Thein Paing and his family have lived for generations in Myanmar’s Central Dryzone, an area that today is on the brink of desertification causing food insecurity and deepening poverty. Hailing from a family of farmers, Thein Paing never completed school reluctantly choosing to follow in his father’s footsteps.

As changes in climate took hold, monsoonal rain caused widespread flooding making it difficult to rely on rain fed agriculture. This left the land dusty and infertile during the dry season.

Unable to grow enough food to feed his family, Thein Paing was forced to send his eldest son to work in Malaysia in order for their family to survive.

With a goal to tackle food insecurity in the area, ADRA Myanmar launched the Sustainable Grazing and Irrigation Pilot Project (SGRIP). Funded and supported by ADRA Australia and AusAID, this project provides training in holistic grazing management practices for farmers like Pain. The trainings focus on revitalization of land that was once central to a thriving agricultural industry.

An innovative approach to combat desertification, farmers are trained in how to use goats, cows and sheep to rejuvenate the land by stirring and fertilizing the soil so that water is able to penetrate the surface and cause grass to grow during monsoon season.

With newfound hope and income for his family, Thein Paing is thankful for the support and education he received with plans to bring his eldest son home from Malaysia to work alongside him once more in their new venture.

“ADRA helped us gain more knowledge and now we feel hopeful that life will get better. I hope that other children in our village will have an opportunity for a better life.” — Thein Paing

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