Sustainable coffee growing in Laos
About the country
The Lao People's Democratic Republic is since 1975 a socialist state led by the Lao People's Revolutionary Party, a single party of Marxist-Leninist obedience.
Government policy is determined by the Party, through the Politburo and the Central Committee. Laos is made up of mountains and highlands, the forest still covers 40% of a country that is breaking all records of deforestation due to thecollusion of companies controlled by the Laotian military, on one side and Vietnamese, on the other. It is estimated that between the 1940s - at the time of the French protectorate - and the early 2000s, the country's forest cover decreased from 70% to 40%. Paradox: the neighboring Hanoi regime has been controlling deforestation on its territory since 1997, but the Vietnamese timber industry is 80% dependent on imports. The government often blames slash-and-burn agriculture practiced by villagers as one of the causes of deforestation.
It is, obviously, only an epiphenomenon. The population of Laos is 7.02 million with a population density of 27.4 inhabitants per km2, the lowest in the region. 67% of the inhabitants live inrural areas, the agricultural sector represents 42% of GDP and 80% of total employment. Agricultural land (4%) is mainly devoted to rice cultivation. Laos, however, is the world's third largest producer of opiumbehind Afghanistan and Burma. In this communist paradise, 27% of the population is illiterate, and although the HDI has increased by 50% over the past 25 years, Laos ranks 138 out of 188 comparable to Bangladesh.
Located in the South-East mountainous regions, populated by ethnic minorities. The objectives are the reduction of the poverty level by increasing the capacity of women's groups, implying the reduction of acute malnutrition (especially among women and children). Then, the promotion of income-generating activities, focusing on coffee production by helping farmers to increase the area planted in agroforestry for an environmentally friendly practice. Easing access to the money market, beneficiaries will be driven to reinvest in economic activity and/or children education
Development and support to women's groups, through the Women's Income and Nutrition Groups (WINGS) models and VSLA groups ( Village Savings and Loans Association).
Identification and implementation of workload reduction activities for women, such as hullers or mules to allow investment in income-generating activities.
Extension of coffee growing areas, with the provision of agricultural inputs and advanced technologies, training in agroforestry techniques: a way of exploiting agricultural land combining trees and crops (or livestock farming). ). Trees in fact return 40% of the biomass through leaves that fall to the ground and root decomposition. These contributions naturally improve the fertility of the system. In addition, the shading is essential for the proper development of coffee trees.
In cooperation with Care : www.care.lu