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.

 

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News: Somkhouan Mittasy_Provincial Coordinator, DG. Planning Office-PAFO

Photo: Sengphanh Xayphomsy_Provincial Facilitator (TA)