Civil society organizations: Farmer organization
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Mr. Tin Hla, Tin Hla Farm Owner
Four years ago, Tin Hla and most of the farmer’s in Pekon area were growing opium. The government recently tightened his control on the opium production leading to a drastic decrease over the last years. Ever since, farmers are looking for alternative sources of income. Tin Hla started organic farming in 2014, when he realized that opium was no longer a sustainable cash crop. Tin Hla decided to invest in perennial crops on his 8.9ha and now owns a very diverse orchard as well as 1.2 ha of maie and . ha of rice field. He also grows coffee and tea and sesame in the winter season. Tin Hla received a training on organic farming and Participatory Guarantee Systems from Kalyana Mitta Development Foundation in 2014. After this training, he decided to form a PGS group with 4 other farmers.
Tin Hla invested in an orchard made of diverse fruit trees such as mango, banana, djenkol, macadamia, orange and lime. He also grows groundnut, pigeon peas, local pepper, avocado, pineapple, coffee, tea, maie, rice, sesame and sunower. To boost the soil fertility, Tin Hla uses various agroecological methods such as composting (“bokashi”: cow dung, rice bran, rice husk, molasses, wood charcoal, bean cake), rotation (rice/groundnut), including rotation with plants fixing nitrogen maiepigeon peas. He also has earthworms from which he uses the vermicompost and vermiwash. He uses fermented fish as a plant tonic and makes his own bio pesticides with garlic, fermented tobacco leaves and vinegar. As Tin Hla does not rear livestock, he still depends on external sources for manure and some other cheap ingredients he uses for the compost. Tin Hla demonstrated efforts to maintain soil fertility and is good at preserving biodiversity and natural resources. He also benefits from some autonomy through self-building and repairing his farm equipment’s thus creating very favorable conditions for mid-long term production.
After attending KMF young farmer leadership program on organic agriculture and PGS in 2014, Tin Hla shared his knowledge about compost making and organic fertilizers with over 40 neighboring farmers. He trained them together with his friend and neighbor farmer Tun win, a former M staff. They would like to reach more and more farmers as 80% of the population from Pekon are farmers. 40 farmers of Pekon were sent to the same KMF training attended by Tin Hla, and about 30 of them were interested in forming a PGS group.