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News > Science and Tech

Mobile Applications Revolutionize Farmers' Lives in Myanmar

  • Farmer plants rice seedlings in a paddy field on the outskirts of Yangon.

    Farmer plants rice seedlings in a paddy field on the outskirts of Yangon. | Photo: Reuters

Published 18 February 2018
Opinion

Golden Paddy, produced by Impact Terra, shares the mission of helping farmers increase their productivity.

Mobile phone applications are revolutionizing Myanmar's agriculture industry, known to be "the most favorable agricultural conditions in all of Asia,” according to the World Bank. 

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Applications like Green Way and Golden Paddy are revolutionizing Myanmar's agriculture industry by helping farmers increase their crop production and also help with dwindling sales. 

Some of the key features of these applications are weather forecasts, monitoring daily crop market trend prices to help farmers assess and price their crop competitively and tips detailing best farming practices, among others. 

Green Way, launched in 2016, focuses on sustainable agriculture and was created by three agriculture professionals in May 2011 as a website to help connect rural growers and make them aware of the modern world's innovations in the agricultural industry. 

"Green Way is my dream to link farmers and experts," Yin Yin Phyu told AFP. "The farmers can get help whenever they need."

The application's main goal was to make it farmer-friendly, as "this is a community that is afraid to use this type technology by fear of it being too complicated."

"It took us five years to develop this farmer-friendly app. We have been studying the farmers' needs, behaviors and farming conditions whilst working closely with them." 

Golden Paddy, produced by Impact Terra, also shares the mission of helping farmers increase their productivity. 

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“I noticed that most farmers in Myanmar possess a smartphone, but that there is no proper apps or local content that is useful to improve their daily farming practices,” Impact Terra’s founder and CEO Erwin Sikma told Forbes magazine.

The agricultural sector amounts to nearly 28 percent of the country's Gross Domestic Product, GDP. So far, the app claims to have reached a little over 72,000 farmers, with 17 percent of them being women in nearly 329 townships. 

"We used to just farm the way our parents showed us," San San Hla, a 35-year-old farmer from the village of Aye Ywar west of Yangon, told AFP.

"But after getting the app, I now see how we should be doing it ... it's better to use proper techniques rather than just working blindly."

Green Way makers said it can be used by other stakeholders in the green industry like non-profits, governments, traders and local shops. 

"Many workers migrate to other countries because they can't make enough money to live from agriculture in Myanmar," 71-year-old agricultural expert Myo Myint told AFP.

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