Civil society organizations: Farmer organization
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Mr. Saw Htoo Baw, Saw Htoo Baw Farm Owner
Saw Htoo Baw took over his family farm along with his two brothers after returning from Malaysia where he worked as a welder. He started practicing SRI in 2016 after attending a ten-month residential intensive training program at NEEDMyanmar, an Eco Village Farm School. Saw Htoo Baw was willing to return to natural traditional farming but was lacking information and knowledge and was looking for learning opportunities. dentified as a young farmer with potential, he was selected for NEED’s training by the Agricultural Farmer Federation of Myanmar (AFFM), from which he is a member, at the township level. Since 2 years, he is growing two seasons of rice on 12 ha following SRI practices. Some fruit trees border his rice paddies and he grows vegetables for his household consumption during winter. He also rears cattle, poultry, porks and goats.
After Saw Htoo Baw farm attended NEED training, he introduced many changes in his farming practices. First of all, he steadily reduced the use of chemicals while increasing the output of organic compost. The rice is grown without any synthetic inputs and paddies are ploughed the traditional way, using buffalos. There are two seasons of rice and in the dry season vegetables grows along some fruit trees. Saw Htoo Baw managed to adapt the SRI techniques to the specificities of his farms soil and environment and remains satisfied with the yearly yields. To boost the soil fertility, Saw Htoo Baw creates and uses his own high quality compost on site (rice husk and chicken manure). Another important part of his farm management is the introduction of livestock to be able to achieve the goal of being a fully organic and natural farm. He relies on ducks for pest control, as they are good snails’ hunters. The poultry and cows roam the farm depositing nutrients rich manure and regulating the pests. With his compost and his livestock manure, he has a regular and sufficient source of nitrogen for his crops.
Saw Htoo Baw also plays a role in teaching and encouraging farmer groups to use compost, using internal resources thus reducing the use of offfarm, external and non-renewable inputs. He has trained numerous farmer groups, even beyond his village. In 2017, the number of farmers using SRI techniques had increased from 5 to 7 in his village and area of cultivation from 20 to 70 acres.