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Strengthening institutional capacity, extension services and rural livelihoods in the Central Dry Zone and Ayeyarwaddy Delta regions of Myanmar

This project aims to improve agricultural development and food security by shifting the focus of Myanmar's agricultural research and development onto farmer decisions and effective farmer extension strategies in the Central Dry Zone and Ayeyarwaddy Delta.
Myanmar's socio-political goals have focused national and international efforts to develop and modernise agriculture and maintain food security. Academic research, adopting new technology and reforming extension services in agriculture are crucial for these sectors to sustainably develop.
ACIAR has focused on understanding the diversity of rural livelihoods, and understanding household decisions that drive change. The project will investigate landlessness, labour and mechanisation, land tenure security, agricultural extension services of government and non-government institutions, and the private sector. Once these are understood, the project can target issues and drivers shaping rural livelihoods.
To support a fresh approach in policy and extension, the project has developed a livelihood typology for both the Central Dry Zone and the Ayerarwady Delta. The typology reflects the breadth and diversity of rural livelihoods and how farmers contribute to the agricultural process. Extension needs to cater to differing livelihoods needs, rather than assuming that all farmers are the same. It also needs to include the marginal and landless rural population who are crucial to agriculture, but are seldom supported by extension services.