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IFC Promotes Knowledge Exchange on Good Agriculture Practices to Support Inle Lake Tomato Farmers

Yangon, Myanmar, October 3, 2018 —IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, organized a visit for tomato farmers from Kyay Sar Myauk Village, Inle Lake, to Fresco, a leading commercial farm in Heho, Shan State recently. The visit marked one of the first steps towards supporting Inle Lake tomato farmers to improve farming and food safety standards through the Myanmar Good Agricultural Practices (Myanmar GAP) program.
Inle Lake tomato farmers, known for their floating gardens, produce around 90 tons of hydroponic tomatoes a day, which are distributed across Myanmar. Tomato is a very important produce for local consumption as it forms the base of many Myanmar dishes, such as chicken, pork and vegetable curries.
A group of 54 farmers, including 25 women, saw the results of using quality seeds, fertilizer and crop protection products, and good agriculture practices to produce high quality tomatoes at the Fresco farm. Paolo Cerati, Fresco’s Managing Director, said, “The market is hungry for quality tomatoes. Improving production, therefore, by using quality agriculture inputs, raising food safety standards, and strengthening postharvest handling, would put farmers in a good position to access and supply a high demand market in Myanmar and in the region.” High quality tomatoes such as Fresco’s, cost up to six and a half times more than regular tomatoes that currently sell for MMK 1000 Kyats per kilogram at local outlets in Yangon.
Jose Ricardo Silva, IFC’s Senior Private Sector Specialist, said, “Tomatoes from Inle Lake are very famous. Ensuring that farmers follow good agriculture practices, such as the Myanmar GAP, will improve quality and reduce usage of chemicals in tomato production. It will further support the Department of Agriculture’s efforts in promoting good and sustainable agriculture practices in the floating gardens in order to preserve the environment and the ensure sustainability of Inle Lake.”
U Hla Maung has been planting tomatoes for 25 years. He was one of the farmers who visited the site, said, “We have cultivated tomato in Inle Lake for generations using traditional farming practices. Learning and using Myanmar GAP standards is helping us to reduce usage of chemicals, improve tomato quality and preserve the lake itself. Farmers are committed to improve tomato production standards and we hope our high-quality produce will also reach new markets.”
In addition to working with tomato farmers in Inle Lake, IFC is also supporting the Department of Agriculture to promote Myanmar GAP standards in sesame and mung bean production in Mandalay and Nay Pyi Taw respectively.
IFC’s work in promoting Myanmar GAP is supported by the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade of Australia, the Department for International Development of the United Kingdom, and the government of Japan.  
About IFC
IFC—a sister organization of the World Bank and member of the World Bank Group—is the largest global development institution focused on the private sector in emerging markets. We work with more than 2,000 businesses worldwide, using our capital, expertise, and influence to create markets and opportunities in the toughest areas of the world. In fiscal year 2018, we delivered more than $23 billion in long-term financing for developing countries, leveraging the power of the private sector to end extreme poverty and boost shared prosperity. For more information, visit www.ifc.org
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