Closing the Project, sustaining the initiative

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The picturesque Mount Zwegabin overshadowed the Thiri Hpa-an Hotel where the closing conference of the Project was held.  The magnificent view was a suitable backdrop for participants in their colorful longyis and traditional Kayin dresses as they strut around the grand ballroom of the hotel.

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Officers and staff of PPLL                                             Officers and staff of BYTM

For two days, February 27-28, more than a hundred entrepreneurs, government officials, members of cooperatives and NGO support groups gathered and   deliberated on SME development in the context of what the Project has achieved.  The theme of the conference revolved around improving agricultural production and rural enterprises to promote sustainable development for Kayin State.

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Conference speakers, from left to right: Dr. Tin Win Kyaw, Deputy DG U Thaing Naung, Director U Myo Aung, and Dr. Than Naing

Aside from the members of the Bawa Yay Thauk Myint Cooperative and the Pwint Pwint Lin Lin Cooperative, members of the Kayin State Chamber of Commerce and Industries (KSCCI) actively participated in the discussions. Top State officials also provided inputs, including Dr. Tin Win Kyaw (State Minister for Social Services) who gave the Keynote Speech representing Chief Minister Daw Nan Khin Htwe Myint; Daw San San Yi (Director for Planning and Finance) who delivered the economic situation of Kayin state; Daw Win Win Than (Asst. Director for Planning and Finance), U Tin San (Director for Consumer Affairs) as resource persons for future directions of SME development in Kayin State.

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Conference plenary session

The Department of Cooperatives (DOC) officials from Nay Pyi Taw who attended the conference were headed by DDG Thaung Naing and other officials including Director U Myo Aung and Deputy Director U Nyan Win Maung.  They were joined by cooperative officers from Kayin and neighboring Mon State and Bago Region. Representatives from the Central Cooperative Society (CCS) were also present.

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Panel discussion on enterprise finance

Cooperatives from neighboring Thailand were also invited, but were not able to come due to some immigration problems, but that did not snuff out the idea of strengthening partnerships between them and the two cooperatives.

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Small group

The main issues in the conference were the access to financing for member-entrepreneurs and the long-term sustainability of the two cooperatives. The efforts at making the cooperatives stronger are focused on the expansion of its members to cover not only the current project areas but the whole of Hlaing-bwe Township.

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Positive PlaNet and CDA Project team members and volunteers

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Grateful acknowledgments to the funding partners – European Union (EU), French Development Agency (AFD) and PepsiCo; to government partners – Department of Cooperatives and the Kayin State government; and to the people of Hlaing-bwe Township.

 

 

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Enhancing Enterprise Development Skills

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Participants preparing a production process flow

The Training of Trainers on Enterprise Development aimed at providing knowledge and skills to the staff of CDA was completed last January 27-29. The training was in support to the demonstration and modelling activities of enterprises and farm activities selected by the members of the savings groups.

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Modules of the Enterprise Development Training

 

After the completion of the demonstration activities, 10 enterprises/farm activities will be selected for documentation and loan product development for the Bawa Yae Thouk Myit Cooperative. The enterprise and commodity profiles that will be developed will be the basis of the cooperative in financing enterprises and farm activities.

As of the end of January, 15 enterprises and farm activities are undergoing demonstration, participated by 174 participants with a combined amount of support at 21.5 million kyats (US$ 16,796.).

Status of Enterprise and Farm Demonstration Activities

 1.Agricultural production
Village Crops/Livestock Number of participants Amount of support Date released
Daing Pya Mushroom production

8

1,500,000.Kyats

Oct 16
Pyar Ngoke To Poultry raising

12

2,000,000.Kyats

Oct 16
Auk Yae Pu Hog raising

9

2,000,000.Kyats

Oct 16
Shan Ywar Hog raising

20

1,000,000.Kyats

Nov 20
Kwat Myat Gyi Corn production

11

1,200,000.Kyats

Nov 20
Me Thein Goat raising

7

1,000,000.Kyats

Nov 25
Tar Baung Kone Beans

6

1,400,000.Kyats

Dec 18
Kwan Be Hog raising

20

1,500,000.Kyats

Dec 18
Naung Taing Goat Raising

8

1,500,000.Kyats

Jan 15
Total  

101

13,100,000.Kyats

 
2.Enterprise upgrading  
Village Enterprise Number of participants Amount of support  
A Htet Yae Pu Buy and sell (clothing and garments)

16

1,000,000.Kyats Oct 16
Chan Tar Concrete products

9

1,000,000.Kyats Oct 23
Win Sein Ricemill operation

10

2,000,000.Kyats Nov 20
Ywar Kaing Kaung Rice trading

11

1,500,000.Kyats Nov 25
Ka Di Kan Merchandise trading

14

1,500,000.Kyats Dec 18
Htar Thein Concrete products

13

1,400,000.Kyats Jan 15
Total  

73

8,400,000.Kyats  
Grand Total  

174

21,500,000.Kyats  

 

Developing models for sustainable rural enterprises

The Project released K7.5 million in support to five enterprises implemented as demonstration activities. Production of selected agricultural commodities and non-agricultural enterprises will be done in the Project area to check on the most profitable economic activities to be supported.

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Representatives of groups signing the agreement and receiving the funds and certificates of participation.

Demonstration activities will focus on those with substantial market demand and good price that will provide significant margin for farmers and entrepreneurs. The support from the Project will represent the amount that can be borrowed from the cooperative. From the different agricultural and non-agri demonstration activities, ten (10) most profitable and most relevant economic activities will be selected as models for the cooperative to prioritize in financing. Farmers and entrepreneurs can continue with the production of the commodity or the enterprise they are doing by accessing loans from the cooperative.

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The mushroom demonstration farm in Daing Pya village

Farmers or entrepreneurs who took part and are successful in the modeling of the economic activities will be trained to become local resource persons. They will be the trainors who will teach other people in the Project area interested in venturing into the commodity production or enterprise.

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Other economic activities: Ginger production and rubber processing

At present, demonstration farm for the production of mushroom, poultry and hogs were already established including enterprises such as garments trading and concrete products. Saw Hein Thet Win, NTC for Enterprise Development is supervising the studies on other commodities such as ginger, turmeric, sesame, peanuts and eggs. Consultations with other saving groups in the villages are continuously being done to identify other economic activities to be included in the modeling exercise.

August updates: Sustaining savings mobilization momentum

IMG_4802Savings group leaders sharing information  during the consolidation meeting last August 28

The consolidation meeting held last August 28, 2015 showed an increasing trend in the amount of savings. Total savings amounted to US$21,182., a 46% increase from last month’s savings at US$14,500., even with only 79 savings groups present during the meeting.

The number of new savings groups formed slowed down due to the continuous monsoon rain that made most villages inaccessible and scheduled community meetings canceled. Five savings groups were added to the list of existing groups for the month, with no report of savings group dissolved during the same period.

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Leaders  interact with other groups and share experiences  in managing savings and lending activities

The consolidation meeting also was the opportunity to announce the start of demonstration activities for enterprise development. Fifteen villages will start with the demonstration activities of selected cash crops and non-agricultural enterprises. The demonstration will enable the Project to document and design loan products that will be financed by the cooperatives that will be registered in October 2015. A set of developed loan products will allow the cooperative to manage the risks related to financing rural economic activities.

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Gallery of  information on the status of savings groups

Technical staff from PF and CDA will conduct value chain analysis (VCA) of the agricultural commodities that will be identified for demonstration to determine the most efficient way of generating more income. This will complement the farm systems analysis conducted earlier to determine the