Strawberry cultivation in Hopong supports country’s agricultural development

In accordance with the nine objectives of the State Adminis­tration Council “To enhance agri­culture and livestock production with modern technologies for the benefit of all National people and to promote growth in other sec­tors of the economy for achieving national prosperity and food se­curity.”, strawberry cultivation is increasingly formulated for the agricultural development with the State economic promotion fund.


Many farmers in Lwaiaun Village, Yankin Village, Htanchar Village, and Pharloi Village lo­cated in Hopong Township, Pa-O Self-Administered Zone in southern Shan State, grow strawberries in the winter sea­son. Those cultivation fields are also attractive to travellers. Strawberry cultivation is costly and needs many input factors to increase productivity. The state also subsidizes the strawberry growers to promote the coun­try’s economy.


Promoting the strawberry market and cultivation in Hopon­eg will assist the development of local farmers’ socio-economic development, market turnovers achieving good quality straw­berries, and attracting tourists.


To formulate the agricul­tural sector development with the State economic promotion fund, the strawberry growers’ group, namely ‘Yankin Straw­berry Group’ has been estab­lished with 108 farmers from five villages where strawberry growing is the major business in Hopong. Member of the Yankin Strawberry group U Khun Tun Sein remarked that the land, water, weath­er, and natural resourc­es of Hopone favours strawberry cultivation. Strawberry is a regional fruit; thus, the agricul­tural department also assists the farmers to get good quality seeds. Straw­berries from Hopong can be delivered to Yangon and Nay Pyi Taw markets since the quality is good. The Strawberry group from Loiaun, Kantan, Htanchar, and Pharloi villages has already received K5,000,000 from the State economic promotion fund with low-interest rates.


To promote the country’s agricultural sector with modern technologies, loans are subsi­dized by the State economic promotion fund from November 2023 to April 2024. There are a total of 100 cultivation acres by 108 farmers involving 94 acres by 99 farmers from Yankin Village, one acre by two farmers from Phar­loi Village, 1.5 acres by two farm­ers from Tonkhum, 2.5 acres by three farmers from Kanta, and one acre by two farmers from Loiaun Village. A total of 10,000 strawberry seedlings can be grown in one acre which costs over K14,000,000. Approximately 2,800 visses are expected to be produced per acre, especially in harvesting time from January to May. The strawberry price is K6,500 per viss on average. Therefore, approximately K18,200,000 will be earned for an acre, which gener­ates K4,000,000 profit for an acre.


The strawberry growers reported that strawberry yield in Ho­pong this year is much bet­ter than years before and earns more than the previ­ous year. On the other hand, the cost was also high this year. For instance, fertilizer prices and la­bour charges are getting higher much more than last year. There are various colours in strawber­ries; mostly red, pink, and white with various shapes including oval. Locally called ‘Japanese species’ are primarily grown and are also good to transport to faraway regions.


Strawberries are usually seeded in late April (after Thing­yan) and grown in July. It is har­vested in December. Productivi­ty is low in the initial harvesting time. The strawberries are har­vested once every three days for three-acre cultivation. It has to harvest at least 70 buckles, each containing more than one viss of strawberry in each harvest time.


Various species of strawber­ries such as Chinese Taipei soft, brittle, species combination of Japanese species and Myanmar species, Japanese species, local species, etc in Hopong. — Pan Khaye (Hopong)/TMT