FAO in Laos

FAO Permanent Representatives conclude field visit to Laos

12/12/2015

Vientiane.- A delegation of seven Permanent Representatives to the Rome-based Food and Agriculture Organization of the U.N (FAO) concluded a week-long visit to Lao PDR, during which they held meetings with Government and development partners and traveled to FAO-supported project sites in three provinces to get first hand experience of the organization’s assistance and assess the relevance of FAO’s main programmes in the country.

 The seven participants of the mission were from Bangladesh, Costa Rica, the European Commission, Russia, Senegal, United States and Yemen, with most representing their own country as well as one of the regional groups of the FAO membership.

 A roundtable meeting was also held in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs with Government ministry representatives from Agriculture and Forestry, Education and Sports, Health, Natural Resources and Environment, and Planning and Investment.  The mission members also met UN agencies, development partners, and donors to exchange impressions about the development challenges in Lao PDR.

 In Vientiane capital, the Vice-Minister of Agriculture and Forestry, Phouang Parisack Pravongviengkham, joined the FAO delegates during their visit to the Plant Protection Center to be briefed on the current locust outbreak situation in the northern provinces, and to the National Animal Health Laboratory to learn about FAO's partnership programme from its Emergency Centre for Transboundary Animal Diseases that is strengthening Lao PDR’s response to high impact emerging animal diseases.

 The mission travelled to the provinces where it was welcomed by Government officers and farmer groups from Gnang Yai village in Khammouane and Houay Hei village in Savannakhet, where FAO is supporting activities to cope with the effects of floods and droughts, two of the most common natural hazards affecting rice and livestock production.

 FAO Permanent Representatives traveled to Savannakhet city to meet Souphan Keomixay, Governor of Savannakhet Province, during which they expressed sincere congratulations to the Lao Government for the agreement with the Government of China to export rice.  The delegation visited projects to learn from farmers and government officers how FAO is helping to develop practices across Lao PDR that will raise rice production and develop rice-fish systems through Farmer Field Schools.

 The Permanent Representatives ended their field mission in Champasak province, to see FAO’s on connecting smallholder farmers to high-value markets, with a visit to the Coffee Producers Cooperative, and in the Bolaven Plateau where cabbage farmers have diversified their crops and receive more income by growing vegetables for export to Thailand and Europe.  Stephen Rudgard, FAO Representative in Lao PDR, said that the mission had been extremely important in showing the members of FAO how the organisation works at ground level to support development.

Access the photo gallery of the Field Visit here