Improving delivery of public agricultural advisory services

Background

Recent changes in the agriculture sector, mainly due to an influx of foreign investment and an ongoing shift from subsistence to commercial agriculture, are challenging the livelihoods of rural farmers. The government of Lao PDR is committed to food securityenhance food production in food-deficient areas, diversify the rural economy, and develop economic opportunities for rural farmers.

Conventionally, agriculture extension services are considered crucial for farmers to be able to improve their practice and livelihoods. They are expected to facilitate farmers’ access to knowledge related to agricultural innovations as well as interaction with agricultural service providers. Since 2001, the Laos Extension for Agriculture Project (LEAP) has supported the development, testing, and scaling-up of the Lao Extension Approach (LEA), which is both pro-poor and demand-driven. LEAP uses participatory methods for indentifying the knowledge needed by rural people, establishing farmer groups, and implementing practical training.

This component is an NUDP cornerstone that links field activities to institutional capacity building.

Objectives

Poor farmers in the target districts will receive information, advice and training that will enable them to improve household food security and increase their incomes.

Activities/Result areas

  • Decentralized planning, budgeting and monitoring mechanisms will be operational in all 9 districts
  • Staff of Provincial Agriculture Offices have the capacity to provide the required training and back-stopping to field staff in all 9 districts
  • Field staff of Provincial Agriculture Offices have the capacity to provide the required training and back-stopping to field staff in all 9 districts
  • Physical facilities required by field staff are in place in all 9 districts
  • Services required by farmer organizations and poorer households are actually being delivered on a regular basis using the Lao Extension Approach (LEA)