Small changes can make a difference

Small changes can make a difference

The Sustainable Rice System Technique is simple to apply and the yield is much higher compared to the traditional technique

Mr. Atou

CONTEXT

Despite economic growth and declining poverty rates in Lao PDR, people living in remote upland areas experience significantly higher poverty rates and malnutrition than the rest of the population. In Phongsaly, 61,1% of children are stunted (low height for age) and in Luang Namtha 53,2%, compared to 19% in Vientiane. Diets of ethnic communities have typically been diverse and collected or grown in and around the forest. Nowadays the collection of wild foods is being replaced by buying less nutritious food with cash.

OBJECTIVES

  • Men, women and children living in remote upland areas have increased knowledge and capacities to implement nutrition sensitive farming techniques and are aware of healthy nutrition principles and practices.
  • Northern upland communities have knowledge of nutrition and are implementing improved sanitation and hygiene practices.
  • National, provincial and district level government and civil society have increased their capacity to implement, coordinate and monitor food security and nutrition-related policies and strategies.

RESULTS

  • Increased uptake of nutrition-sensitive farming techniques and healthy nutrition practices by men, women and children living in upland areas.
  • Improved sanitation and hygiene practices in Northern Upland Communities.
  • Increased government and civil society capacity at provincial and district levels to implement, coordinate and monitor convergent food security and nutrition related policies and strategies.

FACTS AND FIGURES

  • 149 households have been selected for home garden and fertiliser production
  • 100 households have been selected for small livestock raising
  • 35 farmers implemented Sustainable Rice System technology
  • Village Saving and Loan Association have been set up in 10 villages

TESTIMONY

How I became an organic farmer

"My name is Atou, I am a 32 years old farmer from Chommok village in Long District, Luang Namtha province in the North of Laos. In our village the majority of people does farming. My wife and I used traditional rice farming technique for more than 12 years but with the time the yields got less and less every year and we did not know how to solve this problem.

"In 2017 SAEDA introduced the 'Sustainable Rice System' (SRS) methodology in our village. SRS is built on the System of Rice Intensification (SRI) combined with local knowledge using local products and organic fertilizer, which can be produced by ourselves. After a training I decided to apply this technology on a small test plot. The harvest from this test plot was 4 bags, around 184 kg which is an increase by 37.5% compared to the field where I applied our traditional method. Additionally the quality of the seed has improved a lot with this technology. In the beginning I did not fully trust  the new technology but the positive result convinced me to use the SRS method in the future."