Around 29 participants from Lao PDR’s Department of Agriculture and Forestry, District of Agriculture and Forestry Office, and Department of Industry and Commerce in Khammouane and Savannakhet provinces, as well as farmer-leaders from the 10 GAP rice-producing groups, joined the ‘Training of Trainer on Advanced Rice Farming for Sustainable Productivity’ on May 23-25, 2018. The training was organized by MI together with the Department of Small and Medium Enterprises Promotion (DoSMEP), and with the support of the Asian Productivity Organization.
According to Lao PDR’s National Social Economic Development Plan, the government has committed to further advancing the development of the country’s agriculture sector to meet food security and food safety goals. Improving the productivity of rice farmers through the introduction of smart farming technologies is therefore critical to raise the sector’s competitiveness.
In support of this, the training served to address the limited access to information on advanced technologies and practices in rice farming, postharvest management and processing among Lao farmers and agriculture workers. A team of experts from the International Rice Research Institute, Rice Development Institute of the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry, DoSMEP and the EWEC Lao Field Office delivered the sessions that tackled a diverse range of topics. These included trends in rice production systems; features of advanced rice farming; smart agriculture in Lao PDR; advanced technologies in postharvest handling; Good Agricultural Practices (GAP) implementation, standardization and certification in rice farming; climate-resilient rice farming systems; Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP) in rice processing; and sustainable food value chain.
The three-day training also offered participants an opportunity to learn on-ground practices in the use of high technology in rice cultivation through a structured learning visit to Chanthavong Large Single Farm. They also visited Bounmy Rice Mill to learn more about the stages and progress of GMP implementation.