Local Economy against Poverty

Agroecology, nutrition improvement factor in Laos

Since April 2016, Agrisud and the Dutch NGO SNV (Netherlands Development Organization) have been working with the Lao government to address nutrition problems in the northern rural provinces: the ENUFF program (Enhancing Nutrition for Upland Farming Families).

This program has a dual agricultural and nutritional dimension, its objective is to improve the food quality of populations in 40 villages of these mountainous areas.

Nutrition in Laos: a national issue

Poor families living in isolated mountain areas are most affected by malnutrition. Young children, pregnant women and nursing mothers are the first to be affected. The government estimates that 44% of children under 5 are stunted, and 15% of women are underweight, as their newborns.

Two priority provinces in Northern Laos are concerned by the project: Oudomxay and Huaphan affecting 4,000 families. The goal is to raise awareness and develop sustainable practices in agriculture, nutrition, hygiene and sanitation, which must meet different contexts and the being spread to other regions.

ENUFF is a program of the Swiss Cooperation for Development implemented by SNV with the assistance of Agrisud, where each brings its skills and innovative solutions in a multisectoral approach. It covers all aspects of the food and health chain.

Produce better for better nutrition

L’agroécologie, facteur d’amélioration de la nutrition au LaosAgrisud mission in this program is to improve and diversify agricultural production systems and product marketing. Thus, teams accompany farming families in 40 villages in the implementation of sustainable agricultural practices allowing the diversification of self-consumption products and the increase of the households income.

The principles and practices of agroecology are favored. Production gains in nutritional quality and quantity, while preserving natural resources. Thanks to better management of their farms, farmers can meet their own food needs. The income generated allows them to vary the nutritional intake.

Other actions aim to develop supply chains, complementarity between livestock-culture farming, as well as access to technical services (seed banks, veterinary care, etc.).

Access to safe and sufficient food through agroecology is one of the key factors in improving nutrition in Laos.