FAO in Laos

New FAO projects seek to increase farmers' resilience to floods and droughts

25/11/2014

Vientiane.-The Ministry of Forestry and Agriculture (MAF) and FAO signed three new projects to consolidate the capacities of government and farming communities to cope with the challenges of extreme weather events, natural hazards and climate change. One project also expects to strengthen policy analysis for  livestock production systems in Lao PDR.

The new FAO projects were signed during a ceremony by Deputy Minister of Agriculture and Forestry, Dr Phouangparisak Pravongviengkham, MAF’s Director General of Planning and Cooperation Department, Mr. Xaypladeth Choulamany, and Dr. Stephen Rudgard, FAO Representative to Lao PDR. The act was witnessed by Mr. Michel Goffin, Charge d’Affaires of the European Union.

Two FAO projects will support the implementation of the Plan of Action for Disaster Risk Reduction and Management (DRRM) in agriculture, a plan developed by MAF in 2014 to provide guidance and well-coordinated actions to mainstream  risk reduction measures over three years and enhance farmer’s resilience to the impacts of climate change.

The project’s activities are aimed  to strengthening MAF planning and coordination of risk reduction responses at national, provincial and local levels. A national team of trainers is expected to be formed  in order to deliver technical support across agricultural sub-sectors. Identification of good practices and training on disaster risk reduction will also be provided to farmers in selected villages in Khammouane. Technical advice on seasonal cropping decisions and practices to enhance agrobiodiversity will also be part of the curriculum developed by FAO and partners under the Farmer Field School approach.

With an agricultural sector largely composed by small-holder families and with a high dependency on traditional agricultural systems, Lao PDR is expected to be seriously affected by the impacts of climate change. According to official estimates over 95% of farming systems are vulnerable to flooding, drought and late-beginning rainy seasons.

A regional project to build policy capacity for sustainable livestock development  to promote equitable economic growth and FAO’s Country Programming Framework, the tool adopted by FAO in 2012 to define its short/medium-term response to the needs of Lao PDR were also signed.