“I am happy that I am able to produce these natural inputs very well. I feel that it’s worth to invest time to produce. Results are not only for me but also for my next generations. I am now sharing my experiences to other farmers.”
– U Mhat, Myanmar farmer
U Mhat is a farmer in Myin Chaung growing paddy and groundnuts. He used to add amendments to his fields using conventional methods, such as cow manure and chemical fertilizers. He did not have a system for calculating the proportions of inputs to amend his soil. It was entirely dependent on what resources he could find and afford. His yield from the paddy fields averaged 327 kg per half an acre.
Soil assessments in the area revealed the pH levels to be deficient at only 4.5, 7 being neutral. Muditar created a plan to train farmers in soil recovery with natural inputs provided to them. U Mhat was first in line to receive the training.
Immediately after the training, U Mhat produced natural inputs with other farmers from his village with the support of Muditar. He methodically followed the guidelines he received from the training, and by harvest time that year, his yield was 577 kg per half an acre! The following season, he continued using natural fertilizers with his funds. Muditar supported them with supervision and site visits. Unfortunately, heavy rains at harvest time seriously impacted his yield, which he anticipated would be 600 kg. He finished that season with 545 kilograms, but more importantly, the soil pH level had increased to 6.9!
U Mhat’s original plan was to experiment with just one field using natural inputs, unsure if it would significantly impact his crop yields. He quickly realized that the soil condition improved dramatically, increasing his yield and nurturing the soil to be healthier in the long-term by avoiding chemical inputs.
In the past, the yield from the farm was not enough for his family’s consumption, so they had to purchase rice for themselves. After the second season, U Mhat was producing enough to sell and provide food to his family. Now he is harvesting enough to save for the next season!
According to U Mhat, “I am happy that I am able to produce these natural inputs very well. I feel that it’s worth to invest time to produce. Results are not only for me but also for my next generations. I am now sharing my experiences to other farmers.”