U Ho Ling's Story: Life as an Elephant Foot Yam Farmer in the Chin Hills

 

My name is U Ho Ling and I am 52 years old from Siatalai village in the Chin Hills. I have 11 family members including 6 sons, but not all live here. 

 

In the past our main livelihood was shifting cultivation, primarily growing maize. During that time it was very difficult and there wasn’t always enough food for our village, sometimes there were shortages. 

 

Because of this, we decided to change to Elephant Foot Yam farming which is very popular in our area, especially selling to the Chinese. We believed it would benefit our family. It was very difficult to start and required a lot of hard work. We would find the seeds in the forest to plant but it would take several years for them to grow big enough to sell. Each year it cost 20 lahks to grow Elephant Foot Yam, and I now have 15 acres. It was difficult on me and my family. 

 

 

In 2017 we heard about an ADRA project that provided training in new agriculture techniques and distributed different vegetable seeds. This inspired us to be more interested in agriculture. 

 

ADRA introduced us to an Elephant Foot Yam cutting machine and washer which cuts labour time and is cheaper to manage. ADRA also provided us with a solar dryer powered by solar energy. In the past we depended on clear sunny skies, but in monsoon season we couldn’t dry the harvest well. The solar dryer has really improved our situation as farmers for time and cost. 

 

Today, all the villagers have become Elephant Foot Yam farmers like me. 

 

"Chin State is very poor so agricultural support is very important and benefits our region. Thank you to the Donors and ADRA." 

 

The SURE project is funded by MFAT and ADRA New Zealand. The project supports sustainable economic growth in agricultural practices, water resources and natural resource management. 

 

Photo: © 2019 ADRA Myanmar | Emma McCrow

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