Whole Township Extension Program

   In the late 1970s, the Burma Socialist Programme Party regime sought to increase agricultural yields by promoting the cultivation of high-yield varieties of rice, which had been initially developed at the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI) in the Philippines. In the 1977-1978 planting year, the varieties were introduced to two townships, and by 1982-1983 had spread to more than 50 percent of the country's rice lands. The program was initially a great success: Paddy yields also increased by 50 percent. But these increases could not be sustained because of variable weather conditions and inadequate investment in fertilizers, pesticides, and farm mechanization. Also, the state threatened many farmers with expropriation of their land if they did not plant the new varieties. However, many Burmese consumers found them less tasty than traditional varieties of rice.

Historical Dictionary of Burma (Myanmar). . 2014.

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