Agroecology engagements advance in Lao PDR

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In recent months, the agroecology movement in Lao PDR has gained significant momentum and the Agroecology Initiative team advanced  with various engagements and collaborations to drive sustainable agricultural practices and food system transformations. Here are some notable highlights:

  1. Sub Sector Working Group on Agroecology: The inaugural opening of the Lao PDR Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry (MAF) Sub Sector Working Group on Agroecology brought together key stakeholders to discuss and promote agroecological practices. This was followed by a year-end retreat to further explore strategies for implementing agroecology in the country.
  2. ASSET Project Engagements: One CGIAR Agroecology Initiative staff actively participated in key events organized by the Agroecology and Safer Food System Transitions (ASSET) project, and a contributor to the ALiSEA Network where they served as learning alliance members. These events aimed to promote sustainable agriculture and safer food systems.
  3. Vietnam Exchange Visit: The Lao Policy Think Tank (NAFRI) visited the IPSARD Institute for Policy in Agriculture and Rural Development in Vietnam to gain insights into the formulation of the Vietnam national Agroecology Policy, ratified in June 2023 for future support to new agroecological policy research and formulation in Lao PDR. This exchange visit fostered knowledge sharing and collaboration between the two countries, with follow up exchanges planned.
  4. Worldfish Collaboration: AE Lao PDR hosted senior Science Directors of Worldfish responsible for leading the ASEAN ‘Innovate for Food’ Initiative. This initiative focuses on leveraging agroecology and developing a work program in the Attapeu area for regenerative agriculture, aquaculture, and farmer-led irrigation.
  5. Interprovincial Collaboration: Four southern provinces of Lao PDR, namely Salavan, Attapeu, Champassak, and Sekong, engaged in developing a theory of change for transitioning food production. This collaborative effort aims to drive sustainable and resilient agricultural practices across the region.
  6. Gender-transformative Approaches: The Agroecology Initiative team of Lao PDR has collaborated with the CGIAR Gender platform to research gender-transformative approaches in relation to agroecology. This initiative seeks to address gender inequalities and promote inclusivity in sustainable farming practices.
  7. DFAT Consultations: Consultations with the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) were held to consult on the new strategy for Australian Aid in Laos and the region (2024-2030). Emphasis was placed on exploring opportunities for civil society leadership in water and sanitation, health and  food system transformation and promoting sustainable agricultural practices in the face of climate change.
  8. Resilient Aquatic Food Systems: The Agroecology Initiative is leveraging the Resilient Aquatic Food Systems initiative to work on suitability assessments and participatory modelling of integrated rice, fish and water systems. This approach aims to enhance dietary diversity, water productivity and incomes while ensuring the sustainability and resilience of aquatic food systems.

These various engagements and collaborations highlight the growing commitment of Lao PDR towards promoting agroecology and creating sustainable and resilient food systems. By bringing together different stakeholders, the country is paving the way for a more sustainable and inclusive agricultural future.

More information on our work in Lao PDR

Cover photo credit: Neil Palmer/IWMI

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