Diversifying crops to cope with climate change
For Ki Her, the head of Kioutaloun village in mountainous northern Lao PDR, and 95 percent of the population who grow rice, the change in the weather over the past five years presents significant challenges.
With shorter but more intense rainy seasons, followed by longer dry seasons, farmers are struggling to figure out when is the best time to plant. Moreover, increasing numbers of landslides, land erosion and severe flooding are further affecting the crop that is grown on the slopes of the northern uplands.
- The Kioutaloun community, along with three other villages, received US$50,000 in 2011 from the Global Environment Facility Small Grants Programme, implemented by UNDP.
- The initiative has benefited more than 2,000 people.
- As well as working directly with communities, UNDP is also supporting the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry in a four-year programme to improve the resilience of the agriculture sector to climate change.
To cope with the challenge the community is seeking alternative crops that can be more profitable and reliable than rice.
To help achieve this, the Kioutaloun community, along with three other villages, received US$50,000 in 2011 from the Global Environment Facility Small Grants Programme, implemented by the UN Development Programme (UNDP), to plant non-rice crops to cope with the changing weather patterns. The initiative has benefited more than 2,000 people.
The project builds on the villager’s local knowledge about the most productive crops to plant and farmers receive support in purchasing seedlings and training on land preparation and planting techniques.
Manfred Staab, a UNDP technical advisor to the National Agricultural Forestry Research Institute says crop diversification is crucial to improve farmer’s resilience.
“If you have more options than one, then, if something happens to you, you are not as easily derailed from your main source of income, or your food security is not as easily in danger,” Staab said.
Another farmer, Tai On, and his family are referred to as the model farmers in Kioutaloun. They conduct workshops with their own community to share their farming knowledge on planting alternative crops. After a trip to Thailand three years ago, where Tai On saw farmers earning money from lemons, he started investing in lemon orchards, which now cover on more than half his land.
“The lemon trees now have fruit all year round. I use the lemons for cooking and to sell at the market,” he said.
He can get US$0.25 US per kilogramme for his lemons during the rainy season and three times as much in the dry season, when lemon production in the lowlands drops. He is also planting sweet bamboo, which he discovered grows easily, prevents soil erosion and, like lemons, can be sold at the market all year round.
According to Ki Her, the average additional income a household can earn from alternative crops, including lemons, cucumbers and sweet bamboo, is about US$375. This is a significant amount in a country where the GDP per capita is about US$1,200.
As well as working directly with communities, UNDP is also supporting the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry in a four-year programme to improve the resilience of the agriculture sector to climate change (IRAS).
The four-year IRAS project aims to produce 10 to 15 successful intervention models that farmers can draw on to make them more resilient in the face of changing environmental conditions.
- ມື້ນີ້ພິທີສະເຫລີມສະຫລອງວັນມີຜົນບັງຄັບໃຊ້ສົນທິສັນຍາລະເບີດລູກຫວ່ານ ຄົບຮອບ 5 ປີ ໄດ້ຖືກຈັດຂຶ້ນ ພ້ອມກັບການວາງສະແດງຜົນງານຂອງບັນດາໂຄງການທີ່ກ່ຽວຂ້ອງກັບລະເບີດບໍ່ທັນແຕກ. ພະນະທ່ານ ສະເຫລີມໄຊ ກົມມະສິດ ລັດຖະມົນຕີຊ່ວຍວ່າການກະຊວງການຕ່າງປະເທດ ແລະ ມາດາມ ຄາຣິນາ ອິມໂມເນັນ ຜູ້ປະສານງານອົງການສະຫະປະຊາຊາດ ນຳພາພິທີດັ່ງກ່າວ. ໂດຍໄດ້ຮັບການຊ່ວຍເຫລືອສະຫນັບສະຫນຸນຈາກວົງຄະນາຍາດວາກົນ, ໃນໄລຍະ 5 ປີຜ່ານມານີ້ ສປປ ລາວ ສາມາດເກັບກູ້ລະເບີດບໍ່ທັນແຕກຈາກພື້ນທີ່ 33,358 ເຮັກຕາ, ທຳລາຍລະເບີດລູກຫວ່ານໄດ້ 242,056 ລູກ, ບົ່ມໃຫຍ່ 2,158 ລູກ, ມິ່ນ 1,141 ລູກ ແລະ ລະເບີດອື່ນໆອີກ 314,407 ລູກ. Today the celebration of the 5th Anniversary of the Entry into Force of the Convention on Cluster Munitions was organized with an exhibition from projects related to unexploded ordnance. H.E. Mr. Saleumxay Kommasith, Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs and Mms. Kaarina Immonen, UN Resident Coordinator led the ceremony. With international support, Lao PDR has removed UXO items from 33,358 hectares, destroyed 242,056 sub-munitions, 2,158 big bombs, 1,141 mines and 314,407 other bomb types in the past five years. Photo: UNDP Lao PDR / Somlith Khounpaseuth Friday AT 10:50 AM
- ສອງສາມມື້ກ່ອນໜ້ານີ້ ສະຫະພັນກາແດງ ແລະ ເດືອນສ້ຽວສາກົນ, ກາແດງລາວ, ກະຊວງຊັບພະຍາກອນທຳມະຊາດ ແລະ ສິ່ງແວດລ້ອມ ແລະ ອົງການສະຫະປະຊາຊາດ ເພື່ອການພັດທະນາ ໄດ້ຈັດກອງປະຊຸມປຶກສາຫາລືກ່ຽວກັບ ກົດໝາຍວ່າດ້ວຍໄພພິບັດ ແລະ ການປ່ຽນແປງສະພາບດິນຟ້າອາກາດ. ຈຸດປະສົງຂອງກອງປະຊຸມໃນຄັ້ງນີ້ ກໍ່ເພື່ອແລກປ່ຽນປະສົບການ ແລະ ຄໍາຄິດຄໍາເຫັນທາງດ້ານເຕັກນິກ ຕໍ່ກັບຮ່າງກົດໝາຍວ່າດ້ວຍໄພພິບັດ ແລະ ການປ່ຽນແປງສະພາບດິນຟ້າອາກາດ. A few days ago, the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies, Lao Red Cross, Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment and United Nations Development Programme organized a workshop on disaster and climate change law. Its purpose is to share experiences and provide technical input to the draft of the Disaster and Climate Change Law. Photo: UNDP Lao PDR/Somlith Khounpaseuth Friday AT 12:19 AM
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