Impact assessment

Impact of research in lowland rice systems in Laos

Date released
09 April 2019
Publication Code

JD Mullen, B Malcolm and RJ Farquharson


Impact Assessment Series No. 97

This report provides an assessment of the impact of three ACIAR-supported projects dealing with lowland rice production in the Lao People’s Democratic Republic. The assessors found that the projects laid the foundation for what is now an inevitable progression in dryland rice growing in Laos. The ACIAR investment has accelerated the introduction of the greatly needed direct-seeding technology by at least five years.

The adoption of the dryland varieties and direct-seeding also produced positive social impacts. Farm families who no longer engage in the onerous task of transplanting rice are finding opportunities for various off- and on-farm activities that benefit their livelihoods and improve the welfare of all, especially women.

Overall, this impact assessment report suggests that despite some uncertainties—such as adoption and attribution—the three projects generated an excellent return on the ACIAR investment and lasting benefits for the livelihoods and food security of smallholder farmers in Laos.