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Teak-based agroforestry systems to enhance and diversify smallholder livelihoods in Luang Prabang province of Lao PDR

This project aims to identify and quantify the potential economic, social and environmental benefits of teak-based agroforestry systems, in the upland regions of northern Laos. It will enhance the benefits of teak-based agroforestry systems, through improving tree management systems, and developing better teak germplasm and more products to grow with teak.
For smallholder farmers in northern Lao PDR, productive teak-based agroforestry systems could provide enhanced economic, social and environmental benefits. Many who have established teak plantations can't maximise their benefits, as they don't have adequate management knowledge, sufficient land or alternative sources of income while trees reach harvesting age.
Research will use an on-farm participatory approach, and include analysing effects of tree spacing and thinning and incorporating other woody, crop or fodder species in with teak. The project's scope was expanded to include agroforestry systems, which allow on-going cropping of upland lands until teak trees are big enough to be sold to make sawn timber, so that poor farmers can take advantage of the longer term economic benefits of growing teak.
Outputs will include an economic analysis of different management strategies, extension materials, and genetic resources for improved teak yield potential and wood quality. Improving the productivity and value of teak agroforestry systems will provide smallholder farmers with opportunities for increased and more regular returns. It will also reduce pressure on native forests to provide wood and non-timber forest products.