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Project information

Improving the livelihoods of landless villagers

Many of the villagers in the Irrawaddy delta are landless labourers, who are paid daily and have very meagre and irregular incomes. We will implement a village-led scheme to bolster their income through pig breeding. This has been very successful in other parts of Myanmar, and can double incomes.

January 2017 - December 2017

Charity information: Helping The Burmese Delta

Helping The Burmese Delta logo
  • Need


    The problem is simple - poverty! Opportunities for earning income in the Delta are effectively limited to labouring in rice production, and fishing.

    Because there is only one rice crop per year where we operate, incomes are both low and seasonal.

    We are therefore seeking practical opportunities to increase and stabilise the incomes of these very needy people.


    We propose to adopt a proven model from the US charity Shanta, which involves the breeding and sale of pigs.

    The charity's input is to develop a plan with a village and train chosen participants. Each participant family receives a breeding sow. When the piglets are sold, the family pay back the original cost of the sow from the proceeds. This money goes back to the village, which then chooses another family. Once running the scheme is self-supporting, and greatly increases villager income.

  • Aims

    Aim 1

    To establish working pig breeding schemes which improve villager income.


    » We have already met with Shanta and inspected their successful scheme. We will modify the approach if needed for the local conditions of the delta.
    » We Identified four pilot villages, and through village meetings, presented and discussed the scheme. The pilots are up and running.
    » The village pig committees each choose ten families to conduct a pilot. The families are trained on how to look after their pig.
    » Progress is monitored through birth of the litters and sale of the piglets. Lessons are learned before extending the scheme to further families.

    What success will look like

    By the successful production and sale of the piglets, and the return of funds to the village to enable further families to participate.

    Aim 2

    Extend the scheme to 50 families in total.


    » Identify five further villages, and ten families in each.
    » Implement the programme in these villages, incorporating lessons learned from the pilots.

    What success will look like

    As in Aim 1.

  • Impact


    If we improve incomes, this will provide money especially to improve education. Parents will be able to keep children in school, and send them to further education. They can also invest money in other income-generating projects thus raising the prosperity of the village and area.

    We will regularly monitoring progress and will carry out appropriate research to assess impact

    The experience of Shanta is that this scheme has a huge return for the village over 5 years.


    The main risk is that the villagers fail to look after the animals properly. Thorough training should minimise this, but if necessary we will remove the pig and give it to another family.

    The second risk is that the village does not administrate the scheme well. Because these are small communities and run very democratically, we think this is not likely, but we will step in if it looks like occurring. We have chosen what we regard as well-run villages with good experience of pig farming.


    We report regularly through our website, Facebook, and newsletters.

  • Budget

    Budget - Project Cost: £10,000

    Loading graph....
      Amount Heading Description
      £5,400 Sow purchase Purchasing 50 sows
      £1,200 Training Conducting training for villages and villagers.
      £1,000 Travel costs Costs of travel and accommodation
      £2,400 Pig food Cost of feeding 50 pigs for one year
  • Background


    The Irrawaddy Delta region of Myanmar/Burma. Within this, the Bogalay and Thar Paung townships, and then the village tracts of Yay Kyaw Toe, and Ma Gyi Kone.


    The landless rural extreme poor, and their families. The families chosen will be among the poorest in each village, generally earning about £2 a day during the times they can find work.

  • Why Us?

    Why Us?

    We have worked in this area since 2008, and know the villagers very well. We are trusted by both them and the local authorities.

    Read more about the Charity running this project.


    May Tha-Hla

    May will oversee the project with our Myanmar team.

    Htoo Hlaing Win

    Htoo is our Myanmar Country Manager and will supervise the project on the ground.


£100 will purchase one breeding sow.