Myanmar a growing experience for NSW farmer

“Myanmar farming company seeks hands-on manager to drive tractors and plant summer crops.”

It was in an online advertisement that Kate Davies first saw these words.

At first glance, she thought it would be an opportunity for her son, ‘Spud’.

It was only later she started to think “maybe this is something I could do”.

And do it, she did.

Monsoon is coming
The advertisement was very specific about the skills needed for the management job.

They were looking for a manager, for a farm in the Republic of Myanmar, someone ‘hands-on’, someone with practical experience, someone who would take care of the very valuable machinery.

View from my tractor

They were skills Ms Davies had, skills that would ultimately lead to her spending three months managing a farm in Myanmar, putting in summer crops and racing the arrival of a monsoon.

As a farming operation, it was a long way from her family farm at Coonabarabran in the New South Wales central west.

“It was about as different as it could have been,” she said.

Myanmar working team

“Here at Coonabarabran, we are a dryland farming operation, we don’t do any summer cropping to speak of.

“But the job in Myanmar was completely different, this was all tropical agriculture, all summer cropping.

“Here in Australia we do everything we can to preserve every last drop of moisture.

“There they were doing everything they could to dry out their fields.”

Washing down the gear

Ms Davies said the local farmers did not seem at all surprised to see a woman managing a large farm, driving big tractors and being responsible for a cropping program.

“It’s for a couple of reasons I think,” she said.

“For a start, I was a foreigner, I was just one of those crazy foreigners, they do everything funny.

“But also the women work very hard in Myanmar; I saw women doing very hard jobs in construction and agriculture, so what I was doing was not so different.”

Source: ABC Net. Date: 8 March 2016