Food Security through Community Based Sustainable Forest Management and Sustainable Agriculture / Rural Development

Program background

With their rich biodiversity, forests in Laos are sources of food and income for villagers. They are also used agriculturally by farmers practicing shifting cultivation and for grazing livestock. However, amid rapid economic growth, the land expropriation and deforestation that have accompanied the industrial planting of cash crops has endangered their food security. In order to actively achieve food security, it is essential to establish a system in which villagers can manage their forests, improve agricultural production and have access to clean water.

1. Community-Based Sustainable Forest Management

Rice cultivation using SRI technology

JVC aims to help villagers actively manage their natural resources and prevent the undesirable acquisition of land and forest which they rely on for livelihoods by companies practicing industrial plantation.

■ JVC completed Participatory Land Use Planning (PLUP) in two villages. A land use map was developed for each village and each land use plan was approved by district authorities.

■ JVC conducted training for 622 villagers in 14 villages on villagers’ legal rights over land and forests under Laotian laws. JVC also organized a DVD showing in seven villages in which an ethnic minority student group in the target area performs plays teaching villagers about natural resource management and their rights over their lands and forests.

JVC staff explaining the “rice bank”to villagers

■ In order to prevent overexploitation of natural resources, JVC helped villagers establish a community forest in three villages and a sh conservation area in two more.

2. Sustainable Agriculture / Rural Development

Vaccinating a cow of the “cow bank”

Many households in the target areas are facing a rice shortage. JVC helps villagers secure food through sustainable agriculture and group activities.

■ JVC conducted training of SRI (System of Rice Intensi cation) for 32 villagers in three villages. They also exchanged experiences with currently existing implementers of SRI. JVC also conducted rattan germination training for 69 villagers in six villages.

■ A rice bank is a communal system allowing villagers who face a rice shortage to borrow rice with low interest within their own village. JVC established a rice bank in three villages. Cows are valuable as assets in responding to unforeseen situations. In one village JVC established a cow bank allowing families to borrow female cows and return them for other families to borrow after calves were born.

Digging a well

■ JVC also improved villagers’ access to clean water by constructing 12 bore wells and improving four shallow wells dug by villagers themselves. JVC also conducted training on repairs which was attended by 61 villagers.

(source: “JVC Annual Report – 2015 report”)

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