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FREDA tends to planted seedlings in southern Shan villages

Myitmakha News Agency

Nyaungshwe, September 12 – a variety of crop seedlings planted in six mountain villages nearby the southern Shan State town of Heho are being replanted and maintained by the Forest Resource Environment Development and Conservation Association (FREDA), a Myanmar-based NGO, according the Myanmar Institute for Integrated Development (MIID).

Of a total 16,000 seedlings which were planted with assistance from the Nepal-based International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development (ICIMOD) and FREDA back in June this year, over a thousand have reportedly not flourished as hoped for.

“A staff from FREDA and tended to the planted seedlings, replanting any found to have wilted and died. Some of the seedlings planted in rocky areas with hard soil haven’t survived as water from recent downpours hasn’t been able to drain away. The substitute seedlings are those left over from amount originally purchased, potentially rendering some discrepancies between seedlings planted together,” said U Soe Naing Htay, regional staff of MIID for Nyaungshwe Township.

Over 40 seedlings comprised of bamboo, mango, avocado, cassod, lime and eucalyptus were handed out to each household of the six project villages, totaling 400 households overall that originally planted the seedlings, according to local residents.

“The initiative started to take shape back in April 2014, with the trees actually starting to be planted the following year in 2015. We’re now currently beginning the project for this year. These villages rely on rain water to drink so the seedlings will only be successful if they can properly be maintained,” David Abrahamson, programme manager at MIID, told Myitmakha News Agency.

A dearth of natural water sources in the region means that the six project villages solely rely upon rain water for drinking, washing and agricultural activities. It’s a part of Myanmar where cabbages, cauliflowers, butter beans, bananas and bamboo are traditional grown.

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