This project worked to refine selected integrated crop-livestock technologies, assess systems approaches to crop-livestock integration, and create institutional capacity with local partners at national, provincial and district levels for establishing local platforms for commercialisation and co-learning.
This small project complemented CSE/2009/004 (Farming and Marketing System, FMS) by enriching elements of the FMS activities in selected research hubs in Savannakhet and Champassak Provinces, Lao PDR, with core members of the FMS research team and facilities.
The lowlands and uplands in southern Laos could improve rice production, and produce market surpluses in non-rice crops and livestock. These mixed crop-livestock systems could be intensified and diversified through integrated crop-livestock techniques, strengthening links with the private sector, implementing new production and marketing practices, and adapting relevant technologies to make rice, post-rice crops and livestock production systems more profitable.
On-farm research and demonstration sites provided a mechanism for understanding and application of these systems approaches.
Extensive rural poverty means that agricultural and rural development in southern Lao PDR is a national priority. Challenges within these sectors are complex and require a systems research to complement commodity and resource investigations in order to understand constraints fully and develop scalable and commercialisable solutions to improve rural livelihoods and the local economy.
The project has undertaken on-farm research at 86 trial sites over five seasons. Topics include post-rice cropping (maize, peanut), dry direct seeding and livestock management (crop residue use as a feed source, forages, duck and fish production), with an integrated focus in implementing these trials. The project had a focus objective of enhancing multilateral systems thinking, using onfarm trials and familiar examples to apply different tools.