Product development and business training, extension and guidance benefited 719 upland ethnic households in 2011 by increasing production and income by 60 USD/year/household. Development and awareness building in the bamboo sector has led to a win-win inclusive business model and community-focused handicraft production.
The Enhancing Milled Rice Production in Lao PDR (EMRIP) project jointly implemented with Helvetas Laos has developed fair trading relations between 21,361 smallholder rice producers and 21 selected rice mills within its first 23 months. Through project support the millers are able to increase average milling capacity from a measured baseline of 472 kg per hour to 1,100 kg per hour, and increase the rice recovery rate during milling by some 10%. Farmers’ crop yields have increased by 30% and income from rice has increased by around 60%. The increase in farmers’ income has been mainly due to higher yields and premium prices paid for good quality single varieties of paddy rice.
By the end of 2011, 2400 households were using biogas digesters, benefiting 10,000 individuals by providing a safe, inexpensive and hygienic source of power. SNV has supported the development of a commercial biogas sector in Lao PDR and is supporting a sustainable market for improved cooking stoves, as well as pursuing carbon financing and micro-financing services to support renewable energy initiatives.
WASH has been a primary focus of SNV’s interventions in Lao PDR since 2008. By 2012, as a result of our interventions and those of others working in the sector we can see that more than 35,000 people in rural districts have directly benefited from sustainable access to safe drinking water and access to improved sanitation.