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    Entries in drip irrigation (6)


    A Proximity Love Story


    Maung Kyaw Win Naing admits that he’s not your average seventeen year-old. While many of his peers want to move away and work in nearby cities, he’s been begging to take charge of the family’s farm for years. “I like what I’m doing,” he says, “I like that I can plant something and see it grow, see all the young green leaves sprouting everywhere.” Life, however, takes funny turns, and just when Maung Kyaw finally got his wish, love happened.

    Even though the two of them grew up together in the village of Tha Yat Oak in the upper Delta region of Myanmar, they only started seeing each other shortly before she left to attend university in Hinthada, an hour away. Now in her second year, Maung Kyaw would slip away at any available chance to see her. As love blossomed, the family’s betel plants wilted.  

    Watering the family’s one-acre betel plot took Maung Kyaw and two hired workers five to seven hours every morning. Afterwards, Maung Kyaw managed the family’s blacksmithing and welding business. His father would grow angry if he neglected any of his responsibilities, and his girlfriend would be disappointed if Maung Kyaw couldn’t see her, but he simply had no time to spare. “Until last year, he was really immersed in the farm, but this year, his mind is elsewhere,” remarked Maung Kyaw’s father, as he remembers the tense period for the family.

    Just when it looked like nothing was going to give and no one was willing to budge, a Proximity agent visited the village. The family thought it sounded to good to be true, but Maung Kyaw convinced them to test drip irrigation. The difference was immediate. Using drip, Maung Kyaw spent only one hour a day watering the betel plants. By 7:30 am, he could set off for Hinthada to visit his girlfriend. What’s more, he could do the work by himself, so every month the family saves US $70 on labor and $60 on the diesel that would have otherwise gone to keeping their engine on for five to seven hours a day. Additionally, the family noticed fewer pests and diseases on their land. One and a half months after the purchase, the drip has more than paid for itself.

    These days, Maung Kyaw exudes the same enthusiasm he once had for taking on the family’s business. He’s speaking of planting an additional acre of betel in May, since he could manage the land by himself and still have plenty of time for social commitments. He’s also looking to expand their welding business, and dreams of someday starting a fully equipped workshop. His family is relieved at his renewed commitment; after all, they say, weddings these days can be quite expensive. 


    Stuck in the mud: a distribution odyssey

    Our distribution network, made up of over 2400 kiosks, shops, committees and agents, is one of the biggest in the country, and makes our products and services accessible to over 3 million households nationwide. Where they're needed most are often the most remote villages, those far from commercial towns. In these places, it's our village agents - normally customers themselves - running sales and service centers out of their own homes, who make Yetagon accessible. Channels Team member, Sherry Lin, reports on a trip to one of these newest centers: 

    Travel in rural Myanmar is rarely easy, and our journey to visit U Tun Tun Win and help him set up his new agent center, was no exception. Early in the morning our cavalcade of three motorbikes set off from the town nearest to his home, Pyay. Two hours of ill prepared for dirt biking later we hit our first major hurdle: a sand bottomed river that almost lost us one of our three bikes. Twenty minutes of struggling later, we extricated the bike and drove another 45 minutes to arrive at Tun Tun Win’s home. All in all, the journey totaled 6 hours round trip, which our Shwedaung Sales Demonstrators regularly complete! 

    Once we reached his home, we were warmly welcomed with hot tea and a lunch of fresh Ayeyarwady prawns. Tun Tun Win was lively and eager to share his stories and experiences. He told us he was an early adopter of Yetagon products in his village, and credits Yetagon with his current success. He recounted how he struggled to irrigate his three betel plots before he bought his first drip set: “I didn’t know what drip was, but I felt that I had nothing to lose at that point by trying something new. I’m so lucky I took a chance on drip because, after one year, those three plots became ten betel plots. Now I have over 100 betel plots, and have convinced so many others in my village to try the technology too!” U Tun Tun Win’s plots, overlooking the Ayeyarwady River, now grow twelve different types of crop, ranging from cucumbers to lemons. Today, he has even become successful enough to hire others to help him work his land. 

    The first to introduce Yetagon drip irrigation and profitable betel leaf and rose growing to his village, it is clear that U Tun Tun Win has a strong entrepreneurial spirit. His sales motto is to lead and sell by example. “People are always curious about, and persuaded, by success,” he told us. “As long as I work to keep my farm successful, people will always come by to ask for advice. They see the Yetagon products on my land and want to know how to purchase them too.” With his clear current successes, we’re pretty certain that Tun Tun Win’s new agent center will be a busy place.


    Here's to Season 9!

    As promised, on Friday we launched our ninth season!

    Here's a shot of some of our sales staff getting prepped for a group photo, a couple minutes after we officially launched to the bangs of 150 party poppers.

    In the next few days we'll share with you the designs and stories behind our new pressure pump (the Baby Buffalo), our new water tank (the Pyit Taing Taung - or Roly-Poly Toy Tank), and our improved drip irrigation system, as well as reveal the new marketing campaign we've developed for this year. Innovation is the key to success in a market as tough as our one and our design teams have out done themselves this year. Stay tuned to find out more. 



    Drip: An Old Couple's Tale

    Meet endearing couple, U Aung Than and Daw Khin Win. They've had some trouble with their crops in the past, but since installing drip irrigation on their small plot they've been seeing some great results.


    How to get a girlfriend: A guide for busy farmers

    Like farming, dating is very time consuming. Eligible young farmers, like 24 year old Ko Kyaw Kyaw Sein from Kyaukse in the Myanmar delta, are spending hours pumping and lugging water in sprinkler cans every day, leaving them minimal free time to be out chasing girls.

    Enter Proximity's drip irrigation system. Ko Kyaw installed it on his betel plot a few weeks ago and it's already saving him about 3 hours a day of labour.

    "Now I’ve got some free time", he tells us, "I’m going to use it to woo the girls. There's a girl I quite like already but I've always been too busy with the farm to spend time with her. Now I can!"