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UNDP helps farmers adapt to climate change

The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in Laos has helped farmers improve their rainwater management infrastructure that helps to prepare the region for changing weather patterns associated with climate change and which secures the agricultural sector in Xayaboury province.
Representatives from the Ministry of Nature Resources and Environment and the UNDP recently visited the site of a project entitled “Improving the Resilience of the Agriculture Sector to Climate Change Impacts at Nasom Village, Xayaboury Province” which came to an end in 2015.
The support the project provided to the agriculture sector in these drought-prone areas came in the form of 126 tanks with a capacity between 1,000-1,600 litres each. 288 well tube-rings of 1,000 litres each and seven steel tanks with a capacity of 3,000 litres for rain har-vesting were also provided, according to a report on the UNDP website.
Some 15 small scale reservoirs with a capacity ranging from 80 to 7,500 cubic meters were also constructed in various areas of Xayaboury province.
“Climate change is already impacting agricultural production and the long term future of agriculture and food security for the local people is at risk,” concerned officials reported during their project visit.
However, the positive impacts brought about by the UNDP project remain evident today.  The reservoirs that were constructed have helped farmers grow crops, even across the dry season, and tanks have been useful in providing fresh water to many villagers.
Projects such as this help push forward the government’s food security programme and drive to meet its sustainable development goals which include zero hunger in the country by 2030.
The Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry reported in its recent strategy that the Department of Agriculture is now focusing its efforts on helping farmers across the country adapt to the changing weather. 
The Rice Research Centre, for example, is putting a lot of time and energy into improving the efficiency and output of various rice varieties.  Testing programmes are being run on farmers properties in the hopes that new rice types can be developed that will grow in warmer, more variable conditions.
The National Agriculture and Forestry Research Institute has also set up a rice breeding programme aimed at developing new climate-resilient rice varieties. 
This programme breeds rice varieties that have submergence tolerance and drought tolerance.  The programme is also exploring grains that have different aerobic qualities, direct seeding processes and species that are shatter resistant when harvested using large mechanical equipment.

By Times Reporters
(Latest Update March 20, 2019)

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