To the central west of Myanmar there is a district called Gangaw nestled at the top of the Magway region bordering the Chin State. Although the principal product of this region is petroleum, for 47 year old Daw Htway Mee and her family living in the village of Let Wea Kone, agriculture is a way of life.
Thanks to ADRA Myanmar’s PRICE (Poverty Reduction Initiative through Community Empowerment) project funded by ADRA Australia, Daw Htway Mee was able to recieve training in agriculture, savings and loans and bank management which attributed to her SHG (also known as a Self Help Group) saving a total of 450,000 MMK collectively to date. The SHG was then able to give loans to members of the group during times of hardship at a relatively lower interest rate than local money lenders for items such as; agricultural and harvesting costs, health care, education and associated business costs.
In 2013, Daw Htway Mee borrowed 137,000 MMK from the PRICE project in order to establish a paddy field, and in 2014, borrowed 150,000 MMK in order to build a small pond to feed the paddy fields. Daw Htway Mee also received various seeds to plant including rice, peanut, corn and sesame seeds which grow well within the region. For the first time in 10 years, Daw Htway Mee’s crop yielded over 100 bushels resulting in an increased income and the ability to put away savings for future agricultural ventures. Upon reflection, Daw Htway Mee stated that, “it is a great joy to know that this is our own field and that the rice that comes from this paddy field is ours”. Through the PRICE project, sustainability has been established and a sense of ownership created leading to successful livelihoods for the villagers of Let Wea Kone and beyond.