Funds rolled out for Lao agriculture competitiveness project
Officials of the Lao Agriculture Competitiveness Project and the five participating provinces meet to discuss seed production in Nalong village, Thoulakhom district in Vientiane province. - PPP
VIENTIANE (Vientiane Times/ANN): The International Development Association, the World Bank and the government are providing US$29,300,000 to fund the Lao Agriculture Competitiveness Project, which is taking place from 2018 to 2024.
The World Bank is providing a loan of US$25 million, the Lao government is contributing US$500,000, and farmers’ production groups are contributing US$3,800,000.
The project is being implemented by the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry and Agricultural and Forestry Offices in Xayaboury, Vientiane, Borikhamxay and Khammuan provinces, and in Vientiane.
The objective of the project is to increase the competitiveness of selected agricultural value chains, from production through to post-harvest.
The project has identified the three most productive crops, namely rice, vegetables, and maize, and aims to enhance agricultural production through the adoption of new technologies, machinery, and reduction of labour and production costs.
The Lao Agriculture Competitiveness Project consists of three components: improved agriculture efficiency and sustainability, enhanced agricultural competitiveness, and project management.
Funding for the project in Vientiane is set at US$4,496,000 of which US$3,626,000 comes from the World Bank and contributions from the government and farmers production groups are US$100,000 and US$768,000 respectively.
The project area includes the districts of Hadxaifong, Pakngum and Xaythany districts and involves 51 villages and 79 farmer production groups, with an estimated 7,246 beneficiaries.
The project area covers more than 11,000 hectares of farmland and involves eight agricultural businesses as partners.
As of this month, Vientiane had set up 76 farmer production groups 23 in Hadxaifong district, 26 in Xaythany district, and 27 in Pakngum district.
Eighteen of the groups are Seed Multiplication Groups, 27 are Rice Production Groups for commercial use, and the other 31 are Vegetable Production Groups.
The project will release matching grants to improve irrigation and develop the skills and capacity of technical staff and farmers.
One of the matching grants will support farmers to invest in crucial equipment to enhance production, both in production and or post-harvest activities.
Another matching grant of US$16,000 is planned for farmer production groups on the condition that they provide a 20 percent contribution of US$4,000.
This grant is to be invested in certified seeds, crucial equipment to empower production activity, production inputs like land preparation, certified seed, storage, labelling, transportation, water supply and electricity installation.
The project has hired an outsource consultant as a service provider to support farmer production groups in developing an investment plan.
Vientiane has a total targeted plan of 76 matching grants for release to 76 farmer production groups. Each matching grant will be released upon approval of the respective investment plans.
In 2020,12 investment plans by Seed Multiplication Groups were approved by the World Bank.
In the first approval of 12 investment plans, 11 matching grants were released for 11 seed multiplication groups. Ten tractors and one combine harvester were purchased and handed over to these groups. - Vientiane Times/Asia News Network
Source from: Vientiane Times/Asia News Network. (2021). Funds rolled out for Lao agriculture competitiveness project. Retrieve from https://www.thestar.com.my/aseanplus/aseanplus-news/2021/05/27/funds-rolled-out-for-lao-agriculture-competitiveness-project (May 27, 2021)