A project to fight rural poverty through selected value chains
End of November ProFound’s team members Bert-Jan and Geertje visited Myanmar to train the Multistakeholder platform (MSP) for cardamom and turmeric. This MSP has been established by SNV under the project “Improving the incomes and nutrition outcomes of rural poor in Northern Kayin State”. That project was implemented by a consortium of CDN-ZOA, World Concern Myanmar, CORDAID and local partners since 2016 in Thandaunggyi township in Kayin State. The project is amongst others helping the rural poor to “step-up”. It aims at improving their position in selected value chains, to access markets, credit and other inputs.
Challenges of the cardamom market
The access to the market for the locally produced cardamom (assumed to be the variety A.Villosum) shows different challenges. The majority of the production ends up through informal trade on the TCM (traditional chinese medicine) market in China. The last harvest of the year 2019 was marked by the lowest price in history. Consquently, this made it difficult for farmers to make a profit or even to manage to end up break-even.
The purpose of ProFound’s workshop in November was twofold:
- Share knowledge on the international market for cardamom and turmeric, including market requirements.
- Develop a short-term action plan.
Based on product-market matching exercises the MSP got better insight in the steps to be taken to improve the opportunities for the cardamom farmers on the short and longer term. Together with SNV, ProFound will continue to support the MSP and the farmers with the implementation of the action plan until the end of the project (mid 2020). Hopefully ProFound involvement will continue afterwards with follow-up activities.