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UNESCO finalizes the shooting of a series of educational TV programmes on agricultural development and livelihoods

The TV production crew from MRTV and ABCID filming an interview in Shan State. @Cheri Mangrai/ABCID

A model farm amid the ancient pagodas of Bagan, in Nyaung-U district, was the setting for the last scenes of the TV programmes that UNESCO is producing in collaboration with MRTV and ABC, the Australian Broadcasting Corporation. The TV series is part of a project by UNESCO and the Ministry of Information that intends to provide rural communities and farmers with key information that at the moment is not readily available in most of Myanmar. Having access to information and knowledge related to weather conditions, nutritious foods, agriculture techniques or market prices can contribute greatly to reducing poverty and improving the livelihoods of thousands of people whose livelihoods depend on the rural sector.

After filming in Nyaung-U, the production crew returned to MRTV’s studios in Tatkone where the final editing of the programmes is being done under the supervision of experts from ABC, a leading broadcaster in the Asia-Pacific region. It marks the last step in a long journey that has brought the team to remote areas across Rakhine, Shan, Ayeyarwaddy, Chin and Mandalay states in search of stories and experiences that can serve to educate and inspire viewers across the country.

The TV production crew filming one of the TV programmes in a mangrove forest in Rakhine State. @Cheri Mangrai/ABCID

The initiative, which is funded by the Livelihoods and Food Security Trust Fund, has been very well received by the Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock and Irrigation.  After watching footage from the programmes, U Htay Naing, District Officer at the Department of Agriculture in Nyaung-U said they, "provide information that is very much needed by rural communities in Myanmar, and they are very useful for us (extension workers). Right now we can only show posters and leaflets to farmers, but with these TV and radio programmes, we can reach out to more people and we will be able to expand our training and get communities more interested, as TV and radio are also very entertaining.”

Mikel Aguirre, Project Officer at UNESCO, explains that “the project will also show the challenging conditions of day-to-day life in the rural Myanmar. The programmes provide these groups the opportunity to voice their concerns and share their experiences with farmers in other regions that might be facing the same difficulties, inspiring them to make the necessary changes that can contribute to a better life. We also believe that TV and radio are very powerful tools to influence the authorities to develop laws and policies that meet the needs of those whose lives depend on agriculture, livestock breeding or fishing. When lawmakers and policymakers in Nay Pyi Taw switch on their TVs and radios, they will have farmers directly talking to them about what they need and what should be done to improve their lives.”

The series is composed of 6 TV  programmes, 10 Radio programmes and 34 short Public Service Announcements that will be broadcast in the coming weeks through MRTV’s various TV and radio platforms including MRTV and the Farmer’s Channel. The shows will also be translated into 18 ethnic languages and aired through the National Races Channel – TV and radio-. In addition to the TV and radio programmes, UNESCO, in collaboration with the news agency Myanmar Now, is providing a news and features Service covering stories about agricultural development and livelihoods that local media outlets can publish for free. 

For further information on the “Communication for Sustained Livelihoods and Food Security Project”, please contact Mr Mikel Aguirre Idiaquez, Project Officer (m.aguirre-idiaquez@unesco.org) or Ms Naing Naing Aye (nn.aye@unesco.org) , National Programme Officer at UNESCO Yangon Office.



17.01.2017