Awba Group is one of Myanmar’s largest agribusinesses offering farmers a range of products and services including agricultural chemicals, fertilizers, seeds, finance, and production advice. As crop specialists, they leverage the latest innovations to help 3.5 million farming families in agriculturally significant rural areas, focusing on crop protection, crop nutrition and high-quality seeds. Using a direct-to-farmer model, the company has a vast distribution and extension network of 47 company-owned sale depots, 5,000 exclusive dealers and sub-dealers, 10,000 selected key farmers, and 1,500 extension workers.
The company has been broadening its engagement in new areas such as crop insurance, digital tools, logistics, and knowledge transfer and training. It explores a new inclusive business model through a technology platform called Htwet Toe currently being developed in cooperation with VillageLink, a for-profit social enterprise. The app has features such as information on product-specific farm technology and inputs, satellite data for planted areas for crop-yield predictions and crop diagnosis, mobile phone-based tractor rentals, price information, product authentication and soil analysis, a loyalty programme, daily localised weather, app-based training, one-stop-payment for inputs, and connections between smallholder farmers and suppliers and buyers. As of December 2019, Htwet Toe has seen over 450,000 installations, and resolved over 40,000 queries for farmers. The application is part of the Myanmar Mobile Value Added Services for Agriculture (MyVAS4Agri) project with the Geodata for Agriculture and Water Facility. The facility is a programme by the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs to support food security and water and is executed by the Netherlands Space Office.
Awba-VillageLink is the biggest network for low-income farmers. The social impact of the potential model is currently being assessed through a separate impact study.