MYSAP is working to strengthen inland aquaculture production through the INLAND MYSAP project. The project is implemented by the World Fish Center, a global research and development organization. INLAND MYSAP directly supports 1,500 producer households in Kengtung, Pekon, Pinlaung, Kale, Shwe Bo and Amarapura – six townships in Mandalay and Sagaing Divisions, and Shan State. This includes aquaculture farmers, hatchery and feed mill operators, processors, market vendors and rice farmers that could diversify to paddy-cum-fish production. An additional 1,500 households will benefit from employment opportunities and increased income, while the nutritional impact is intended to have an even greater outreach.
A story of Mrs Than Nyunt proves the success of inland aquaculture intervention in Shwebo township.
Feeding and selling fish is the main source of income for Mrs Than Nyunt, who has farmed fish for 20 years. Four family members operate the farm with a total pond area of 4 acres (1.62 hectares), in Shwe Baw Kyun Village, Shwebo Township, Sagaing Region. Mrs Than Nyunt has cultured rohu for many years, which are used to produce ‘Nga Sar Nal’ (a processed fish product). Previously rohu was stocked at high densities and cultured with little or no feeding for one and a half years. At harvest the rohu weight was 5 Tical per fish (80 g) and the sale price was MMK 2,200 per viss (US$ 0.89 per kg).
In 2018, Mrs Than Nyunt was selected as an INLAND Myanmar Sustainable Aquaculture Programme (INLAND MYSAP) Project demonstration farmer. INLAND MYSAP, is one component of the European Union (EU) and the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) funded Myanmar Sustainable Aquaculture Programme (MYSAP). In Shwebo Township, INLAND MYSAP is working in collaboration with BRAC Myanmar and the Department of Fisheries to deliver extension and training services to small-scale farmers.
In the eight months since joining the project, BRAC Myanmar staff have provided training on improved techniques for culturing fish in her ponds. As an INLAND MYSAP demonstration farmer in August 2018 the project funded pond preparation costs including liming and stocking of 600 rohu and 200 silver barb into a 0.26 acre (0.1 ha) pond and provided feed for the fish.
After technical training from the project on small-scale aquaculture and improved human nutrition, Mrs Than Nyunt knows how to check water pH, to assess the amount of natural food (like plankton) in the pond and can sample and calculate how much feed should be fed to the fish. Three blue nylon feeding trays have been set up just under the water surface at different locations in the pond so that the fish and feed can be observed and fish feed is not wasted. In addition the project provided vegetable seeds which the household has grown on pond embankments so the family now eats a more diverse diet of vegetables, fish and meats.
Farming her fish following the technical recommendations of the project meant the fish grew very fast. At harvest, after only 8 months, the fish weighed on average 35 Tical each (560 g each). The table below shows that from the 0.26 acre pond (0.1 ha) alone with project support Mrs Than Nyunt made a net profit of nearly MMK 218,000 (US$ 140.6) and she plans to continue farming fish following the small-scale aquaculture techniques recommended by the project.