Rice Cultivation in Laos
A buffalo plods through the rice field, the farmer behind him guiding the plough. Cultivating rice in the mountains of southern Central Laos is back-breaking work. However, since the residents of the district of Sepon received draught buffaloes from Welthungerhilfe, the hard work has become easier. They organise the communal use of the animals within newly-established user groups.
The district of Sepon is one of the country’s poorest regions. There are few schools, hospitals or roads. During the Vietnam war, the district was heavily bombed by American forces, and large areas are still infested by mines today. The Ta-Oy ethnic minority lives in the midst of this barren mountain landscape in Laos.
Members of this minority eat primarily sticky rice, which is cultivated on very steep slopes. In bad years, the rice harvest is often not enough to sustain a family.
Higher-Yield Seeds for the Farmers
In such events, people depend on external food aid. Welthungerhilfe and its partner organisation LADCA have instructed 4,000 district residents on how to improve their agricultural yields. New, higher-yield seed varieties were distributed to the farmers.
Water canals were laid for fallow fields, which can now be cultivated year-round with wet rice, which has twice the yield of the formerly cultivated mountain rice. The Ta-Oy are also digging fish ponds and maintaining fruit orchards, for which they are paid by Welthungerhilfe.
New Motorcycle Paths and Roads
Another way to earn money is to help with the construction of motorcycle paths and small roads.
Welthungerhilfe is working with the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) in Laos.