Yenzin Agricultural University

Yezin Agricultural University (YAU) is Myanmar’s leading training institution in agricultural science, linked directly to the national Ministry of Agriculture and Irrigation. It plays a crucial role in introducing new agricultural technologies to what has been until recently a politically and culturally isolated country. 

Students at Yezin Agricultural University, Naypyidaw, Myanmar. Photo: H. DjoyobisonoAgriculture is the main industry in impoverished Myanmar, accounting for 60% of the GDP and employing some 65 percent of the labour force. With one main campus and several subsidiary campuses around the nation, YAU's role and profile is expected to increase in importance over the coming years as Myanmar engages more widely and deeply with its neighbours.

The key objective of YAU is to diversify and improve agricultural production by training both agricultural officials and farmers in new techniques and crop varieties. It aims to provide career and business opportunities, invigorate national agriculture research, and disseminate knowledge and techniques throughout Myanmar.

Location

The main YAU campus is located around half an hour’s drive from Nay Pyi Taw, Myanmar’s national capital. Constructed from scratch in the early 2000s, Nay Pyi Taw presents a unique experience, with extravagant architectural landmarks and a number of sightseeing atractions but a relatively sparse population of around one million. Nevertheless, it has a small but growing number of expatriate workers now in residence. Covering approximately 360 acres (including a farm of about 102 acres) the YAU campus is home to a fairly small and intimate community, very welcoming of outsiders and eager to ensure that they enjoy their time in Myanmar. Group activities and sightseeing in the immediate region are commonly organised during free time. There is a small market on the YAU campus, and larger village markets a short distance away.

Assistance requested

YAU requires teacher training, trainer and resource advisory support, and curriculum development assistance, in order to take the next step in building a modern training facility focused on post-graduate students, with the capacity to promote the interchange of teaching methods and materials  in co-operation with outside institutions. An important component is building on the current EFL Curriculum and Teacher Trainer and the former Curriculum Development Specialist roles, by focusing particularly on teaching resource development.

Impact

Through the Australian Volunteers program, an Australian Government initiative, YAU staff have been supported in their development of a modern academic program that is producing qualified agriculturalists with technical specialities able to engage effectively with both private sector and community (farmers in particular). The importance of this to Myanmar's economic well-being cannot be overstated, with the agriculture sector the single most important factor in the country's recovery after decades of stasis and impoverishment.