Cattle and buffalo are an important part of agricultural systems in Lao PDR, accounting for approximately 20% of agricultural GDP. Ninety five percent of the two million cattle and buffalo in Lao PDR are owned by rural households that farm on a subsistence basis. Livestock provide these families with draught power, nutrition and cash income. However production increases to help smallholders access markets servicing the growing 3% annual demand for livestock meat across Asia are constrained by entrenched diseases, poor feeds and subsistence-based husbandry practices.
By examining current practices and knowledge for livestock diseases and husbandry, including through farmer participation, and with reference to complementary projects on disease control in the Mekong, a best practice approach was developed to improve livestock productivity, potentially increasing marketing opportunities for smallholder livestock producers.
Project activities were also operated in conjunction with the Department of Livestock and Fisheries, and collaborated with the Asian Development Bank's Northern Region Sustainable Livelihood through Livestock Development Project.