Researching on NUS Conservation
I am Nang Moe Khaing, 35 years old, and living in Kho Hant, Lone Hay village tract, Hopong Township, Southern Shan, Myanmar.
Metta is implementing two projects in my village. I did not join the previous project, but I joined this project as one of the participants. This project got my interest because it is all about Women, Seeds and Nutrition — three words I don’t usually hear in the same sentence. This project supports and develops the knowledge and skills of womenfolks. It taught me the basics of local seed conservation. Through it, I gained skills on how to prepare nutritious foods.
I also learned how to do simple on-farm research on neglected and underutilized species (NUS). In the beginning, we felt awkward doing research on NUS because we did not know how to do it and never before experienced it.
Later on, we were so happy to do it as we came to know the process of making research design. Prior to the project, we were not familiar of the growth stages of a plant but now we know it by heart.
In the on-farm research, we studied how to transplant some food plants from the wild to the home garden in hopes to start its domestication. We learned that some food plants are better off in the forest because it is not practical to domesticate them in home gardens. We conserve these plants so that they will not disappear quickly.
I myself grow vegetables in my home garden as well as in the fences. I have saved money by growing vegetables in my home garden and collecting NUS from the forest.
I share the knowledge and skills that I have learned from the project to others especially the need to conserve the NUS that have medicinal value as well as our existing local seeds.
Photo and anecdote were collected by Khun Chit Htoo, Area Coordinator for SD=HS Pillar 3 of METTA Foundation