Myanmar Field Survey (3-4)

Highland Vegetable Village in Shan

Takashi Kurosaki

Last revision: Aug. 29, 2001

Another area famous for vegetable production in Shan State is a highland area near Kalaw. This photo shows a typical view of our survey village (July 2001). The deep blue-green in the front is a cauliflower field. Over the cauliflower plot, a series of small paddy fields are shown. In the back, sloping fields are seen, which are sometimes under shifting cultivation.

Among these types of fields, vegetable plots near village houses are the most important. The village produces huge amount of cabbages, cauliflowers, and garlic. These products are marketed to all parts of Myanmar. Big houses in the village indicate that highland vegetable cultivation is very lucrative on the average.

Farmers sometimes sell their vegetables directly in periodic markets. They also sell through village middlemen. This photo shows a farmer bringing a cart full of cauliflower to the village middleman's house.

A cart full of cauliflower is sold to the middleman, who re-load the vegetable to a small truck. To guarantee that the truck is always filled with vegetables everyday is key to the economic success of a middleman. In the storage house behind, huge stock of garlic was found.

Vegetable cultivation is lucrative on the average but also subject to high risk. Surveyed farmers told us a stunning story of total failure of cabbages due to diseases or sudden collapse of market prices that forced farmers to leave vegetables un-harvested in the field. Therefore, rice cultivation on small paddy fields is important although its average productivity is very low. The photo shows terrace-like paddy fields near the survey village.

Fortunately, we were able to find a lady transplanter. Each paddy field is very small. The village is in deficit of rice and purchases it from outside.

The paddy plants for transplantation are of regular size. You can compare with large plants found in Lower Myanmar deep-water area.

Sloping fields around terraced paddy fields are left fallow for livestock breeding. The photo shows a child buffalo. I was surprised with its wool.

The survey village has a big primary school with middle school section as well. Pupils go to school on the way just next to the house of a village secretary, where we had interviews. In this photo, pupils go to school happily with musical instruments.

And this is the way we interviewed villagers in the village secretary's house. Thank you very much for all the villagers.

Cats in Rural Myanmar@ Working Farmers and Livestock in Myanmar@ Rice Growing Village in Lower Myanmar@ Floating Vegetable Plots on Inle Lake, Shan@ Highland Vegetable Village in Shan

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