This summer, Glen Fukumoto and Jonathan Deenik participated in technical-assistance assignments in Myanmar funded by US AID and coordinated by Winrock International. They engaged some 130 farmers and local government and NGO professionals in a series of workshops, with Glen covering small-scale composting technology for treating poultry waste and Jonathan addressing tropical soils and fertility management.
Besides attending presentations on technical aspects of compost production and its environmental and socioeconomic benefits, participants in Glen’s workshops constructed compost bins using local materials. The highlight of Jonathan’s workshops was his traveling soils lab, which tested farmers’ soil samples for pH, nitrogen, and phosphorus. Analysis results showed the farms’ soil fertility status and guided the farmers on nutrient-management practices to improve the crop yield.
Both of their topics were of critical importance to participants: implementing small-scale composting operations can help solve a multitude of critical environmental, economic, and social challenges facing rural farmers, while proper soil fertility is the fundamental requirement for a good crop yield and increased food security. US AID’s John Ogonowski and Doug Bereuter Farmer-to-Farmer Program provides assistance to developing countries to promote sustainable capacity building.