Lao PDR is a small landlocked country with a total area of 236,800 sq km of which agriculture area is 2,378 sq km (FAOSTAT, 2011). During 1990s, the rice production area accounted for more than 80% of agriculture land (World bank report 2010), reached the peak in 2010 and decreased to 57% in 2011 (DOA statistic, 2011).

The Lao population reached 6.459 million (FAO, 2013) and is estimated to reach 6.9 million in 2015. The population consists of diverse ethnic groups. It is estimated that about 80% of the population relies on farming practices in form of subsistence agriculture. Rice, mostly glutinous, is a staple food for all ethnic groups for every meal. Average agriculture land per household is low but varying, ranging from less than 1 ha to more than 4 ha/household. [ 2 t/ha].

The economic structure is made up of 3 sectors of which agriculture (30.4%), industry (26.1%) and services (37.2%). Agriculture plays an important role in the national economy. Average GDP growth rate in 2010 was 7.9%. A growth rate of agriculture, industry and services was 4%, 12.6% and 8.4% respectively. (7th NSEDP, 2011). Lao PDR, although rich in natural resources, is still categorized as “a least developed” country and is led by one political party.


Implementing Partner

  • Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry (MAF)

 


Past Activities

  Past Activities

SRI work in Lao PDR has been implemented by Irrigation Department, MAF, and also by many NGOs (called as Non profit association in Lao PDR). SRI was piloted in Lao PDR since late 1990s and was widely promoted in most provinces during early 2000. However, practicality versus results of SRI have been discussed and reported with multiple views. Some are as follows below.:

  • Yield received under SRI practice reportedly to vary from 1.3 – 6 or 7 tons/hectare (Schiller 2004) but also were reported much higher, up to 9 tons/ha. Farmers in Northern Laos, (Sayabouly and Luang Prabang Provinces) successfully implemented SRI innovation and received yields from 6-8 tons/ha and up to 9 tons/ha whilst traditional method could only yield 3-4 tons/ha (http://sri.ciifad.cornell.edu/countries/laos/index.html).
  • SRI tested in Lao PDR could receive high yield, but with high inputs of fertilizer, which found to be difficult to be followed for wider adaptation in Lao PDR. In addition, SRI is found be unsuitable in Lao condition particularly in wet season in rainfed production areas when lack of control over water can impede management of water regimes. In the past, SRI could only adopt in irrigation areas. SRI planting technique of a single young seedling was found to be too demanding by Lao farmers (Schiller, 2004).
  • Farmers in Fueng District who tested out SRI found that SRI is only appropriate for a small area per household e.g. 1,600 sq m or 0.2 ha;
  • Farmers who tested out SRI indicated that despite of demanding land preparation for weed control and drainage under SRI golden apple snail control is notably more problematic. Young seedlings to be planted under SRI were attractive to -and easily damaged by- golden apple snails (Schiller, 2004).
  • At the moment the government is at the center of SRI extension activities in Laos. On the other hand, there are various international organizations, donors, and international NGOs that have projects within which SRI extension activities are a sub-component. Along with these hands-on extension activities, it is necessary that the doubts and issues that have arisen regarding SRI be addressed through experimental studies based on specialized skills and knowledge of agriculture. The sharing among all relevant parties of technical information that has been gleaned through the SRI extension activities of the government and various organizations, as well as the results of experimental studies is expected to be carried out in tandem with SRI extension in the 7 future, will help firmly root SRI in the Lao countryside and will be extremely fruitful for all (Simazaki.K., 2011)

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Country Staffs

Mr. Viengxay Photakoun
PMU/Country Coordinator
Deputy Director- Division of Agriculture Technique, Production and Mechanization Promotion
Department of Agricultural Extension and Cooperatives (DAEC)
Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry (MAF)
Vientiane, Lao PDR
Email:ptkoun@yahoo.com
Mr. Kongsy Xayavong
National Training Expert
Department of Agriculture Extension and Cooperatives
Ban Don Tiew,Saythani District, Vientiane Capital
Phone:+ 856-21-732072
Fax: + 856-21-732092