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Please donate to WFM and help us reach our funding goals for making organic farming accessible.
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Detailed observations of current farming situation will be noted and discussions with farmers about their farming needs will commence.
June 2015 (?):
Plan to establish organic methods and materials for farming will be created and implemented with farmers.
Farming in Myanmar
Poorer and uneducated farmers are unaware of their access to land rights. The government may then take their lands to sell to foreign investors. It is difficult for them to secure state identification or passports and takes much longer, as the government fears they will immigrate to nearby countries. Corn is a major crop, not as a food source, but as chicken feed sold to a single international company and then further exported. GMO seeds are prevalent, but public awareness of GMOs and their risks is extremely low. Indeed, there are many corn seed advertisements from the Ministry of Agriculture with the label 801, strikingly similar to Monsanto's 801 corn seed.
Trees are uprooted and taken to China to make paper. Others are cleared for the high demand of corn fields. More extreme summers are produced as a direct result of tree loss. The Burmese army collects unused bamboo from farming communities while armed and sells them to Chinese buyers, also to make paper. Trees are being cut down more and more, but the government makes no effort to preserve the land; on the contrary, they support its sale to foreign investors that cut down trees.
The most sustainable farming method is organic farming. This preserves the soil's nutrients by rotating crops, protects the environment from harmful chemical sprays, and avoids exposing humans and animals to the health risks of GMO food.
Our foundation would encourage organic farming by granting access to organic seeds that are more affordable than GMO seeds, and provide consulting to farmers to help them plan sustainable farming strategies. Public awareness is key to educate on the importance of sustainable farming and the risks of GMO, and would especially target farmers.
Organic seeds would be provided to farmers at a low rate as to make the choice between GMO and organic financially easy.
Experts in the area of sustainable farming methods would visit interested farmers and conduct a sustainability audit and with the farmers plan a strategy for farming sustainably to maximize yield and minimize health risks to humans, farm animals, crops, and the surrounding ecosystem. The farmers would receive continuous support and check-ins after commencing a plan, and would be eligible for reduced rates for sustainable provisions such as organic seeds and organic fertilizers. We may also help farmers sell their products for a higher price at the markets to receive a competitive advantage.
Education of organic farming benefits and unsustainable farming risks would be easily accessible to farmers in the forms of brochures sent to their farms, advertisements of our organic farming supplies throughout town and surrounding communities, speakers sent to farming communities to present on this topic with farmers, and free trials of organic seed packets, organic feed, and/or other organic supplies sent to farmers.
In rural areas, families with land often do not possess land deeds, leading to vulnerability to land reallocation by the government and insecurity in expressing ownership. Our foundation would educate on the importance of and on the ability to procure official land deeds and make the long, complicated process easier by helping farmers submit the paperwork and attain transportation costs to visit the offices, if necessary, as well as keeping the government offices accountable and checking in on their filing to ensure they are completing it within a reasonable time.
Trees especially are at risk to disappear, and land plots and communities that have many trees or that are conducting deforestation would be visited and provided information on tree preservation as well as the possibility to receive incentives when they sign a contract to adhere to our resource regulations. These regulations would ensure that trees are preserved by banning excessive deforestation and mandating tree planting. In return, these communities/plots would receive free or heavily discounted sustainable farming supplies and/or exclusive crop sale opportunities, in which we may buy the crops
from them for above the average price, and/or funds from our foundation to contribute to conducting
resource preservation or replace any income lost from this process.