Manaung Social Investment Programme
Project Title: Social Investment Pilot Location: Myanmar Client: Private Sector Client Date: August 2016 – December 2017
Montrose has been contracted to implement a Social Investment Programme for a private sector client. The initial pilot is expected to provide direct economic benefits to the community through increasing farmers’ incomes and strengthening agricultural value chains by improving production practices.
Manaung Township is a small island off mainland Rakhine State, Myanmar. Farmers’ incomes remain low due to insufficient production practices within their main industry - agriculture, specifically the coconut copra and groundnuts value chains. Manaung Island was chosen for the Social Investment Programme because it is the poorest and most marginalised township of our client’s area of operation and doesn’t have any currently active donor or NGO programme support. Manaung is also close to the client’s exploration area and therefore, the communities in this township are more likely to be impacted by oil and gas exploration activities. The client has hired Montrose to help them build relations with the community in which it operates as well as more broadly to improve livelihoods and economic development on Manaung Island.
The purpose of the Social Investment Pilot is to improve the livelihoods of the rural population living in Manaung Township, Rakhine State, through increasing farmers’ incomes with improved production practices, specifically in the coconut copra and groundnuts value chains. To support value chain strengthening, the pilot also aims to improve irrigation practices and market linkages. Therefore, the key pilot programme activities will be related to upgrading the coconut subsector value chain; upgrading the groundnut subsector value; improving irrigation to support broader agricultural upgrading; and, improving market linkage for future value chain development of all products. The programme activities will build the capacity of local farmers, producers, and government extension workers to improve their local industries through sustainable development practices and training. Moreover, activities will include agricultural demonstrations; creation of farmer groups; introduction of technology for efficient and higher quality copra and groundnuts; and, strengthening the linkages between Manaung producers and mainland markets.