Research Making A Difference: Laos, Australia Celebrate More Than 25 Years Of Partnership To Improve Farmer's Livelihoods | Lao Tribune

Research Making A Difference: Laos, Australia Celebrate More Than 25 Years Of Partnership To Improve Farmer’s Livelihoods

Laos and the Australian Centre for International Agriculture Research (ACIAR) are celebrating more than 25 years of successful collaboration on agriculture research this week in Vientiane.

With over 100 projects, ACIAR and Laos have worked in partnership to develop more productive and sustainable agriculture systems.

Since 1990, the two countries have worked to improve the livelihood of Lao farmers and to contribute to economic growth, with impressive results. Teak farmers can now access fast-growing and higher value teak clones; fisherfolk can now start to catch fish again due to fish-friendly irrigation structures; rice farmers can now use new direct-seeding techniques to better manage climate risk and labour constraints.

These achievements demonstrate the results of the strong collaboration on agricultural research that exists between Laos and Australia. Strong partnerships with Lao partners and farmers, including the support to strengthen scientific research capacity, have been key in achieving this change, said Australia Ambassador to Laos, Mr Jean Bernard Carrassco.

Through solid research work in our five key research areas-crops, fishers, forestry, livestock and water & climate change-Lao and Australian researchers have shown how research partnerships can build more productive, resilient and sustainable agricultural systems for smallholder farmers, said Ambassador Carrassco.

One of ACIAR’s main partners in Laos is the National Agricultural and Forestry Research Institute (NAFRI). Mr Bountong Bouahom, Director General of NAFRI, sees that the collaboration between Laos and Australia creates high impact in this own research institution and in Laos as a country.

The collaboration with ACIAR has been very important to NAFRI as a research institution. Starting in the 90’s, we have worked with highly skilled Australian scientists and researchers and built our own research capacity, research culture and generated knowledge through that. For Laos, the long-term investment from Australia in Agricultural research for development has resulted in significant positive impacts on local livelihoods and contributed to the Agricultural Development Strategy and economic growth.

ACIAR is NAFRI’s long-lasting partners in research for more than 20 year. ACIAR supports wide range of projects namely: rice-based farming systems, forage and livestock production systems, land and water management, integrated farming system, sustainable intensification, fish passage, forest sustainable management, said Director General of NAFRI, Mr Bounthong Bouahom.

Agriculture and forestry research linked well with education and capacity development. We work closely with different Australian Universities and National University of Laos and provincial universities in ACIAR support and project implementation, said Mr Bounthong Bouahom.

Source: Lao News Agency