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Faciliter le renforcement des capacités en matière d’innovation agricole

Farmers’ challenges discussed with policy makers in national meeting in Laos


 29 June 2018, Thalath (Lao PDR) – A national policy dialogue was held on 29 June 2018 in Thalath (Vientiane province, Lao PDR), to discuss enabling policies on promoting production value chain for commercialization, trade, investment and financial access by relevant sectors. The meeting, organized by the National Agriculture and Forestry Research Institute (NAFRI) and Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) under the EU-funded CDAIS project, was attended by 75 participants representing farmers, government departments engaged in agriculture, commercialization and rural development of the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry, the Ministry of Industry and Commerce, local government from district and provincial level, as well as financial institutions.

The policy dialogue was planned on the basis of information and analyzed data collected through fieldwork during the implementation of the CDAIS project, facilitated by a team of National Innovation Facilitators (NIFs) who have been working closely with farmers on selected innovation partnerships.

In particular, during the meeting, farmer representatives from four innovation partnerships (production value chains of cattle, pigs and organic vegetables) presented their challenges, and key stakeholders working at policy level informed on policies with relevance to agricultural innovation. At the end of the discussion, the meeting jointly summarized six main recommendations that require the attention of policy makers at local, regional or national level:

1) Support farmers to reduce production costs including selecting suitable seeds/breeds and appropriate production techniques.

2)  Allocation of land for livestock and organic vegetable production.

3)  Facilitate access to permanent market, bringing farmers closer to consumers.

4)  Facilitate access to credits/loans with suitable conditions (interest rate and timeframe) for farmers.

5)  Support strengthening capacity of farmers.

6)  Assist farmers to register and operate their farm or agriculture production as enterprise or Small-Medium Enterprise (SME), so they can benefit from the SME policy and access credits and capacity development support.

 

The meeting followed a policy consultation meeting organized in Savannakhet in November 2017, where farmer representatives and policy makers were brought together to discuss and understand the promotion of rice and rice-aquaculture production value chains. 

 “Innovations piloted in the production of pigs, cattle and organic vegetables demonstrate a great potential for improvement of production of nutritious food and of livelihoods of Lao farmers but need enabling policies to be scaled-out and up to transform the agricultural sector

Dr Bounthong BOUAHOM – Director General of NAFRI, Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry

 

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