The document presents the summaries of the 12 case studies used to illustrate SNV practices which contributed to the writing of the practice brief N° 4 focusing on Gender and Agriculture (see: www.snvworld.org/en/sectors/agriculture/publications/gender-and-agriculture-practice-brief). The summaries provide an insight of the gender issue and what practices SNV implemented to address to this specific constraint. The document also offers you hyperlinks at the end of each summary to enable you read the full intervention.
Rice is the most important staple food in Lao PDR, and is produced in almost all regions of the country. In the past, improved rice production has been a key development task in the support provided to Lao PDR. While there has been a large increase in paddy rice production, less attention has been paid to improving the efficiency of handling and milling. This case highlights the ‘Enhanced Milling Rice Production in Lao PDR’ project (EMRIP) which is designed to address these issues. EMRIP recognizes that the private and public sector both have important roles to play in developing the country’s rice sector. Local rice mills offer the highest leverage in the rice value chain, which is why the project worked with (progressive and socially committed) millers who have strong and mutually respectful relationships with smallholder rice farmers.
SNV Lao PDR, in partnership with a wide range of local and international partners, has been working since 2008 on the development of the bamboo value chain in Houaphanh Province and Sangthong District, Vientiane Capital. In 2010, the SNV Bamboo Programme was scaled up to Luang Prabang and Vientiane Provinces. Since then a diverse range of activities have been implemented.
Since 2008, various efforts have been made to document lessons learnt and case studies. A range of presentations and publications has been developed by the Bamboo Advisory Team. However, documentation of experiences and results has not been carried out in a systematic manner. The present document aims to organise and structure the lessons learnt from the Bamboo Programme to make them available to a larger audience.
This document is based on a review of the main existing literature on the SNV Bamboo Programme and on the bamboo sector in the Lao People’s Democratic Republic (Lao PDR). Primary data has also been collected to document additional case studies. Qualitative interviews with producers, traders, government representatives and partners have been conducted in Sangthong District, Vientiane Capital; Med and Xanakham Districts, Vientiane Province; and in Viengxay and Xam Neua Districts, Houaphanh Province.
The Enhancing Milled Rice Production in Lao PDR (EMRIP) Project has been able to develop fair trading relations between 21,361 small holder rice producing households and 21 selected rice mills within 23 months of the project’s duration. The project proved a unique success due to the stimulation of co-operation between millers and farmers; millers supported farmers with inputs, extension services and better prices. In return for investing their time and money in small farmers, millers received project support, funded by SNV, Helvetas and an EU grant, to improve milling facilities and equipment. At the base of the success of the project lies a rigorous selection process which chose the most promising millers for the project. Farmer crop yields increased by 30%; income from rice increased by around 60% and millers saw improved profitability in addition to a 10 percent increase in throughputs and supply of high quality, single variety rice. Elements of the programme are now spreading (including spontaneously), especially through “miller groups”.