Fertilizer Quality Assessment in the Myanmar Dry Zone

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This document presents the findings of a Strategic Resilience Assessment conducted by Mercy Corps Myanmar in collaboration with Mercy Corps' Environment, Energy, and Climate Technical Support Unit (EEC TSU) and Enlightened Myanmar Research (EMR). The assessment aimed to evaluate the potential challenges agricultural-based communities face in the Dry Zone of Myanmar, considering shifting environmental conditions, governance and policy limitations, and inefficient agricultural markets. Through a comprehensive three-phase process, including literature review, community data collection, and analysis, the assessment identified vulnerabilities, capacities, and potential strategies to enhance resilience. The evaluation revealed that agricultural communities in the Dry Zone experience food insecurity and poverty due to low profitability, poor diversification, high debt, and limited access to credit. Multiple shocks and stresses, such as climate variability and ineffective agricultural policies, interact and compound the challenges faced by these communities. A key factor in this context is the debt cycle, which hampers households' ability to cope with social, economic, and environmental perturbations, leading to negative coping strategies and reduced investment in productive assets. To address these challenges and break the cycle of poverty, the assessment proposed a Theory of Change (ToC) focused on building absorptive, adaptive, and transformative capacities at the individual, household, and community levels. The ToC outlines development strategies that aim to improve financial options, agricultural production strategies, and income diversification while calling for an enabling environment that supports institutional risk reduction and inclusive land and infrastructure management. The proposed ToC suggests that farming communities in the Dry Zone can improve their food security and overall well-being by enhancing resilience capacities. The ToC highlights short-, medium-, and long-term outcomes related to increased absorptive, adaptive, and transformative capacities supported by various development strategies. These strategies include improved access to financial services, enhanced agricultural production practices, and the promotion of diversified income streams. The findings and recommendations presented in this document provide valuable insights for developing a comprehensive and interdisciplinary resilience strategy for the Dry Zone of Myanmar. However, it is crucial to regularly review and revise the ToC as conditions evolve to ensure its effectiveness and relevance. By implementing the recommended strategies, the resilience of farming communities in the Dry Zone is expected to be strengthened, leading to improved food security and increased household incomes.
Food security, Crop production
Sanabria, J. 2017. “Fertilizer Quality Assessment in the Myanmar Dry Zone,” Paper presented at the Myanmar Soil Fertility and Fertilizer Management Conference, Nay Pyi Taw, Myanmar.