YANGON — A social venture in Myanmar is boosting farm outputs with customized technologies and giving loans for seasonal migration to raise incomes in one of the world's poorest countries.
Proximity Designs, which was set up in 2004 in the country's commercial hub Yangon, focuses on farming, on which more than two-thirds of the population relies to make a living.
The ethical business gives farming advice, custom-designed irrigation products, and loans for crops, livestock and migration to about 200,000 clients in the Southeast Asian nation.
"İt's about improving access of smallholder farmers to knowledge, technology and capital," said Ben Warren, head of strategy and finance at Proximity. "Myanmar was closed for so long, it was hard for farmers to access these. While access is better now, not many products are made for farmers or reach them."
Myanmar began emerging from nearly half a decade of military rule in 2011. Helping its smallholder farmers requires a deep understanding of context, as well as empathy and creativity, Warren told Reuters.
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