17 demoplots in the SAPA training area

17 demoplots in the SAPA training area

The Fresh Studio corn team spent from 1st June 2018 onwards for setting up 17 demonstration plots in the SAPA training areas in Southern Shan State and Kayah State for the 2018 corn growing season. It is one of the crucial parts of the implementation plan under result 4 (Establishment sustainably produced corn farming sourcing system) of SAPA for ensuring yield, plant performance and quality of corn to the farmers. The objectives of the demonstration plot are to show the plant performance, yield and the gross margin analysis of corn grown according to the SAPA standard and compare this to the normal standard (farmer method) and show the results to the farmers. Moreover, these demo plots also introduce the new SAPA fertilizer management system based on soil analysis to the small holder farmers to reduce their costs and make effective use of fertilizer.

Ko Thein Win and Ma Honey Oo (both agronomists) from Fresh Studio tried to select the suitable farmers together with the extension staff who really want to follow the SAPA guidelines and are very eager to improve themselves after finishing Module 1 (preparation and production) and Module 2 (harvest, post-harvest and record keeping) training. Each demonstration plot has a size of 0.3 acre to 0.6 acre and is located next or within a plot where corn is grown according to the farmer method. In this way both practices (SAPA and farmer) are being analysed and compared in terms of input and output data. Four types of seed varieties named NK621, NK 625, SA282 and CP 808 were used to analyse the yield and plant performance difference during the corn growing season. Soil analysis was done before the land preparation to calculate the right fertilizer requirement for N, P, K, Ca, Mg, S, organic matter etc. to reach the target yield for all demo-plots. According to the guideline of the SAPA corn production protocol, four-time fertilizer applications: basal, 20 DAS (Days after Sowing), 40 DAS and 60 DAS, should be used. Fresh Studio team supervised on all four-time fertilizer application. And extension staff supports every week by checking through field observation and reports back to the agronomists from Fresh Studio.

In the beginning, the plant performance of the SAPA demo-plots are the same as the farmer practice and that’s why farmers had less interest in the SAPA demo-plots. Not only the SAPA demonstration plots but also the farmer corn fields faced sulphur and magnesium deficiencies in around 20 DAS because of heavy rain. After applying 20 DAS (Day After Sowing) fertilizer application in the SAPA demo plots, the plants showed very rapid growth rate and they started to look very healthy: no nutrient deficiency symptoms and free from pest and disease. And this changed the farmer vision who had less interest at the beginning.

Most of the corn fields are about 60 DAS right now in Southern Shan and Kayah State. Harvesting season will start in late September. Module 2 training (harvesting, post-harvesting, storage and pest & disease management during storage) will be given to the farmer on 1st September 2018 in order to provide the knowledge of harvesting in advance. Besides the training, subsequently farmer field days will be organised to show the comparison of the yield and profit margin of the SAPA demo-plots in contrary to the farmer method plots to the trainee farmers.

1000 corn farmers trained to be prepared for the upcoming corn season

1000 corn farmers trained to be prepared for the upcoming corn season

From the beginning of March until the end of April the Fresh Studio corn-team has been on the road in Southern Shan and Kayah state to train 1000 corn farmers. The team consisted out of Ko Thein Win and Ma Honey Oo, both agronomists. The SAPA (Sustainable and Affordable Poultry for All) corn trainings and planning are developed in such a way that it is in line with the corn growing season. The corn growing season is about to start, therefore the topics raised in the current training were: land preparation, sowing, weed control, fertilizer application, pest and disease management and soil sampling method.

The Fresh Studio team could not have done this on their own without the help of 22 extension staff (part of SAPA) who are responsible for the day to day communication with the farmers and are living in the respective areas. The townships that they are active in are: Taunggyi, Hopone, Lawksauk, Sesai, Loikaw and Pinlaung. One of the crucial benefits of working with local extension staff is that they are from the same ethnic (Paoh, Shan, Kayan, Danu); they know the farmer situation; they know the farmers personally and they speak the local language. Speaking the local language is crucial in order to train the farmers on the topics which are essential to improve the corn farming practices. Through transferring knowledge and skills in the local language the sustainability of the training is maintained as the farmers apply it on their land.

Although this training is officially called Module 1, the extension staff already conducted Module 2 at the end of 2017 which addressed harvesting and post-harvesting techniques and record keeping (as training topics are in line with the corn growing season). Training the farmers was for all extension staff something new and exciting and therefore the Fresh Studio team spend extra time on didactical and training skills, besides the technical knowhow. Comparing the performance of the extension staff in the first training with their performance in the second training one could see completely different persons. The extension staff were well prepared, more structured in their approach and showed more confidence in front of the group. And it was difficult to finish the training as they could not stop talking and sharing their knowledge with the corn farmers!

As mentioned in the introduction Module 1 is related to land preparation, sowing, weed control, fertilizer application, pest and disease management and soil sampling methods. The current practices of the corn farmers do not consist out of systematic sowing row and plant spacing practices. Furthermore, fertilizer application does not happen in a structured way, if it is even happening. In the SAPA areas the usage of fertilizer varies tremendously. In some villages hardly any fertilizer is being used as in some villages fertilizer is being overused. But even more importantly, doing a soil analysis to calculate properly the effective usage of fertilizer and what type of fertilizer should be chosen is new to the SAPA corn farmers. With a right, systematic way of fertilizer application the corn yield can increase more than 100%!

The corn growing season in Southern Shan and Kayah state starts from late May and the corn is ready to harvest at the beginning of October but the actual harvesting usually starts around December to January. Farmers start preparing their land right now and therefore it is crucial that the training took place in the last couple of months. Another important aspect of the learning and actual application of the training are of course the farmers themselves! Therefore the extension staff selected young farmers who are active, eager to learn and ready to make a change! With all the needed ingredients in this last corn training (essential topics, motivated extension staff and eager farmers) the farmers are better prepared for the upcoming corn growing season and the plant performance at the end of the growing season can only improve!

SAPA broiler trainers are ready for action

SAPA broiler trainers are ready for action

The last module, Module (3) TOT (Training of Trainers) was conducted both theoretically and practically in Myaungdakar Industrial Zone at De Heus Myanmar Feed Mill and Shwe Myayar, SAPA Demonstration Farm on a commercial farm..

The training on the topics of Nutrition and Entrepreneurship, was held from 19.03.2018 to 29.03.2018, for (10) days. This training was facilitated by poultry specialists, Ernst Beitler (Aeres University) and Jan Cortenbach (De Heus Animal Nutrition) from the Netherlands. The main focus was on nutritional value and production calculation costs related to poultry raw food materials in theoretical and practical manner. As part of the topic on entrepreneurship, a keynote speaker of Yoma bank was invited, Ko Nanda Tin. Yoma Bank currently gives out loans within the agribusiness sector in Myanmar. He explained how to contact the bank to get loans which are necessary for starting up a business in animal husbandry and what kind of facts and necessary documents the farmers need to prepare for receiving a loan.

During the 10-day-training, topics such as having the habit of making a cost calculation and daily technical record are very important for farmers to make them more aware on how they manage their farms and make them eventually more efficient and effective. The practice of keeping records really need to be improved since it is still weak among farmers in Myanmar (not only in livestock). The analysis and selection of quality raw materials is essential and it is very important to have high-quality and nutritional well-balanced food given to the broilers.

As this was the last module of the SAPA broiler training for vets, all the vets can officially and proudly call themselves SAPA-trainers. They finished three modules which touched upon farm management and bio-security, health and housing and nutrition and entrepreneurship. Besides content specific training, they were trained to become a trainer. Now they are ready to train 250 broiler farmers and 500 workers in NPT, Mandalay and Yangon! And that was reason enough for a celebration!


Bel Ga will raise DOC standards in Myanmar

Bel Ga will raise DOC standards in Myanmar

After months of construction, Bel Ga Myanmar has recently started operations in the most modern hatchery of South East Asia. This is a big milestone for Bel Ga Myanmar and its subsidairy project ‘Sustainable and Affordable Poultry for All (SAPA)’, which is partly funded by the Bel Ga Myanmar’s hatchery.

With this new step in the SAPA project, project partners The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Netherlands, Myanmar Livestock Federation, Yezin University, De Heus Animal Nutrition, Fresh Studio, AERES and Bel Ga Myanmar can contribute to affordable and sustainable Broiler meat production in Myanmar.

To ensure contribution of this local meat production, Bel Ga Myanmar will deliver a very high quality Day Old Chicken commodity first and then invest in technical support (Western derived knowledge) of the local broiler farmers in Myanmar to make sure that both genotype and fenotype give maximum results.
“SAPA” and thus Bel Ga Myanmar stands for improving farm management and technical results of local broiler farmers which will increase rural incomes.

“The newest incubators” of Petersime Belgium – which is not only a world market leader in Incubators but is amongst the best Broiler Genetics of Aviagen – also has, last but not least, 80 years of hatchery experience of its mother company Belgabroed, will make sure it raises the best Day Old Chickens in Myanmar under the guidance of Operational Manager Ben Cliteur.

With this milestone Bel Ga Myanmar makes the first step in repeating its achieved success of sister company Bel Ga Vietnam, which is currently producing 1.7 million Day Old Chickens under the highest standards of GLOBAL G.A.P., the world wide standard for good agricultural practices. Besides supplying Day Old Chickens to both local and neigherbouring country Cambodia, Bel Ga Vietnam achieved coorporation with broiler farmers De Heus Vietnam and slaughterhouse UNITEC which resulted in exporting broiler meat to one of the strictest exporting countries, Japan.

The aim is to counteract competitors which deliver the “Breed and Feed model”, in which independent farmers are forced to use Day Old Chickens and feed off the same company.
We believe in the core businesses of every company, to whom we will supply High Quality Day Old Chickens. This will guarantee better results in the rural incomes of our local independent Myanmar farmers.

Setter room Bel Ga Myanmar

Setting first HE’s

The First National Poultry Dialogue in Myanmar by SAPA Project

The First National Poultry Dialogue in Myanmar by SAPA Project

The 1st national poultry dialogue of SAPA project has been organized on 2nd December 2017. Aimed to bring all stakeholders in the broiler sector to strengthen the quality and sustainability of the Myanmar broiler sector.

National Poultry Dialogue is mainly focus on the improvement of production, (2) the sustainability of broiler meat market, and (3) for policy recommendation for the development of Myanmar broiler sector.

It is organized by the Myanmar Livestock Federation (MLF) as the local consortium partner of SAPA. Different organizations from both public and private sector are participated including MLF, Myanmar Broiler Association, Livestock Breeding and Veterinary Department, University of Veterinary Science together with the companies from the private sector such as De Heus, JAPFA, Fresh Studio. Moreover, livestock feed dealers and farmers’ representatives are attended.

Dr. Mya Han, the president of the MLF, addressed the important of SAPA project for the development of poultry sector in Myanmar as a kind of PPP program. Dr. Kyaw Htin, the vice president of the MLF, mainly focused on the three main areas mentioned above. Ms. Esther Wintraecken, the Country Manager of Fresh Studio introduced the SAPA project and Dr. May Zin Myo from De Heus Myamar explained the SAPA standards set for Myanmar broiler sector.

The second part of NPD emphasized on the round table discussion on the (1) production; (2) marketing and (3) policy recommendation. According to the discussion results, the availability of DOCs, credit problems, important of biosecurity, illegal imports of chilled chicken meat, from China and Thailand put pressure on the domestic poultry production and supply chain. Research and Development on poultry sector, effect of FDI participated on the poultry production sector, and land use policy related issues are challenging for this specific sector.