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About 30 farmers from various villages in Bogale and Mawlamyinegyun Townships participated in an activity comparing grain drying using the traditional sun-drying method and a flatbed dryer. The event was conducted by the Learning Alliance through the United Nations Office for Project Services-funded Livelihoods and Food Security Trust Fund (LiFT) project in Kyee Chaung Village on 3 April.
The farmers assessed the flatbed dryer installed by the International Rice Research Institute, Professionals for Development (GRET), and Welthungerhilfe (WHH) in Kyee Chaung. Farmers who had tried the flatbed dryer shared their experiences using the two methods in terms of the quality of paddy they obtained, cost, and how sun drying and flatbed drying performed under different weather conditions.
Participants also discussed possible mechanisms they can organize to encourage more farmers from Kyee Chaung and other villages to try the flatbed dryer. They also planned to distribute flyers and leaflets, and posters to these villages.
Flatbed dryer removes water from wet grains by forcing heated air through the grain. This model is easy to operate and gives better quality grain compared with sun drying. Its simple design allows local production and ensures easy maintenance and repair. More than 300 flatbed dryers have been installed in Myanmar and about 35,000 farmers are already benefiting from them.