A visit to a fine land – meeting a farmer who makes strenuous efforts

By Aye Aye Moe Hlaing (Myanma Alinn)

 

Although Twantay is situated in Yangon Region, the features are different. It is such a peaceful area with farmlands and creeks and so Twantay attracts the people to take a rest there leaving the colourful housing and heat of tar and concrete roads.
More beautiful and peaceful places are sunflower plantations and the paddy fields in Phaya Ngoketol village of Twantay District. The picturesque scenes can ease your anxiety. That place is called “Doh Lal Taw” (Our Farm). In other words, it is the name of the restaurant.
Therefore, we interviewed U Win Myint, the owner of “Doh Lal Taw”.

Q: Good Morning, Uncle.
A: Good Morning.

Q: My first question: Is the farmland owned by you or your ancestors? How many acres are in this field?
A: It is not ancestral farmland. It is my property bought under my name. There are 20.58 acres.
Q: Why did you buy this farmland?
A: I am not a farmer indeed. I grow plants according to my natural bent. I bought it just for production.

Q: I would like to know about the work processes which offer different feelings and unusual production.
A: I did not purchase the farmland with the expectation of profits. I intend to keep going to the stage of production. I do it for my country and people. For example, I think about being a farmer. I thought about whether there is a way to develop the status of farmers or on the other hand, to become rich.
There are two kinds of farmlands. One is the land where we can cultivate, another is the hills and ponds where we cannot cultivate. The farmers live on the hills. There are ponds to drink. There are also other things such as cattle, cows, chickens and ducks which are related to farmers. This is the lifestyle of a farmer.
So, I think about what a farmer should do to make progresses in his own farmlands. Then, I grow monsoon paddy, summer paddy, sunflower and rubber. I initially faced failures in farming. I have less experience. The agrochemical usage is high and the production rate is low.
Then, I find other ways. I ask my friends how to find good seedlings, and when I should plant and cultivate them. I focused on the production and adopted effective measures. As the transport services become better, I always go there and cultivate systematically.
I have a different idea. If my plan A fails, I keep going with plan B. I find the solution depending on the production. Only then, I can say how is my achievement. I grow without expecting the land prices, investment, duration and profits. Then, I can grab positive achievements.

Q: As you said you intend to go to the stage of production not only the production. Therefore, I would like to know the value and importance of production.
A: The farmlands bring benefits to a certain extent depending on the cultivation rate. It should try hard to get success. They will become production. The production can make the country rich. If there is no production, the country will become poor. If we do not expand the profitability and we spend them, all will run out. Therefore, production is a key role.

Q: Please brief me about the cultivation of an edible oil crop – sunflower.
A: Sunflower is planted in …. I bought this field for production on my natural bent and repaired it. First, I dug the land and put the feed in it. I put three or four seeds and covered them with ash. If we grow for commercial purposes, we need some agricultural methods and seeders.

Q: How did you try hard to gain such an achievement?
A: Whatever I do, I do it with strenuous efforts. For example, if the water sprinkler gun does not work, I buy another one. It is my expenditure and so it becomes successful like that.

Q: Are you satisfied with your current situation and achievement?
A: It cannot be said that it is a successful situation in reality. It is just progressing as I made efforts. I have certain weaknesses and so it cannot be said I am satisfied with them.

Q: If so, what would you like to add for other people who want to grow in such farmlands?
A: Do your best no matter what businesses you run, and try hard. If so, you will be satisfied with the outcomes. The main point is the market. If it makes profits and the farmers or the production entrepreneurs create the market, there is no need to worry about the losing of farmlands and they can expand their farming acres.

Q: When I came here, I found Doh Lal Taw (Our Farm) restaurant and sunflower plantation. I would like to know about the relationship between this field and Doh Lal Taw restaurant.
A: I made a plantation at first. There is no Laltaw restaurant. It emerged later.

Q: Yes. Please tell me why you established the Laltaw restaurant.
A: We, the farmers have difficulties conserving the farmlands in the long run as we have to invest from the time of cultivation to the harvesting. Therefore, I think to start a work based on agriculture. At that time, there were lands for dams and ponds. Those who return from there come to our field in search of something.
Our field is a farm with a green plantation and it is also a place for a farmer to live in and so I’ve got an idea to open a shop with decoration. Since then, I can make extra income. I reinvest with that income and so it does not make any hardships to me. I get the capital from the customers. As the customers give such capital, I can buy further farmland in addition to my usual plantation.

A: I have read the poem “To a Fine Land” by Sayamagyi Ngwetaryi. The last paragraph goes …

Pondering how fine,
prosperous and peaceful my garden is
Wanting to improve my yard
To be full of grace,
When the white and blue flowers lie in his land,
There must be red and yellow ones in my land,
Thinking about the changes to greening the garden,
Strenuous efforts are ever done.
I have responsibility for the greening of my garden. I cannot go abroad and I don’t want to go there. We must work for our country. I will create a lifestyle that we want to live just in our country. I want to offer the received things to our people. The Thing I would like to highlight is that the farmer can make his compound or yard to become more pleasant when he receives extra income if he opens such a restaurant on his own land.

Q: As your answer, the way to make extra income by running another business on his own farmland will encourage the farmers and new generations to understand and value the lands of their country and make efforts to grab various results meeting the target, the production despite the profits.
A: Thank you.

Translated.

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