- Increasing Pollination in Myanmar -
With support from the agriculture company Syngenta, Tag is running a pollinator project in Myanmar aimed at developing an education campaign and activities to support the awareness and protection of beneficial pollinators (honey bees) as well as reducing harmful exposure to the risk of agro-chemicals due to incorrect application and lack of protective equipment.
For the last fifteen years Syngenta has been running Operation Pollinator to foster suitable habitats for bees. Tag and Syngenta concluded that similar project activities can be done in Myanmar, especially in mango-growing regions in Shan and Kayah States operating with honey bees and other natural pollinators.
The project is piloting an integrated agricultural education program in which the farming and pollination aspects are synchronised, leading to benefits to both smallholder households and beekeepers. This will be carried out through:
- Integrating agro-chemicals safety education into pollination related awareness raising activities
- Developing demonstration plots for testing additional crops to replace and add to the existing crops that attract bees
- Testing/developing specific protocols for safe use of agro-chemicals in orchards during honey flow seasons or migratory seasons when bees are present.
The project will work with farmers to:
- Promote safe and appropriate use of agro-chemicals, including Health & Safety, protective equipment and accurate and relevant information on quantities required for specific crops
- Raise awareness about the impact of agro-chemicals on beneficial pollinators, in particular bees, so as to retain pollinators in heavily sprayed crops such as mango and other orchards.
- Educate about the need to increase activities that attract pollinators, in order to increase the value of the crops and nurture the bee population.
We have a particular focus on women as they carry out most of the field work, while the traditional education activities on agro-chemical safety often involve mainly men.
Through this initiative, we aim to benefit:
- 5,000 smallholder farmers increase knowledge and application of correct agro-chemicals
- 500 mango growers/coffee growers attend education trainings on pollination/agro-chemicals safety
- 300 agricultural students learn about pollination
- Other stakeholders: NGOs, Public Sector, Intergovernmental funders, Private Sector through Knowledge sharing seminars and pollinator safety protocols
- 50,000 plus general public in targeted project areas through communications in social and media networks
About Operation Pollinator
Operation Pollinator was launched in the UK in 2001 as a collaboration between Syngenta and the Center for Ecology and Hydrology to increase the foliage suitable for bees, thereby increasing the potential of beekeeping and adding further benefits to the farmers through increased pollinators. The program was so successful that it was adapted subsequently by 16 European countries and the US. In 2014, Syngenta launched the project in South Korea in collaboration with Andong National University. Tag beekeeping experts together with Myanmar based ARBC Director attended a recent field visit organized by the company to learn about the program and assess its suitability for Myanmar. The purpose of Operation Pollinator initiative is to boost the number of pollinating insects in agricultural farms and orchards. The South Korean project operates in apple orchards, where there are no beekeepers operating in the area, as the orchard owners heavily use agro-chemicals. Consequently, they created human-made habitats to attract the insects. Tag experts who have visited the project site, attested that they have seen farmers appreciated the project benefits.