We have long been interested in improving villagers’ livelihoods in these desperately poor regions, and finally found a great prospect in a pig breeding scheme pioneered in Shan state by our good friends from the Shanta Foundation.
The less poor farmers do own pigs, but the villagers who really need help cannot afford the start-up costs. So we donate funds to the village committee to purchase a pig and a pen for each very poor family, and help them with pig food costs.
When they get their first litter to saleable size, they donate from their sales the cost of a pig and pen back to the committee, who buy a pig for another family. Each sow can have two litters of about six piglets twice a year, each of which can be sold after two months for at least £25.
This makes a huge difference to the annual income of the families.
As soon as the scheme is validated in Ywa Thar Aye, and the other pilot location Ngoke Chaung, we will roll it out rapdly