Fifty-five-year-old Daw Than Than Shwe, a mother of two, grows 27 acres of rice in Kyu Taw village in Myanmar's Irawaddy Delta.
Since the cyclone, Mercy Corps has been helping Daw Than Than Shwe and 131 other rice farmers in her village by creating a seed bank. Each participating farmer member received 60,000 Kyat — about $80 U.S. — for seeds and fertilizer. After each harvest, they put some of their rice seed into storage as insurance against future crop failures. So far, all of the farmers have contributed their share.
Five of Daw Than Than Shwe's acres are also planted with improved seeds provided by Mercy Corps. The (non-GMO) seeds yield more rice and show better resistance to droughts and pests than the rice currently used to plant fields.