Working towards greater community control over land, forests and natural resources

Food security project results in improved local livelihoods

Vientiane Times, 9 Jan 2015

A five-year food security development project which recently ended has built up sustainable ways of making a living for local people in the Nhot-ou district of northern Phongsaly province, officials in charge of the project have concluded. Around 10,000 people in 39 villages have benefited directly from the 1.5 million euro project, which introduced activities to help local people make a living in sustainable ways. Linking Agriculture, Natural Resources Management and Nutrition (LANN), community-based trainings had been organised, according to a press release from the project. The LANN trainings combined with health and sanitation awareness raising campaigns to fight against preventable diseases, latrine construction and interventions in nutrition-sensitive agriculture such as home gardens, fruit trees and fish farming have enabled communities, women in particular, to improve their food security and nutrition strategies.

Rehabilitation of 95 hectares of paddy fields allowed communities to reduce their reliance on upland rice cultivation and its associated workload, facilitating their engagement in sustainable comm ercial agriculture and the management of natural resources through tea and cardamom cultivation in forest areas. The project p rovided initial inputs and technical support in the production, processing and marketing areas. “In the past we had very few sources of income but the project helped with the promotion of natural cash crops such as cardamom and tea at an attractive price” head of Kang village’s producer group Mr Kongkeo said during the closing ceremony of the project in Nhot-ou district. Activities promoted by the project have contributed to improving the livelihoods of communities who can rely on their own production to earn income, deputy head of Nhot-ou district, Mr Axai Laoly was quoted as saying. “We are very pleased with the positive changes brought by the project and we thank all villagers who have contributed much to the realisation of the action” said the project director, Mrs Manivone Vorachak. The project was implemented by the Comité de Coopération avec le Laos in partnership with district line agencies, communities and Lao non-profit associations. It was funded by the European Union and co-funded by FastenOpfer and Oxfam. The Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation provided additional support for the irrigation systems

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