1. Support COVID-19 communication campaigns
  2. Cash or lending support to smallholder farmers who have lost sales revenue or remittance income to support input purchases in time for monsoon planting
  3. Complement support with advice on productivity enhancement and market connectivity
  4. Following the lifting of movement restrictions, establish rural cash-for work programs

Total 171 respondents from 82 communities were involved

Study population

Smallholders rural farmers from

  • Mindat and Kanpetlet (Hilly Region)
  • Nyaung-U and Kyaukpadaung (Central Dry Zone)
  • Labutta (Delta/Coastal Region)

Data collection – 11 to 22 May by telephone interview (2 participants/village)

COVID-19 communication

Key Findings

  • Almost all interviewees have good knowledge on preventive measures of COVID-19
  • 64% believe that COVID-19 can be transmitted by eating food/meat bought from markets
  • 80% have good knowledge on 3 out of 5 WHO food safety measures

Policy Implications

  • To ensure environmental sanitation and established food safety practices, for instance, promoting WASH and WHO five key food safety measures in communication campaigns
  • To ensure profound risk communication and management of COVID19 transmission in a collaboration with relevant organizations
  • “Food safety, everyone’s business” Would food safety day (June 7)
  • There is no evidence that animals or food of animal origin can transmit the virus COVID-19to humans. (FAO Policy Brief: Food safety in the time of COVID-19)

Cash or lending support to smallholder farmers

Key Findings

  • Farmers in Chin State has very limited access to loan Mindat (19%) and Kanpetlet (9%) while more than 80% of farmers has access to loan in other study townships
  • 27% of farmers encountered difficulties in repayment of loan and they solved by taking another loan or just paying interest of existing loan
  • Interest rate are quite varies
  • Participants took loan from MADB (63%), apart from that the remaining were from MoALI Cooperative Department (10%), Private money lenders (11%), Mya Sein Yaung (8%), PGMF (6%).

  • more than 70% of the participants have plan to take loan in monsoon season, however, there are barriers mostly due to COVID-19

  • Farmers have never used online (97%) or phone (77%) as a medium to buy/sell inputs/harvest.
  • Farmers have never used bank transfer (95%) or mobile payment (97%) to settle payments for agri-related inputs/harvest

Policy Implications

  • Timely access to microfinance to ensure sustainable production
  • Short-term monsoon season revolving loans
  • Providing subsidies for farm inputs (inputs are not affordable)
  • Need to explore innovative ways when providing cash assistance while using mobile transfer

Productivity enhancement and market connectivity

Key Findings

  • 20% of the farmers reported that they have difficulties in selling harvest (from the last season) at the moment. (see the chart for reasons)
  • 51% of participants expressed that they have several difficulties in from nursery establishment to the selling of the harvests for coming season.

Policy Implications

  • The supply of necessary inputs and accessibility to input-output market have been affected by the overall impact of COVID-19 crisis
  • Allowing well functioning market channels while maintaining effective COVID19 control measures

Ensuring Food Security, Nutrition and Livelihoods

Key Findings

  • 96% of household identified agriculture, animal breeding and fishing as their primary source of income
  • 26% of the respondents replied that their household productions (including rice, veggies, pulses, oil, and livestock) was not enough for household consumption.
  • 34% of respondents emphasized that 70-100% of their income was spent on food (see pie chart)Ensuring Food Security, Nutrition and Livelihoods

  • 15% of households faced with a situation wherein the household did not have enough food to feed family members during the last 7 days
  • While the respondents estimated that 3716 households are also facing similar situation in their community (see table)

  • 92% of participants have never received formal transfers such as relief food, cash assistance, livestock, safety net programs, pension schemes, etc.
  • 60% of households in study villages anticipated that they may need relief food/ cash relief food, cash assistance, livestock, emergency agriculture assistance in 1-3 month time. (see chart)
  • Whereas the respondents estimated that 7092 households may need similar assistance in next 1-3 months

  • Farmers responded that the impact of COVID-19 was mild (56%), moderate (40%) and severe (4%) on their lives.
  • 42% of respondents identified the most needing area (see pie chart)

Ensuring Food Security, Nutrition and Livelihoods

Policy Implications

  • Farmers may face food shortage if COVID-19 is longer
  • Providing relief food, cash assistance, livestock, emergency agri-assistance timely
  • Promoting Kitchen/home gardening program
  • Establishing cash for work program

Key Findings

  • Farmers in Labutta responded that impact of COVID-19 on fishery/carb industry was mild (22%), moderate (56%) and severe (22%) on their lives.
  • Price decreased and No job opportunities are two main reasons (see pie chart)
  • Policy response -> creating job opportunities/ cash-for-work program

Benefit of Home Gardening

FAO SLM-GEF project operationalize kitchen/home gardening program in response to COVID-19

  • 81% of respondents think that “Kitchen/home gardening program” can be helpful to compensate household expenditure/ improve resilience and food and nutrition security” in short term
  • Policy action -> upscaling of the home gardening program

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