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Farmers need credit and insurance:expert

1252 Myanmar Times
A local agriculture expert has called on the government to establish insurance and credit schemes that could provide assistance to farmers in the aftermath of a natural disaster.
Speaking at a workshop organized by the Food Security Working Group in mid- January, Daw Nyein Nyein Aye, a trainer with Golden Plain Agricultural Products Cooperative Society, said all stakeholders needed to take steps to mitigate the effects of natural disasters, such as droughts and floods, on the agriculture sector.
"For example, we should have a plan in place for when there is drought, such as which crops or varieties we could use instead to reduce the effects," Daw Nyein Nyein Aye said. "Farmers and non-government organizations should provide effective insurance and credit schemes to compensate for damage to crops and loss to livelihoods when there is a disaster."
Golden Plain, Which describes itself as "agribusiness consultants group", is one 48 members of the Food Security Working Group, which was established in 2003.
The society works in the Ayeyarwady delta, where many households are still recovering financially from the effects of Cyclone Nargis, which hit in May 2008.
Daw Nyein Nyein Aye said many lessons had been learned in the post-Nargis period.
"Many donors want to help speed up the recovery process. But if the seeds (provided to farmers) are not from the area where the disaster occurred, they will not grow well," she said.
She said there was also a need to increase farmers' knowledge of weather forecasts so they have a better chance of coping with extreme climate events.
"If farmers know that a storm of something is coming, they can prepare by properly storing their boat, seed, grain and livestock"
The working group was established to provide an opportunity for different groups working in the agriculture sector to hold workshops, training sessions and seminars and facilitate information sharing.

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