Published

2020-04-08

Excerpt from a report by Patrick Trail – ECHO Asia

As I walk the farm with Mr. Tuntun in rural Myanmar, I can’t help but smile as he proudly shows me the biochar he now makes and uses in his potting mix for his fruit tree seedlings. Instead of burning, he now turns his organic waste material from the farm into a valuable resource that can be used to produce more crops, instead of losing his carbon to the atmosphere through smoke.

About one year ago, Mr. Tuntun attended a Seed Saving Workshop in Pyin Oo Lwin and learned how to make biochar during one of the hands-on sessions. He immediately returned home and tried it for himself, and has been very successful. Mr. Tuntun now even hosts a facebook page where he shares his farming techniques with other Burmese-speaking farmers, explaining practices like biochar, among others!

Thaung Si and TunTun

Thaung Si (left) and Tuntun (right) showing off sword bean seed that came from the ECHO Asia Seed Bank and is now being grown out to supply the seed bank there in Myanmar.

So much of what has happened here stems from our key partner in this region, Mr. Thaung Si. As a longtime friend and partner of ECHO Asia, Thaung Si has joined us for training events on numerous occasions and we have learned much from him as well. Three years ago he established a Community Seed Bank at the Lisu Baptist Theological Seminary. Through his seed bank he teaches agriculture and gardening practices to students, and has had a major impact on many lives, sowing seeds of many different types. It was here that Mr. Tuntun and nearly one hundred other local farmers and participants received the training in Biochar and other techniques last year, and Thaung Si follows up with them regularly.

The community of ECHO has many partners as dedicated as Thaunag Si throughout the region, and around the world. These partners, when well equipped, are capable of equipping so many more!