On 25 March, a delegation from the Lao Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry, including Vice Minister Dr. Phouangparisack Pravongviengkham, visited the Luxembourg Ministry of Agriculture and Consumer Protection as well as the Luxembourg Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs. The Lao delegates met, among others, with Mr Fernand Etgen, Minister of Agriculture, Viticulture and Consumer Protection and Mr Romain Schneider, Minister for Development Cooperation and Humanitarian Affairs.
The visit to Luxembourg complemented a study tour to the Netherlands during which the Lao delegation learned about the Dutch agriculture sector and particularly about the essential role that organized farmers and producers play in Dutch agribusiness. The visit took place from 20-29 March and was organized and financed by the LAO/026 project “Technical Assistance to the IFAD-financed SSSJ Rural Development Programme”.
The purpose of the study tour was to learn from the success of the Dutch agricultural sector and comparatively assess which success factors could become driving forces for the further development of the Lao agricultural sector. Such success factors include:
- strong and well-organized farmer organisations that function independent of the government,
- due investment in agricultural education (from vocational to academic levels) and agricultural research, and
- clear and complementary roles of concerned stakeholders, producers, the private sector and government that includes multi-stakeholder bodies, like Commodity Boards, ensuring consistency and inclusion of farmer’s interests in policy formulation and coordination during implementation.
In the Netherlands, the delegation visited farmer organisations and agro-cooperatives as well as the Flora Holland Auction, the largest and leading trading entity for flowers worldwide, owned and governed by 45 000 flower growers. In addition, educational and research organisations like the Wageningen Agriculture and Research Centre offered participants an insight into leading research about food security and sustainable agriculture.
During the visit to Luxembourg, the delegates visited Beckerich to learn about community development in Luxembourg and the importance of citizens’ participation to promote ownership and sustainability of investments.
The Lao delegates enthusiastically took in the new experiences and adapted the lessons learned into action points for application to their specific context and situation at home.↑ To the top