitating access for SSA farmers to micro-credit. A total of 16 savings funds (13 GRET + 3 WHH) were formed amounting 5.07 million MMK with engaging 250 farmers with the supports from GRET while PACT and NAG facilitated formation of 73 saving funds (6.7 million MMK) with 1,077 farmers and 3 saving groups (2 million MMK) with 57 farmers respectively so far. In order to support community and aquaculture development, both feed makers and nursery farmers agreed to contribute to the saving fund by giving 15% of their profit. The learning phase farmers supported by PACT were linked with the Village Health Development fund which is the village base fund formed with the membership of the community. After the aqua-farmers group is formed, the members are provided cash grant by project through the VHDF committee and they become the member of the VHDF and can take loan for implementing aquaculture and other business purposes. For scaling, each farmer group formed the SSA committee under the supervision of VHDF and become the subcommittee of VHDF and run as specific aqua-fund group for aqua-farming purpose. NAG will organize farmers who are interested in a loan system into groups in order to encourage sustainable aquaculture business development.
The project supports the DoF-operated Hlaw Kar and Daedaye hatcheries to promote the GIFT (Genetically Improved Farmed Tilapia) breeding programme in order to reinforce sustainable aquaculture development in Myanmar. The project extended this intervention in Mandalay and Shwebo in collaboration with DoF and MFF, and established two new tilapia hatcheries. The aim is to establish a diversified seed supply network that is able to provide quality seed to both public and private hatcheries. More than 250,000 mono-sex tilapia seed were produced by these hatcheries and sold to farmers.
A total of 32 feed mills were established so far with the supports from the project at community level of which 30 mills are under operation. During this reporting period, a total of 119,808 kg of pellets was produced from these mills and used by 2,328 farmers to fed their fish.
The project delivered trainings on SSA ToT, Leadership and Management , Facilitations Skills, SIS breeding, Seed Distribution Networking, Gender and Nutrition Awareness, Photography Taking, Biosecurity, PCR (polymerase chain reaction) test training for eliminating disease risk, green way application training and a refresher training on SSA ToT. These trainings were organised by WorldFish for the IP staff, DoF staffs, some nursery farmers, and farmer leaders. GRET delivered bio-security training in the field to share the knowledge attained from the training organized by WorldFish. Similarly, apart from regular SSA module trainings PACT organized two sessions of leadership training in Yinmarbin and Meikhtila for farmer leaders from batch 3.
Pact and WorldFish team conducted a scoping visit to Saline Township for potential extension of new township in 2018. The decision was to move to saline to extend the working areas of the project and engage new scaling farmers in 2018. Similarly GRET is also extended their activities in Pyapon in collaboration with WHH to scale out the SSA technologies to new farmers.
The project introduced one community based aquaculture unit in Ywar Thit Village in Meiktila. This initiative was taken during late 2017 and started implementation at the end of 2017. A total of 45 farmers are involving in this business through shared investment and community grant provided by project. The community based aquaculture is fully operated by the management of community led committee. Similarly, project introduced women led aquaculture group in Yinmarbin, where a total of 15 female farmers are involved.
A total of 03 business models were developed for grow-out farmers, nursery operators and feed mills operators during 2018 to help them developing their business plans and generate income and benefits sustainably. A study was also conducted during the reporting period to assess various challenges that hinder the development of Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) in Myanmar and how the challenges could be overcome aiming to sustain pro-poor SMEs.