MYSAP is helping farmers to reduce post-harvest losses and the loss of nutritional value in processing through technical advice and pilot activities on improved post-harvest processing. MYSAP and its partners created a series of workshops in rural areas of Shan State and Sagaing Region, targeting women of low income households with aiming at enhancing the existing knowledge on short value chain processing technology for small scale processing and preservation techniques for good food quality and basic financial literacy.
So far within the MYASAP framework, 130 participants in different townships across the regions were trained in fish processing and value added. For many participants, their life changed positively before and after joining the trainings. The stories of Ma Shee Lar & Ma Nan Laung Swan are therefore quite remarkable.
Ma Shee Lar is the family’s bread maker, living with her two sons in Mine Gyi Village Tract of Kengtung township in Eastern Shan State. She, a divorced woman, is in her early fourties and her average daily income is MMK 10,000 (about EUR 6.50).
In 2018, she decided to participate in one of MYSAP’s Value Added Fishery Product Trainings in Kengtung. She attended a 3 days training in Kengtung and learned to cook nutritious fish balls, fish cracker and Murukku – an Indian savoury crunchy snack – out of fish and other easy to obtain food products. During the training, she participated actively and impressed her trainer, Daw Khin May Kyi.
Ma Nan Laung Swan is a housewife of 6 family members in Shee Lone Myo Thit of Kengtung Township, Eastern Shan State. She earnst most of her income through handicraft, especially making accessories for Lahu traditional clothes. She is in her late fourties and her average daily income is MMK 5000 (about EUR 3.25).
In 2018, she, too, decided to participate in one of MYSAP’s Value Added Fishery Product Training in Kengtung. She attended together with Ma Shee Lar for 3 days in Kengtung. Ma Shee Lar and Ma Nan Laung Swan agreed to team up and develop their own business idea and start a business together as they have learned from MYSAP’s Value-Added Fishery Product Training.
They started the business of producing small snacks like fish ball and distributing them to street venders in Kengtung just a week after the training. They sold 2 viss (1 viss = 1.63 kg) of fish balls in the evening after finishing their daily works. They needed to invest MMK 25,000 (about EUR 16.30) and had an income of MMK 50,000 (about EUR 32.60) thus having a profit of MMK 25,000 per day. They have nearly doubled their income and are very pleased. They used some amount of income for themselves but saved and invested into some tools which they can use to further improve and expand their business to meet the high demand.
They said their small business will prosper because they now have practical experiences in producing the product as well as the knowledges of marketing in Kengtung as well as the knowledge of essential tools. They strongly believe that their small business will be sustainable and successful in the future.