1. Success Story

PROFITS, Myanmar farmers making with Smartphone

KJ Staff
KJ Staff

Farmer San San Hla has been using a free app on her smartphone which is helping her tackling the pest attack on her rice/ paddy farm in southern Myanmar for the last two years.

The app advised the 35- year – old farmer of the appropriate use of pesticides which brought her huge profits from the paddy farm.

The farmers of the village, Aye Ywar west of Yangon performed the regular and conventional ways of farming which was hereditary, but the app provided the farmer better insights and  knowledge of how faring should be performed at the fields. Conventional methods lack the appropriate ways and compositions in which the chemicals should be used. Apps like these provide an edge to fight the farm problems.

San San Hla is among a growing cohort of farmers who are turning to tech to address the knowledge gap in a country where two thirds of the workforce are employed in agriculture. The sector accounts for some 28 percent of the country's GDP, but yields are low with farmers cut-off from modern technology under decades of isolationist junta rule. 

The apps like these are providing farmers with up-to-date information on everything from weather, climate change, crop prices to advice on pesticides and fertilizers. Chat forums are connecting farmers, allowing them to swap tips while experts are on hand to answer queries.

The "Green Way" app is the brainchild of two former agricultural students, who in 2011 set up a website for farmers, often working through the night to keep it updated.

With the arrival of the smart phones, internet access became easier and more farmers were able to access internet and the other services.

Various telecom companies have entered the Myanmar market and provided  lot of sources for the population and given the huge supply of networks, The cost of sim cards, once the tightly-controlled reserve of the well-connected or special branch spies, plummeted from an unattainable $3,000 in 2005 to $1.50 in 2013. Also, Competitors practically gave away Smartphone handsets as they fell over themselves to build up brand loyalty.

In 2012, the mobile penetration stood at just seven percent. By the end of 2017, Smartphone penetration had rocketed to 80 percent.

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