Enhancing District Delivery and Management of Agriculture Extension in Lao PDR

Connell, John G., Case, Peter, and Jones, Michael (2017) Enhancing District Delivery and Management of Agriculture Extension in Lao PDR. Report. ACIR, Canberra, ACT, Australia.

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Abstract

Background and methodology: Lao PDR has a well-established network of central, provincial and district agricultural extension units. The extension system has benefited from several decades of Official Development Assistance (ODA) projects which have helped establish models of production and extension methods. The District Agriculture and Forestry Office (DAFO) administrators, however, have not been at the forefront of much of this work. As a result, DAFO officers have limited knowledge and practical experience of extension management. This project aimed to address this problem by developing an Extension Management System (EMS) and guidelines for implementing a newly mandated set of comprehensive extension interventions, referred to in shorthand as farmer learning (FL), farmer organization (FO) and market engagement (ME).2The project strategy was to enable selected DAFO in pilot study districts to operate with relative autonomy in the co-design, implementation and refinement of a set of EMS tools. Achieving demonstrable outcomes and impacts from such independent action would thus demonstrate DAFO’s capacity to perform well and also carry the prospect of increased investment in extension services. This strategy informed the three project objectives. The design was operationalised by selecting two pilot DAFO in each of two provinces: Thaphabath and Bolikhan in Bolikhamxai province, and Khun and Nong Het in Xieng Kuang province (with an expansion district of Paek added at a later stage). These districts encompassed a range of agro-ecological conditions and were also characterized by varying access to markets and differing staff capacities. Project inputs were limited to: (a) the provision of operating funds of $3-5000 AUD per year to each DAFO; (b) draft EMS tools; and, (c) six-monthly exchange meetings. No training inputs were provided. In all the pilot sites, the project worked within an extension context of farmers transitioning from traditional subsistence systems to commercial production. The project was based within the Planning Section of the Department of Agricultural Extension and Cooperatives (DAEC) of the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry (MAF).

Item ID: 50841
Item Type: Report (Report)
ISBN: 978-1-86320-084-4
Funders: Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research (ACIAR)
Projects and Grants: ACIAR ASEM/2011/075
Date Deposited: 23 Nov 2017 00:10
FoR Codes: 15 COMMERCE, MANAGEMENT, TOURISM AND SERVICES > 1503 Business and Management > 150312 Organisational Planning and Management @ 60%
07 AGRICULTURAL AND VETERINARY SCIENCES > 0701 Agriculture, Land and Farm Management > 070106 Farm Management, Rural Management and Agribusiness @ 40%
SEO Codes: 91 ECONOMIC FRAMEWORK > 9104 Management and Productivity > 910402 Management @ 50%
91 ECONOMIC FRAMEWORK > 9104 Management and Productivity > 910404 Productivity (excl. Public Sector) @ 50%
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