VIENTIANE – The United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) and the National Agriculture and Forestry Research Institute (NAFRI) today signed an agreement to develop new tools for farmers to adapt to climate change in Laos.
The project will give farmers weather information to make decisions about their crops in times of fluctuating meteorological patterns, and will provide them with real-time rainfall forecasts, provided by the National Department of Meteorology and Hydrology.
WFP and NAFRI will also establish schools where farmers can learn more about crop management and how to best adapt to climate variations.
“WFP’s support to this project comes at an important time and will be crucial in ensuring the country is better prepared to deal with climate change,” said Dr. Bounthong Bouanom, Director General of NAFRI.
“Helping farmers with extreme weather linked to climate change is key to improve food security in the country,” said WFP Laos Country Director Sarah Gordon-Gibson.
Over the past years, Lao PDR has experienced higher temperatures and reduced rains during the dry season, and more intense rainfall during the rainy season, leading to longer and more severe droughts, and an increased risk of floods. In an economy highly dependent agriculture, particularly in rural areas, reducing the impact of climate change in agricultural production is important in order to protect household food security.
The NAFRI-WFP project aims to help farmers in the seven main rice growing provinces of Sayabouly, Borikhomxay, Khammoun, Savannaketh, Saravane, Attapeu and Champasak. It will also have longer-term impact in the agricultural development sector by improving the knowledge and resources of national institutions and policy makers.
WFP in Lao People’s Democratic Republic supports the Government of Lao PDR in achieving the 8th National Socio Economic Development Plan, especially to reduce malnutrition and its impact in human and national development by providing food assistance and technical support.
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NAFRI is the national research institution, under the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry, in charge of coordination of agriculture and forestry research activities within the country and development of a National Agriculture and Forestry Research System. NAFRI’s mandate is to undertake integrated agriculture, forestry, livestock and fisheries research in order to provide technical information, norms and results which help to formulate strategy in accordance with the Lao government policies. NAFRI’s main functions include carrying out adaptive research, developing methods, tools and information packages, providing policy feedback, and coordinating and managing research.
WFP is the world's largest humanitarian agency fighting hunger worldwide, delivering food assistance in emergencies and working with communities to improve nutrition and build resilience. In 2015, WFP assisted nearly 80 million people in 81 countries. WFP has been present in Lao PDR since 1975, with projects aimed at improving the food security and nutritional status of the most vulnerable.
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For more information please contact:
Sarah Howley, WFP/Lao People’s Democratic Republic, e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org