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I dislike that I have to use so many pesticides on my tomatoes but there is no other way. I am trying to source pesticides that are not so strong but the price difference is significant.

 

Our tradition of tomato farming has burgeoned, with demand from all over Myanmar and Inle is the only place where we can grow tomatoes all year round. To meet demand, I have been using pesticides to ensure a better harvest. Right now, there is a surplus so I’m not making as much as there is so much competition. I have to wait a little longer to ensure that I can make returns on investment, which also delays my ability to buy a more expensive, if less invasive pesticide.

 

Growing tomatoes is labour intensive process. We have to buy the peat from peat farmers and cutting this up can only be done manually. The peat is then loaded onto the canoes and floated over to this side of the lake and then we have to re-mulch with the grass from the bottom of the lake to make new peat soil. The peat is vegetable matter that doesn’t rot all the way because it is inundated with water. Some of my gardens are so long and wide, you can walk easily on them.

 

U Tin Aung
Kayla village
Tomato farmer