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FAO workshops held to discuss rice-cum-fish farming in Attapeu

The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), together with the Department of Livestock and Fisheries (DLF) of the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry, successfully organized a series of consultation workshops in Sanamxay District, Attapeu Province, between May 4-8 for the rice-cum-fish farming (Integrated Farming) activity.

The workshop is part of the “Building Climate-Resilient and Eco-friendly Agriculture Systems and Livelihoods” (Climate REAL) project, funded by the Korea International Cooperation Agency (KOICA).

FAO is helping farmers to rediscover rice-fish culture, a traditional Asian practice where fish, or other aquatic animals like frogs, eat the insects and worms and the water is then used to fertilize rice and other crops.

This practice has fallen away in recent times due to the intensification of rice production and pesticide use but is being reintroduced to promote species diversification and biodiversity.

The consultation workshops involved discussions with Provincial and District Agriculture and Forestry Offices as well as farmer representatives and village authorities on lessons learned from a similar project successfully implemented by FAO in Savannakhet Province.

The workshops were then followed by site visits to demonstration farms. Farmer-Field-School (FFS) will be established around these farms, which is when farmers meet for weekly participatory hands-on group learning, frank discussion of problems and brainstorming of solutions for improved practices.

A total of 103 beneficiary households in seven target villages of Sanamxay District have been identified through the project baseline survey for participation in this activity.

In addition to selling rice from the paddy fields, rice-cum-fish farming will assist with food security by allowing farmers to earn extra income from selling fish or aquatic animals raised in the rice paddy fields and also reducing the need for fertilizer and pesticides.

Source: Lao News Agency