In 2017 ISSD Myanmar and the Food Security Policy Project (FSPP) Myanmar decided to collaborate in a study on how to stimulate the demand for quality seed of improved varieties. FSPP Myanmar is a partnership between the Centre for Economic and Social Development (CESD), Department of Agriculture (DAR), Michigan State University (MSU) and the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
The study aims to provide action-oriented solutions to promote a more vibrant and dynamic seed sector in Myanmar’s Dry Zone, by: (i) analysing the current situation with analysis primary and secondary data; (ii) supporting seed businesses in their investment choices, and (iii) recommending policy, regulation, and investment options to increase the uptake of quality seed of improved varieties.
The study consists of a number of different components: (i) seed grower performance assessment; (ii) household (HH) seed user survey; (iii) willingness to pay study; (iv) seed company assessment; (v) DNA fingerprinting study; and (vi) policy mapping related to seed demand. The seed grower assessment (see programme component 3) and pre-testing of the HH seed user survey have been implemented in 2017. The full implementation of the HH see user survey will be carried out in May-April 2018.
Household seed user survey: scope and pre-testing results
The household seed user survey addresses a number of topics directly and indirectly related to seed. Next to seed use and adoption, the survey also addresses varietal preferences, costs of other inputs and production costs in general, access to extension advice as well as access to and use of financial services. Moreover, the survey includes sections dedicated to seed user willingness to pay for new varieties.
The survey focuses on the eight crops targeted by ISSD Myanmar. Six townships are included in the survey sample: Kyauk Se and Madaya townships (Mandaly region), Monywa and Myinmu townships (Sagaing region), Pwint Phyu and Magway townships (Magway region). A total number of 1,500 households are planned to be interviewed in the six townships.
A first pretesting of the HH survey was organized in December 2017. The household interviews showed that: more than 80% of the farmers grow one crop per season and use 3 or 4 plots for agricultural production. The pre-testing revealed also that the plot size varies between 5 and 6 acres.
On 22 December a meeting with the Seed Director Dr. U Thet Zin Maung was organized in Nay Pyi Taw to update the Ministry and receive feedback on the study approach.