Agriculture ministry bolsters technical skills to improve farm production in Laos

VIENTIANE (Vientiane Times/ANN) - The Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry is continuing to train frontline officials so they can pass on their technical skills and improve local farmers’ yields.

Some 40 people from Phongsaly, Oudomxay, Luang Namtha, Bokeo and Luang Prabang provinces, as well as Vientiane, were recently trained as trainers at the Centre for Development and Huayxon-Huayxua Agriculture Service.

The course aimed to teach trainees to help farmers boost yields by improving their crop production techniques.

The move is part of the ministry’s Agriculture Development Strategy to 2025 and Vision to 2030. These aim to ensure national food security through clean, safe and sustainable farming and build an agricultural production potential that contributes significantly to the nation’s economy, according to its objectives of industrialisation and modernisation.

Officials said as part of the ministry’s human resource strategic plan the training aimed to reach 3-5 farmers in each village. The ministry expects to be able to reach 60-70 percent of its target by 2020 and 100 percent by 2025. Authorities say that if farmers knew more about efficient production techniques, it would bolster the number of ‘model agricultural villages’.

Model agricultural villages are those that have shown exceptional diligence in following the government’s recommendations on what crops to grow.

They are marked by farming communities that have an excellent working knowledge of the land and who have shown a strong commitment to growing the best quality crops.

The products grown in model agricultural villages must assist the local community in some way.

The Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry reported in its five-year development plan until 2025 that it expected the sector to grow at an average rate of 3.4 percent. This would mean the sector would contribute 19 percent of the national economy.

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