Authorities confer on agro-biodiversity initiative
Northern provincial authorities are focused on restoring biodiversity in agriculture to support production development for upland farming families as part of poverty alleviation efforts. Provincial authorities from Xieng Khuang, Huaphan and Luang Prabang recently met in Xieng Khuang province for the 8th National Steering Committee meeting to discuss The Agro-Biodiversity Initiative (TABI). At the meeting, participants discussed plans to manage farmland and forestry protection to ensure remote areas are developed and to upgrade the living standards of residents in mountainous areas. The programme plans to support beekeeping and commercial honey production as well as livestock breeding including pigs and chickens. TABI also aims to develop new rice seed varieties, increase the various kinds of fruit trees available while supporting the growing of industrial plants. Meanwhile, programme officials will upgrade the skills of local farmers in their efforts to support biodiversity development as well.
TABI aims to improve capacity for effective governance of the UN Convention on Biological Diversity in Laos. This includes sustainable agriculture systems which improve livelihoods of upland men and women farmers while enhancing and conserving biodiversity. Farmers in TABI operational areas will be able to grow agricultural produce on a sustainable and profitable basis, based on the principles of economic viability, social equity, and biodiversity conservation. It also aims to allow communities to maintain access and control over their natural resource base. Indicators include local land use plans to protect high biodiversity habitats, farmers using land conflict resolution recourse mechanisms to protect their rights and women having equal rights with men for land ownership. The programme aims to exchange knowledge and information, relevant for developing and implementing sustainable approaches to agro-biodiversity conservation, for shaping the necessary policy framework and for monitoring impacts that are generated, shared and systematically evaluated. TABI is a long term commitment by the government and Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation which seeks to conserve, enhance and manage the biological diversity found in farming landscapes in order to improve the livelihoods of upland farming families in northern Laos.
The Government of Lao PDR & partners agree priority actions for development
Round Table Implementation Meeting in Vientiane Province pursues accelerated development
Vientiane, 25 November 2016–The two-day Round Table Implementation Meeting concluded in Vientiane Province today with the Government and its partners endorsing the Vientiane Declaration Country Action Plan.
Addressing the Meeting, His Excellency Mr. Somdy Douangdy, Deputy Prime Minister of Lao PDR stated: “Our commitment to the goals of 8th National Socio-Economic Development Plan will see Lao PDR graduate from Least Development Country status by 2020. Today, together with our development partners, including regional partners, private sector and civil society, we made important progress in the areas of economic stability, green growth, climate change and food and nutrition security.”
Hosting the Round Table Implementation Meeting for the first time, His Excellency Mr. Vidong Sayasone, Governor of Vientiane Province stressed the importance of implementing the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) at the local level. Delegates from the international community had the benefit of visiting agricultural, skills training and health projects in the province as part of the Meeting.
The Round Table Implementation Meeting was important for the purpose of having a focused discussion between the Government and partners on the development priorities over the next few years, in particular for translating national policies into concrete action at the provincial and community levels.
H.E. Dr. Souphanh Keomixay, Minister of Planning and Investment, appreciated the unprecedented consultative process that had led up to this year’s Round Table Implementation Meeting stating: “The constructive and informative dialogue that has taken place between the Government of Lao PDR and its partners in development has resulted in a clear plan of shared actions in key areas going forward”.
Delegates at the Meeting were encouraged by progress that has been made in Lao PDR in integrating the SDGs into the national development agenda, including into Provincial Development Plans. The SDGs entered into force at the beginning of this year as a global call by world leaders to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure that all people enjoy peace and prosperity.
Round Table Meeting Co-chair Ms. Kaarina Immonen, UN Resident Coordinator and UNDP Resident Representative, stated: “Good progress is being achieved in Lao PDR to strengthen the partnership needed for accelerated implementation. This is resulting in a stronger and more diverse partnership with regional development partners, the private sector and civil society”.
The Round Table Meeting agreed practical next steps in four critical areas:
1. Green growth, climate change and disaster preparedness
2. Food and nutrition security
3. Progress on the Sustainable Development Goals
4. Progress on the Vientiane Declaration Country Action Plan
Other significant issues discussed at the Round Table Meeting included macro-economic stability, the need for higher quality growth, reduced public debt and improved revenue collection. Dialogue also took place on the relationship between development and human rights, access to justice, services and information. The Government and its partners resolved to look at ways in which the partnership with the private sector and civil society could be further strengthened to bring more resources and expertise to address priority development challenges. Tackling corruption and illicit activities such as wildlife trafficking were also agreed as being important.
ສະເຫລີມສະຫລອງວັນອາຫານໂລກ ແລະ ວັນສາກົນ ແລະ ສັບປະດາແຫ່ງຊາດເພື່ອລຶບລ້າງຄວາມທຸກຍາກ 2016
ໃນວັນທີ 15 ຕຸລາ 2016 ທີ່ແຂວງ ໄຊຍະບູລີ, ໄດ້ມີພິທີສະເຫລີມສະຫລອງວັນອາຫານໂລກ ແລະ ວັນສາກົນ ແລະ ສັບປະດາແຫ່ງຊາດເພື່ອລຶບລ້າງຄວາມທຸກຍາກ 2016. ເຊິ່ງເປັນກຽດເຂົ້າຮ່ວມເປັນປະທານໂດຍ ທ່ານ ປອ ສອນໄຊ ສີພັນດອນ, ກຳມະການ ກົມການເມືອງສູນກາງພັກ, ຮອງນາຍົກ ລັດຖະມົນຕີ. ທ່ານ ປອ ລຽນ ທິແກ້ວ ກຳມະການສູນກາງພັກ, ລັດຖະມົນຕີກະຊວງກະສິກຳ ແລະ ປ່າໄມ້. ທ່ານ ນາງ ຄາຣີນາ ອິມໂມເມັນ, ຫົວໜ້າ ຜູ້ປະສານງານ ອົງການສະຫະປະຊາຊາດ ແລະ ທັງເປັນຜູ້ຕາງໜ້າອົງການສະຫະປະຊາຊາດເພື່ອການພັດທະນາ ປະຈຳ ສປປ ລາວ. ທ່ານ ປອ ສະຕີເຟັນ ຣຸດກາດ, ຜູ້ຕາງໜ້າອົງການອາຫານ ແລະ ການກະເສດ ແຫ່ງອົງການສະຫະປະຊາຊາດ ປະຈຳສປປລາວ. ພ້ອມດ້ວຍຄະນະ ແລະ ແຂກພາຍໃນແຂວງທີ່ເຊີນເຂົ້າຮ່ວມໃນງານດັ່ງກ່າວ.
ການສະເຫລີມສະຫລອງ ວັນອາຫານໂລກຄົບຮອບ 36 ປີ, ວັນສາກົນ ເພື່ອລຶບລ້າງຄວາມທຸກຍາກຄົບຮອບ 23ປີ ແລະ ສັບປະດາແຫ່ງຊາດ ເພື່ອລຶບລ້າງຄວາມທຸກຍາກ ຄົບຮອບ 13ປີ ແມ່ນຢູ່ໃນເງື່ອນໄຂທີ່ສະຫະປະຊາຊາດໄດ້ຮັບຮອງເອົາເປົ້າໝາຍການພັດທະນາແບບຍືນຍົງ ທີ່ຖືເອົາການລຶບລ້າງຄວາມທຸກຍາກ ແລະ ໄພອຶດຫິວເປັນບຸລິມະສິດອັນດັບທຳອິດ. ງານດັ່ງກ່າວຍັງໄດ້ຈັດຂຶ້ນໃນບັນຍາກາດທີ່ທົ່ວປວງຊົນລາວທັງຊາດພວມອອກແຮງແຂ່ງຂັນກັນຈັດຕັ້ງປະຕິບັດ ແຜນພັດທະນາເສດຖະກິດ-ສັງຄົມ 5ປີຄັ້ງທີ 8ຢ່າງເປັນຂະບວນຟົດຟື້ນ.
ພາຍໃນງານດັ່ງກ່າວລວມມີຫ້າງຮ້ານພາຍໃນແຂວງ ແລະ ແຂວງອື່ນໆ ແລະ ຮ້ານທຸລະກິດຈຳນວນໜຶ່ງເຂົ້າຮ່ວມຫລາຍກວ່າ 50 ຮ້ານ. ໂຄງການພັດທະນາລະບົບນິເວດຊີວະນາໆພັນກະສິກຳຢູ່ເຂດພູດອຍກໍໄດ້ເຂົ້າຮ່ວມວາງສະແດງຮູບພາບກິດຈະກຳ, ໂປຣເຕີ້, ປຶື້ມຄູ່ມືຕ່າງໆ, ສິນຄ້າ ແລະ ຜະລິດຕະພັນເພື່ອຈຳໜ່າຍ ຮ່ວມກັບກົມແຜນການ ແລະ ການຮ່ວມ ຂອງກະຊວງກະສິກຳ ແລະ ປ່າໄມ້. ສິນຄ້າຂອງໂຄງການມີ ນ້ຳເຜິ້ງທຳມະຊາດແຂວງຊຽງຂວາງ, ເຂົ້າໄກ່ນ້ອຍ ແຕ່ລະປະເພດ, ໜໍ່ໄມ້ປິດ, ໄຄແຜ່ນ, ຝອຍ, ກາເຟເປັນຕົ້ນ. ແຂກ ແລະ ປະຊາຊົນໃຫ້ຄວາມສົນໃຈຫລາຍກ່ຽວກັບໂຄງການຕາບີສົ່ງເສີມການລ້ຽງເຜິ້ງໂກນ ແລະ ເຂົ້າໄກ່ນ້ອຍຂອງແຂວງຫົວພັນ. ເຊິ່ງເຮັດໃຫ້ປະຊາຊົນທົ່ວໄປສົນໃຈ ແລະ ໄດ້ຮັບຮູ້ວຽກງານຂອງໂຄງການຕາບີເພີ່ມຂຶ້ນ.
ດັ່ງນັ້ນ, ການສະເຫລີມສະໜອງວັນອາຫານໂລກ, ວັນສາກົນ ແລະ ສັບປະດາແຫ່ງຊາດ ເພື່ອລຶບລ້າງຄວາມທຸກຍາກແມ່ນມີຄວາມໝາຍຄວາມສຳຄັນທີ່ສຸດແນ່ໃສ່ປູກສຳນຶກ ແລະ ສ້າງຄວາມຮັບຮູ້ ໃຫ້ປະຊາຊາດໃນທົ່ວໂລກໄດ້ເຂົ້າໃຈວ່າຄວາມທຸກຍາກ ແລະ ໄພອຶດຫິວ, ຊຶ່ງການສະເຫລີມສະຫລອງ 2 ວັນສຳຄັນດັ່ງກ່າວໃນປີນີ້ຈັດຕັ້ງຂຶ້ນພາຍໃຕ້ຄຳຂວັນການຜະລິດສະບຽງອາຫານ ແລະ ກະສິກຳ ຕ້ອງປັບຕົວໄປຕາມການປ່ຽນແປງດິນຟ້າອາກາດ ແລະ ລຶບລ້າງຄວາມທຸກຍາກທຸກຮູບແບບໃນທົ່ວໂລກໂດຍສົ່ງເສີມການມີສ່ວນຮ່ວມຂອງໝົດທຸກຄົນ.
ເພື່ອປະຕິບັດວິໄສທັດ, ຍຸດທະສາດ ແລະ ແຜນ 5 ປີກ່ຽວກັບກະສິກຳ ແລະ ປ່າໄມ້ ແລະ ພັດທະນາຊົນນະບົດ, ລຶບລ້າງຄວາມທຸກຍາກ ຮຽກຮ້ອງໃຫ້ບັນດາຂະແໜງການຂັ້ນສູນກາງ, ອົງການປົກຄອງທ້ອງຖິ່ນແຕ່ລະຂັ້ນ, ອົງການຈັດຕັ້ງມະຫາຊົນ, ປະຊາຊົນບັນດາເຜົ່າ, ພາກເອກະຊົນ, ອົງການຈັດຕັ້ງສັງຄົມ, ອົງການຈັດຕັ້ງສາກົນ ແລະ ຄູ່ຮ່ວມພັດທະນາຈົ່ງສືບຕໍ່ຮ່ວມກັບບັນດາປະຊາຊາດໃນໂລກ ພ້ອມກັນສົ່ງແຮງໃຈ ແລະ ສະໜັບສະໜູນໄປເຖິງຜູ້ທຸກຍາກ ແລະ ອຶດຫິວ ຄົ້ນຄວ້າຊອກຫາວິທີ ແລະ ມາດຕະການ ທີ່ມີປະສິດຕິຜົນ ໃນການປັບຕົວເຂົ້າກັບການປ່ຽນແປງຂອງດິນຟ້າອາກາດ. ແມ່ນສຸມໃສ່ບັນດາຈຸດສຸມບູລິມະສິດຂອງການພັດທະນາແຕ່ນີ້ຫາປີ 2020 ທີ່ລັດຖະບານໄດ້ຮັບຮອງເອົາແລ້ວນັ້ນ ໃຫ້ມີການປ່ຽນໃໝ່ຢ່າງຈະແຈ້ງຕາມທິດ 3ສ້າງ ແລະ ເຮັດໃຫ້ປະເທດຫລຸດພົ້ນອອກຈາກປະເທດດ້ອຍພັດທະນາໃນປີ 2020.
Water Wheel is Local Indigenous
Knowledge on Irrigation Scheme
HouaPhanh Province is located in the north of Lao PDR, where the geography is mainly high and sloping mountains and valleys and thus the livelihood of ethnicity villagers faced to many difficulties, especially to cultivate wet-rice in paddy fields where much of the cultivation land is higher level than the water level of the rivers or streams, and where this paddy land requires supplementary irrigation to produce good yields. In many cases it is not possible to construct an irrigation weirs in the upstream areas of the wet-rice lands. Therefore, villagers have devised a method - many years ago - to take water from the river to provide supplementary irrigation to their cultivation paddy land by the use of a 100% locally made - bamboo and wood - water wheel that local people call “Lok” or “Kong Phat Nam”. As study was recently undertaken of the many water wheels that are successfully built and managed by villagers along both sides of the Nam Xam River, to supply water to paddy rice field of villagers living in villages in Goomban Him and Goomban Meuang Vene, of XamNeua District of Houaphanh Province.
At the present time, there are 18 water wheels in Him Village, 10 units in Piane village, 4 units in Natang village and 9 units in Khong Village. The total numbers of villagers who use these water wheels is 99 households, and the area irrigated is 68 hectares. The water lifting and irrigation capacity of one medium size water wheel is 188 liters per minute.
The preparation and construction of these water wheel must be started in the dry season, March, when the villagers preparing all the necessary materials, equipment and tools such as the wood, bamboo, natural roping, knives, hammers etc. They then start to carefully construct each part of the water wheel, following an ancient ‘tried and try’ method, section by section. The wheel is finished and in place, on the side of the river, at the start of June, which is the beginning of the wet season, and also the time to start preparing the land for cultivation every year.
A crucial part of the waterwheel system is the temporary dam/weir built across the river every year. This dam is constructed from wooden 3-legged stays, and palm leaves, to check the water and cause the water to be directed towards the water wheel, on the side of the river. This causes a higher velocity - and kinetic energy - of the water directly under the water wheel, which is enough to turn the wheel and is many bamboo containers full of water.
This low-level, wood and palm leaf weir across the river reduces the water flow and increase water level a little, and it actually promotes or improves the habitat of the aquatic animals, and is a good fishing spot for villagers.
The water supplied by the water wheel is usefull not only for supplementary irrigation of the paddy rice fields, and for vegetable production, but it also supplies water for raising aquatic animals such the fish, frog, crab etc… for both household consumption and for selling to earning incomes. In addition, the number and variety of aquatic animals in the wet rice fields is increased, as baby aquatic animals are often scooped-up by the water-wheels’ bamboo containers, from the river, and transported to the paddy fields.
But this indigenous water wheel does have some limitations, in that (a) it can be easily damaged by high water flow from heavy rain, and (b) it cannot function during the dry season if water level in river is too low.
The study, measuring and documentation of the indigenous water wheels in Him Village of Vene village cluster in XamNeua District of Houaphanh Province was supported by The Agro-Biodiversity Initiative (TABI), which provided financial and technical support. The objective of TABI support is not only to record, for posterity, the local and ABD-based irrigation system, but also to start to explore with villagers how to use their skill and indigenous knowledge to enhance the sustainability of use local natural resources for improving their household livelihood and labor saving.
Photo: Christopher Flint and Vanxay Bounthavongkham
News: Vilaylack Khounvisith
Seedlings Production by the Agriculture and Forestry Office
of Xieng Khouang Province
The Forestry Section under the Agriculture and Forestry Office of Xieng Khouang Province has established the plant nursery since many years ago, each year it produced many thousand seedlings for supplying to the organizations, companies and villagers for planting, but the seedlings produced were not yet sufficiency to meet demands of social community because of limited of fund provided by government fiscal. The seedling species were consisted of industrial tree, flowering tree, fruit tree and others etc...
Therefore, from the year 2015, The Agro-Biodiversity Initiative (TABI) provided technical and financial supports to the such Section of the Agriculture and Forestry Office of Xieng Khouang Province worthy 39,520,000 Kip for buying various species of tree seeds included nursery’s tools and equipments as well as to pay for labour forces for maintaining this plant nursery, thus it could produced about 58,861 total seedling. But during the ended period of the year 2015 up to the begging of the year 2016, because Xieng Khouang Province faced to frog (heavy cool) caused many tree seedlings death, especially the coffee seedlings were almost death about 21,000 seedlings.
In order to continue the production of seedling sufficiently meet to villagers and social organization demands, from the ending period of the year 2015, The Agro-Biodiversity Initiative (TABI) again provided finance supports amounted of 43,021,000 Kip to the such Section of the Agriculture and Forestry Office of Xieng Khouang Province for procuring of equipments for developing/constructing of shading nursery houses, buying seeds and other necessity tools, thus it could produced additional 12,496 seedling again now; the seedling production activity will further continue to implement up to the end of June 2016 in order to producing total 53,475 seedlings as planned to supply to villagers and community to plant in the next coming fiscal year of 2016-2017.
News and Photo:
Sengphan Sayphoumy Provincial Facilitator
Farmers Training on “Broom Stick” Production
for Better Quality and Increased Value
The Louang Prabang Provincial Agriculture and Forestry Office (LPB PAFO), The Agriculture and Forestry Office of Phonesai District (PS DAFO), the Natural Resource and Environment Office of Xieng Ngeun District (XG DoNRE) and The Agro-Biodiversity Initiative (TABI) have together provided support to and organized training courses aimed at increasing the skills and ability of broom stick producers to make new broom sticks with high quality and added value in the target villages of Phonesai and Xieng Ngeun districts. The training courses were organized into two sessions in March and April 2016:
(i) Session 1 was organized between 14 to 18 March 2016 in Phak Hok Nursery and TSC campus with a total of 24 participants, whereof 15 women (63%), representing five target villages of Sopchia Cluster Village of Phonesai District. Four technical specialists or trainers were hired from Ton Pheung District of Bo Keo province.
(ii) Session 2 took place the 26th to 29th of April 2016, targeting a total of 26 (16 women) villagers from five villages in Kio Ya Village cluster of Xieng Ngeun District. Transfer of technical knowledge of high quality broom sticks were carried out by four skilled individuals who had been selected as farmer to farmer trainers from the first training session in Phak Hok Nursery and TSC.
The two training courses were also well facilitated by the Development Environment Community Association (DECA).
Prominent leaders from the two districts also took active part, facilitating, supervising and following up the training courses, especially Mr. Sichanh Latsami, governor of Phonesai District and Dr. Somvang Douang Avane, DG-Cabinet of Xieng Ngeun District.
The training courses for were mainly aimed at promoting local indigenous knowledge to increase skills and abilities of broom stick producers and also to provide support for sustainable use of local natural resources and NTFP by adding value to the product and by developing connections to local and nationwide markets.
The two training sessions resulted in improved broom making techniques which enabled the farmers to sell the brooms to local markets as well as to Vientiane Capital City markets. The broom grass and raw materials, were collected both from natural habitats and from domestic gardens.
1 kg of broom grass can be used to produce 3 broom sticks, that can sell for about 10,000 Kip/stick (total 30,000 Kip). After the training sessions, the Phonesai farmers could produce and sell 384 sticks to a total amount of 3,840,000 kip. This is to be compared to the revenue made from selling the natural broom grass (without processing) that only amounts to 6,000 Kip/kg.
This activity has enhanced villagers awareness and willingness to manage, protect and sustainably use their local NTFP resources.
The Agro-Biodiversity Initiative (TABI), not only provided financial supports to these training courses to 50 farmers, including 31 females (62.5%) in 10 target villages of the two districts mentioned above. TABI also provided funds to broom stick producers in 5 target villages of Phonesai District worth 2,000,000 kip per village, total amount of 10,000,000 kip, to establish revolving funds. In order to strengthen the management of those funds, TABI also organized training specifically for fund management and then transferred full responsibility to the revolving fund management committees established in each village.
News: Phounsavanh Phanthavongsy_Provincial Coordinator, DDG. Planning Office-PAFO
Commodity Maize Production Workshop: Exchange of Experiences on Soil Degradation and Use of Chemicals
Commodity Maize Production Workshop: Exchange of Experiences on Soil Degradation and Use of Chemicals
During a full day on the 11th of March 2016, the Xiengkhouang Provincial Agriculture and Forestry Office (XKH PAFO), with technical and financial support from The Agro-Biodiversity Initiative (TABI) and LURAS, organized a workshop for exchanging of lessons learnt and experiences on soil degradation and utilization of chemicals on commodity maize plantations. The workshop took place in the big conference hall of Kham District, and was chaired by Mr. Khamsi Chanthavonsi, DG of XKH PAFO, co-chaired by Mr. Pheng Souvanthong, TABI CU/SO and Mr… DG Cabinet of Kham District. Senior participants attending included the governor from Nonghet District, the Vice governor from Phoukoud district, representatives from MAF (MoPC and DALaM), PAFOs of Houaphanh (HPH) and XKH, 3 related DAFOs, XKH PoNRE, 3 related DoNREs, 3 CTAs and TAs from TABI, EFICAS and LURAS as well as 15 village Head Men from 15 villages (5 villages per district). In total 50 participants were present, including 4 women.
The objective of the workshop was focused on consultation and discussion for seeking resolution on soil degradation and use of chemicals in commercial maize plantations. Specific information on maize production were reported by the 3 attending DAFOs, and the presentations on appropriate management of chemical use were made by representatives from XKH and HPH PAFOs.
Since year 2014, TABI has provided technical and financial support for studying the connections between chemical utilization, maize plantations and soil degradation in 3 important districts (Phoukoud, Kham and Nong Het). According to the findings, the areas where chemicals and pesticides are used covers about 85% in Nong Het district, 60%, in Kham, and 35% in Phoukoud. Thus, TABI provided technical and financial support to LPB, XKH and HPH provinces to conduct Sub-projects for raising awareness, promoting and disseminating information to villagers via mass media. In addition, sample plots were established for controlling soil degradation as well as organizing village to village exchanges on lessons learnt. Following this support, the utilization of chemical pesticide and herbicide was reduced with 26% at the end of 2015, and in 4 villages of Kham District it was declared that the use of all chemical herbicides and pesticides had been eliminated.
In the afternoon session of the workshop, participants were divided into groups, to discuss problems, difficulties, challenges and resolutions for future implementation. After group work presentations, the plenary session was opened for comments and ideas from all 3 districts governors, followed by the 3 CTAs from TABI, LURAS and EFICAS who also provided valuable comments for future cooperation and activities.
Before the workshop ended, Mr. Pheng Souvanthong, TABI CU/SO and Director of MAF National Agro-Biodiversity Program provided comments and congratulations to all partners and projects, especially to TABI which had provided technical and financial support for implementation of the mentioned sub-projects in XKH, HPH and LPB. Mr. Souvanthong also indicated the importance of this workshop for seeking directions on how to take action on soil improvement, the management and control of chemical use on maize plantations in accordance with provincial and district strategies, as well as the importance of supporting local ethnic villagers for improving their livelihood and household economies in order to exit poverty. To conclude, Mr. Souvanthong recommended to all participants to conduct the following urgent activities: (1) to systematically conduct pFALUPAM and to implement FLUMZ; (2) to use all grass and vegetable residue for fertilization of the soil; (3) to develop specific regulation manuals and guidelines, and to broadly disseminate such documents, and (4) to strictly manage and control chemical imports and utilization.
News: Somkhouan Mittasy_Provincial Coordinator, DG. Planning Office-PAFO
Photo: Sengphanh Xayphomsy_Provincial Facilitator (TA)