Written by Mekong Institute

Group Management and Strengthening Farmer Organization is considered as one of the major challenges for the agricultural development in Laos due to agricultural contribution to GDP is about 26-30% annually.At present, Lao PDRs has almost 3,630 farmer groups (FGs) with 1,864 of plantation and 1,776 of feeding groups, most of them are weak with few members, unstable and limited access to credit and market. Therefore, DAEC have the opportunity to coordinate with MI to conduct a TOT training in Khammouan province for both farmer leader and local government staff with the aim to increase their skills and experiences on necessary technics, government policy and management system for further strengthening of farmer organizations in local areas. The course program was conducted in 7 days from 10-16 March, 2015 including lectures and one-day field visit, group discussion and group action plan development. More than 14 topics have been covered and delivered to 25 participant whose came from PAFO and DAFO, Rice Mill Association and farmer groups. The field visit to successful farmer groups in Sakonnakhon, Thailand including cattle fattening group at Tayeam village and None Yangkham’s cooperatives helped participants learn about group management, production, quality and quantity control among members, value chain, access to credit and market for the sustainability of running group’s business. After the training program, most participants have improved their skills and knowledge as shown in the self-assessment result from 13% at the beginning of the course to 70% at the end. The final evaluation indicated that they can apply what they have learnt to support and improve farmers’ activities in pilot project sites  

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