Farmers in Vientiane and Vientiane province are being encouraged to adopt cleaner agriculture methods to help raise the standard of their produce.
The project is being carried out as part of the Lao Pilot Programme. It seeks to narrow the development gap between neighbouring countries and promote Asean Integration. It was launched in 2012 and is supported by the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), who has provided funding of US$2 million until 2015.
Teams are currently working on a project to cultivate various vegetables which will then be used to create a model farm at the Clean Agriculture Development Centre. The quality and safety of this produce will then be checked by the Agriculture Department, before the farming methods can be certified to be safe and taught to others.
The project will later expand out to Luang Prabang, Champassak, Savannakhet and Khammuan provinces.
Speaking at a planning workshop in Vientiane on Tuesday, Senior Representative of JICA Laos Mr Yoneyama said the priority areas that the project hopes to target are agriculture, environment and tourism.
The Lao Pilot Programme project is one of a few that involves a partnership between Laos, the Asean Secretariat and JICA, with the aim of supporting Asean integration goals for 2015.
Introduction and dissemination of good agricultural practice is important for ensuring food safety and lessening the environmental impact of agri-business through the promotion of sustainable agriculture.
The manufacture of safe and quality fresh produce is important for the health and wellbeing of those who buy it and also for the job security of those who sell it.
Education in good agricultural practices is therefore vital not only for farmers, but also for producers, consumers and stakeholders in Laos.
Source: Vientiane Times
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