Organic Crops Help Small Farmers out of Poverty in Lao PDR

Video | 9 June 2014

With ADB support, organic farming in Lao People's Democratic Republic is helping reduce rural poverty and preserve the environment. The project is boosting income for over 64,000 small farmers while slowing demand for harmful pesticides. 

Transcript

Title: Organic Crops Help Small Farmers out of Poverty in Lao PDR

Description: With ADB support, organic farming in Lao People's Democratic Republic is helping reduce rural poverty and preserve the environment. The project is boosting income for over 64,000 small farmers while slowing demand for harmful pesticides.

VO: By 2015, the value of the global organic food market is expected to reach 105 billion US dollars, almost double of what it was in 2013. In Asia, organic vegetable consumption is also growing fast because more and more people are aware of food safety and environmental degradation. As part of the thriving East-West Economic Corridor in the Greater Mekong Subregion, the agriculture sector of Lao PDR aims to benefit from this huge market opportunity.

SOT: Dr. Phouangparisak Pravongviengkham
Vice Minister for Agriculture and Forestry
Lao PDR
Organic farming is one of the pillars of our long-term development strategy and the focus is the smallholders, mostly linked to alleviating poverty.

VO: The Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry partnered with the Asian Development Bank in the facilitation of the Smallholder Development Project to further assist the farmers in Lao PDR.

SOT: Dr. Phouangparisak Pravongviengkham
Vice Minister for Agriculture and Forestry
Lao PDR
Our aim is really to develop successful private businesses in organic farming to provide them with the capacity, with the technology, helping them know the market, helping them organize themselves--- and this is with the help of ADB.

VO:  The project is currently helping 64,400 households across 24 districts of Lao PDR provinces in Champassak, Khammoauan, Savannakhet and Vientienne Province.

SOT: Phonesavanh Sisavath
Deputy Director, Agriculture Division, Agriculture and Forestry Department
Savannakhet Province, Lao PDR
For the organic vegetable production, we received financial support to purchase farming equipment, seeds and other farming materials. Previously the domes are made of wood and cannot withstand the weather, but now with the help of the project, sturdy domes are built to protect the farmers’ plots, avoiding extra time for farmers in repairing their domes.

VO:  To in-house professional skills the project does not only provide farm infrastructure but also facilitate trainings and study tours to improve the farmers’ capacity and knowledge of agribusiness.

SOT:Phongsamud Kong Manu,
Head of Organic Vegetable Group in Bounphao Village
Vientianne Province, Lao PDR
During my study tour in China, I saw nice vegetables growing under the dome with steel … I would like to build my own garden domes with steel someday. I don’t know how long it would take-10 to 20 years, but I know I can do something like that.

VO:  As the growth in demand for organic vegetables continues globally, with the support of the Lao PDR government and ADB, the dream of Phongsamud and other farmers of Lao PDR to increase their yield beyond daily subsistence is certainly attainable.