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24 Apr 2019 | News

Hands-on training on low-cost, climate-smart technologies in the Community Information Resources Centre in Putao, Kachin, Myanmar

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Participants from villages within the HI-LIFE Myanmar pilot area learning about bio-intensive farming technology (Photo: Bandana Shakya)

As part of community capacity-building interventions by the Landscape Initiative for Far-eastern Himalayas (HI-LIFE), a five-day hands-on training was conducted at the Community Information Resources Centre (CIRC) at Wasangdam Village in Putao Township, Kachin State, Myanmar, on 2–6 April 2019. HI-LIFE is a regional conservation and development initiative jointly implemented by the International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development (ICIMOD) and its partners in China, India, and Myanmar in the Far-eastern Himalayan Landscape.

The training involved 50 participants (including 21 women) from nine villages within the HI-LIFE Myanmar pilot area on the outskirts of Hponkanrazi Wildlife Sanctuary. The training, organized in collaboration with the Forest Department, Ministry of Natural Resources and Environmental Conservation (MoNREC), aimed to strengthen the recently established CIRC, particularly its demonstration site component. Ten low-cost, climate-smart technologies relevant to daily farming practices in the area were installed and showcased during the training, engaging participants in a learning-by-doing exercise.

The technologies included solar drier, bee hive bio briquette, bio composting, eco fencing, bio-intensive farming, vertical or 3D vegetable farming, basket composting and farming, polypit and hotbed, parabolic solar cooker, and greenhouse for off-season vegetable farming and high-value species domestication. Given the abundant access to biomass from nearby forests, the training intended to promote the concept of recycling waste biomass for farming, including the promotion of organic farming. In addition, to support the concept of building climate-smart villages, three basket waste management techniques (degradable, non-degradable, and disposable) were demonstrated. The technical assistance for these was provided by the ICIMOD Knowledge Park at Godavari, Nepal.


Participants making the bee hive bio briquette (Photo: Bandana Shakya)

Post-training feedback from the participants indicated the training’s high relevance and usefulness, especially with respect to the low-cost nature of the technologies and use of locally available resources and waste biomass from farms and forests. The participants expressed their interest in using poly houses for tomato cultivation and domestication of high-value medicinal plants. However, they shared that the solar cooker and drier, although energy efficient, could only be utilized during certain seasons of the year. Besides the hands-on training, ICIMOD also attempted to strengthen the CIRC Community Management Committee members’ capacity to run the CIRC as a self-sustaining institution in the future. Interpretation skills, visitor record keeping, annual activity planning and budgeting, resource mobilization, and leadership qualities were discussed with the members.

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