The Mekong Economics, a research and consulting company contracted by the Project started the conduct of Farm Systems Analysis on May 11, 2015 in selected villages of Hlaing-bwe. The results of the FSA will be the basis for selecting the most appropriate crops that will be supported by the Project. Demonstration farms will be set-up in partnership with savings groups and individual members to test the productivity and the profitability of the crops. The crops considered to profitable and will contribute to the increase in income of farmers will be promoted.
Among the main objectives of the study is to determine the pattern of production in the area by identifying the main agricultural crops that have the potential for commercial production, and integrating this production with livestock and off-farm livelihood activities. This will include describing the variety of production technologies currently used for the main agricultural and livestock activities¬¬––including an analysis of the quality of inputs, the level of mechanization, and farming practices––for each population segment, the level of mechanization and other inputs that contributes to the intensification of production.
Another objective is to identify feasible opportunities to upgrade or intensify production, whether by using improved inputs that are currently available, increasing mechanization, or adopting new farming practices (e.g., improved techniques, multi-cropping, sloping agriculture, reducing costs, etc.) for each population segment.
Finally, to calculate the opportunity costs of upgrading or intensifying production, taking into account the availability of labor (family and hired), deployment of resources (capital and land), and risks involved for each population segment, including financial risks and impact on food security.
The Mekong Economics team is headed by Tom Brookes and four agricultural specialists namely Daw Naw Bway Pale Paw, U San Thein, U Ye Htut and U Kyi Lin. The team is supported by Saw Hein Htet Win (PF Consultant for Enterprise Development) and technical staff from the CDA, U Khin Maung Myint (Consultant on Agriculture) and Daw Van Leng Kai (Consultant for Enterprise Development).