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LaCSA Lessons Propel Provincial, District Climate Agriculture Adaptations in Laos

Farmers, agricultural researchers, experts and policymakers across the Lao PDR have easier access to more and better info than ever before thanks to Laos Climate Service for Agriculture (CSA).

When it comes to agro-metrological weather forecasts and related information on the implications for crops, the LACSA system provides rainfall and temperature seasonal forecast as well as crop calendar and pest and disease information to farmers in near-real-time (once per week) during the cropping season.

Conducting training sessions to share the benefits of this agro-metrological information to farmers nationwide is a responsibility of the National Agriculture and Forestry Research Institute (NAFRI).

Training sessions by NAFRI in southern and central Laos have been supported via FAO’s GEF-funded project “Strengthening agro-climatic monitoring and information systems to the adaptation to climate change and food security in the Lao PDR” (SAMIS). SAMIS’s objectives include to help to raise capacities, motivation and productivity in daily agro-meteorology activities in the Lao PDR.

Training sessions were leaded by NAFRI Climate Change Research Center Director Dr Thavone Inthavong, with participants from the Provincial Offices and District Officials from DONRE and DAFO offices.

The most recent training session, with 58 trainees, was held on Mar 23-24 in Savannakhet and attended by participants from Savannakhet and Khammuan provinces. The previous training session, with 84 participants, was held on Mar 18-19 in Paksong and was attended by participants from the Provincial Offices and District Officials from DONRE and DAFO offices in Champassak, Xekong, Attapeu, and Saravan provinces.

Speaking at the most recent session in Savannakhet, Dr Thavone expressed the recommendations “the importance of using the concept of Dynamic Crop Calendar before the rainy season allow farmers to focus on climate adaptation.”

The training sessions have multiple objectives relating to the LaCSA system including lessons on system use, data uploading and improvements to crop recommendations.

Trainees were updated on the latest developments regarding agro-meteorology and LaCSA for the benefit of farmers.

Local level technical staff learned the latest on agro-meteorology, and how to use this knowledge in the field.

Trainees also learned about uploading input data in LaCSA, how to prepare crop recommendations and engage pest and disease modeling used in agro-meteorological systems.

A representative from the International Center for Tropical Agriculture (CIAT) joined the training to support aspects of LaCSA technical recommendation improvement.

Savannakhet province PAFO Deputy Director, MrKhamseang Sorphapmisay, said that LaCSA strengthened the field level officials and supported Lao farmers as they confront climate change.

“The government is strengthening efforts to support Lao farmers in climate change resilience with multiple actors and in various capacity development activities.”

Welcoming participants from provinces in southern Laos, Champassak PAFO Deputy Director Mr Kham Nilavong said that by involving local experts, the training offered the chance for participants to become better informed and engaged with this innovative methodology, new and useful information and techniques.

The LaCSA system is an initiative of the Department of Meteorology and Hydrology in MONRE with the support of many entities in MAF including NAFRI.

The demo LaCSA system is available at http://147.46.250.219:8081/ with a new user-friendly interface that can be visualized in smartphones easily.

This tool is developed by the Department of Meteorology (DMH) and regular updates are available at the Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/samisdmh.

All information is summarized in a user-friendly format and provided free of charge as weekly or monthly bulletins.

Source: Lao News Agency