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Japan grant aid making a splash with Tha Ngon crop irrigation

The Japanese government is providing further grant aid to the Lao government for improvement of the Irrigation Agriculture Project at Tha Ngon farmland in Xaythany district, Vientiane, to ensure food security and commercial farm production.
A ground breaking ceremony for the project was held last Thursday, attended by Vientiane Vice Mayor, Mr Keophilavanh Aphaylath, Deputy Minister of Agriculture and Forestry, Mr Thongphath Vongmany, Japanese Ambassador to Laos, Mr Takeshi Hikihara, and Head of the JICA Office to Laos, Mr Yoshiharu Yoneyama, along with government officials and project operators.
The rehabilitation project will begin in early March.
According to the proposal, the government of Japan has agreed to provide assistance to improve and restore the irrigation system in Tha Ngon farmland in accordance with the grant agreement between JICA and the government of Laos and the Ministry of Planning and Investment signed in January 2018 for 837 million yen.
The grant includes payment for consulting companies to study, design and track construction to the value of 75 million yen, along with the purchase and installation of seven new pumps including power supply, construction of a 76-point channel system, a sluice gate, a tractor and other equipment.
In the process of procurement and consultancy, JICA engaged the Kokusai Kogyo Consulting Company to work with the Department of Irrigation, Vientiane Agriculture and Forestry Department, Xaythany district Agriculture and Forestry office and the irrigation project in Tha Ngon to collect information for the project.
The project is a model for irrigated agriculture and improving farmers’ living conditions by increasing rice crop yields for food security and commercial production.
This supports government policy and boosts cooperation and friendship between Laos and Japan.
The irrigation project located along the Nam Ngum River began in 1971 and was completed in 1974 with a grant from the government of Japan to provide water for farmers’ rice crops, Director General of the Irrigation Department, Mr Maykong Phonephommavong, reported.
It covers 658 hectares of land in the villages of Phoukham, Kiang Khai, Thasomor, Latkhouay and Oudomphorn.
Subsequently, in 1987-1989, the Japanese government continued to provide grant aid to revitalise and develop the project as a complete system.
“Through long-term use of the irrigation system, the pumps, pump stations, irrigation reservoir, sluice gates and canals became damaged, which has affected water supply in the area, so the government has asked for assistance from the government of Japan for the third phase,” Mr Maykong said.

By Times Reporters
(Latest Update February 25, 2019)

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