FAO and KOICA’s Climate REAL project extends better living standards to Attapeu beneficiaries
Attapeu, Lao PDR – A documented improvement in living standards has been observed during a field mission to Attapeu province, organized just prior to Lao New Year by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO). The visit was part of the co-monitoring of the Integrated Programme for Climate Resilience and Empowerment in Attapeu province, with KOICA.
Laos relies heavily on its natural resources for its socio-economic development but climate change is generating more severe floods, droughts and storms, which are having adverse effects on the livelihoods and living conditions of people. Water shortages due to drought, for instance, disturb and reduce agricultural production, which could lead to food insecurity.
In order to help mitigate the impact of climate change while building the resilience of the Government of Lao PDR, the “Building Climate-Resilient and Eco-Friendly Agriculture Systems and Livelihoods in Attapeu” (Climate REAL) was initiated in 2020 by FAO, with KOICA’s financial support. The project will support 2,500 direct and 7,069 indirect beneficiary households (HHs) with a total population of 35,935 people, by strengthening the local capacity and promoting the community-based action for sustainable Climate-Resilient and Eco-Friendly (CREF) agriculture.
FAO has been providing support to vulnerable farmers to adopt CREF Good Agriculture Practices (GAPs) As of March 2022, the first tranche of agricultural inputs of organic vegetable seeds (seven varieties), native chickens and straw mushrooms has been distributed to approximately 500 beneficiary HHs with relevant technical training. The most enterprising farmers amongst this first tranche will be further trained and graduate to become model farmers who will facilitate peer-to-peer learning through Farmer Field Schools (FFS), for second-generation beneficiaries.
During the co–monitoring field mission, Mrs. Phoxay and her husband showed their green garden to the mission team. Mrs. Phoxay is one of the first direct beneficiaries of the project. She received seven kinds of vegetable seeds for her kitchen garden (lettuce, coriander, gourd and beans) and learned how to prepare organic fertilizer and maximize the harvest with training provided by FAO and Provincial/District Agriculture and Forestry Office (PAFO/DAFO). Today, Mrs. Phoxay not only grows enough vegetables for her own table but also sells them at the local market two or three times each week, where she earns approximately 150,000 KIP a week.
Mr. Komkeo and his wife are also proud of being selected as part of the project and demonstrated how they are carefully guarding and raising the ten chickens (eight hens and two cocks) they received from the project. While their local birds run freely in the field, the donated chickens are enclosed in a coop and are fed on rice, producing more eggs than the traditional varieties. The project provided the technical training for Mr. Komkeoon how to breed and care for the birds, vaccinate the flock, and he regularly receives visits to the farm to address any concerns. The farmer appreciates the support he has been receiving and looks forward to teaching other villagers how to produce more eggs from their chickens.
The co-monitoring mission team was joined by relevant ministries and offices from five sectors, including health, skills development, disaster management, child protection, and agriculture at central, provincial and district level.
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