13 December 2023

TİKA’s Climate Change Proof Agricultural Project in Laos

Turkish Cooperation and Coordination Agency (TİKA) distributed 30 tons of climate change-proof rice seeds to two central states of Laos, a Southeast Asian country.

A project was carried out by TİKA to decrease the effects of climate change within the scope of the “Supporting Agriculture in Southeast Asia Program” in cooperation with the Lao Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry. In the states of Khammuan and Bolikhamsai, highly efficient and climate change-proof rice seeds will be distributed to the farmers affected by the flood that caused havoc.

The project was brought up during the meeting Türkiye’s Ambassador to Vientiane, Orhan Işık, and TİKA committee held with Laos Minister of Agriculture and Forestry, Dr. Phet Phomphiphak.

In his speech during the delivery ceremony of the rice seeds, Deputy Minister of Agriculture and Forestry, Kikeo Singnavong, stated that approximately 3,000 hectares of agricultural fields were damaged in the two regions that were hit by the heavy flood in August. Stating that the rice seeds which were stored for the next season in October were also damaged by the flood, Singnavong announced that 20 tons of rice seeds will be distributed to the state of Khammuan and 10 tons will be distributed to the state of Bolikhamsai, thus starting the implementation stage of the Climate Change Proof Agricultural Project, carried out by the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry.

In his speech during the ceremony, Ambassador Orhan Işık stated that climate change started to affect the whole world in the last few years, and these effects can be seen in Laos as well. He stated that TİKA’s project will put a smile on the faces of the farmers affected by the flood. Noting that TİKA is operating in many sectors with the shareholder institutions, Işık stated that the activities picked up a pace after the Covid-19 period, and he expressed that he believes it will develop the relationship between the two countries further if it increasingly continues.

Director of the National Agriculture and Forestry Research Centre, Dr.Chay Bounphanousay, stated that the farmers who were affected by the flood in the region will have the opportunity to have access to durable and new seeds when the distributed seeds get shared within the community.

Rice Efficiency is Expected to Increase by 20%

The rice seeds distributed within the project are formed from seven types of climate change-proof rice. Also, these are second-generation seeds that will be planted to produce third-generation seeds on a field of 500 hectares in the 2023-2024 season. From these high-efficiency seeds, rice seeds that will be used on a field of 25,000 hectares in the 2024 season are expected to be produced.

Within the scope of the project carried out by TİKA, the goal is to increase agricultural efficiency, enable food security, and support urban communities in the country.

The project, which was carried out in the two states that were determined with the cooperation of TİKA and Lao Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry, is expected to increase the efficiency of rice by 20% and note a 10% increase in the income of the farmers, as a result of the project being implemented across the country by Lao Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry. With the planting of the new type of rice, which has immunity from diseases such as corn-cockle and bacterial spot becoming more common, the chemical usage in rice production will also decrease.

Within the scope of the project, 1,000 farmers, half of whom are women, will start to plant the seeds of climate change-proof types of rice (30 kilograms per person), and it will be possible to plant a field of 25,000 hectares with these types of rice in two years. Also, 80% of the farmers participating in this project will have enough rice to consume; thus, food security will be enabled.

Climate change and agriculture within UN Sustainable Development Goals

Climate change is a factor that greatly affects agriculture within the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). In the agriculture sector, solutions are searched against the challenges caused by climate change within SDGs. Within this scope, the farmers need to adapt to climate change, adopt durable agricultural practices, and manage natural resources efficiently.

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