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Promoting responsible investment in agriculture and food systems in the Lao People’s Democratic Republic: Successful experiences and stories from government officials











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    Responsible investment in agriculture and food systems in Lao People's Democratic Republic: why it matters 2020
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    The agricultural sector is a cornerstone of Lao PDR’s development strategy, employing over 70 percent of the population. However, agriculture is contributing only 16 percent of the country’s GDP due to factors including low productivity and lack of modernization, among other issues. To unlock the potential of agriculture to end poverty and hunger by 2030 and achieve the Sustainable Development Goals there is a need for more and better investment in agriculture. FAO estimates that additional investments of USD 41 million per year are needed to achieve the first two Sustainable Development Goals, of which USD 34 million should specifically target agriculture. Through FAO’s Umbrella Programme “Supporting Responsible Investments in Agriculture and Food Systems”, FAO is providing specific support to the Government of Lao PDR to enhance responsible investments in agriculture and food systems. FAO is raising awareness of the ASEAN Guidelines on Promoting Responsible Investment in Food, Agriculture, and Forestry and the CFS Principles for Responsible Agriculture and Food Systems (CFS RAI) among various stakeholders and is working in constant collaboration with the government to ensure the enabling policy, legal, regulatory and institutional environment is in place at a national level. This work is funded by the Federal Government of Germany.
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    Booklet
    Empowering youth to revitalize agrifood systems in Lao People’s Democratic Republic: Stories from young agri-entrepreneurs 2022
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    The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) is working with the Government of Lao People's Democratic Republic to enhance responsible investments in agriculture and food systems in the country by supporting the implementation of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations Guidelines on Promoting Responsible Investment in Food, Agriculture and Forestry (ASEAN RAI) Guidelines. This collaboration comprises, supporting the Government in enhancing the enabling environment conducive to RAI, empowering women and youth organizations to engage in and benefit from RAI and raising awareness on RAI and the important role youth and women play. To shed more light on how to better support youth to invest in agriculture and sensitize them on the importance and opportunities this sector can offer, FAO interviewed young Lao people who have been able to invest in agriculture and become successful agri-entrepreneurs. This work is supported by the FAO Flexible Multi-Partner Mechanism (FMM).
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    Book (series)
    Evaluation of FAO’s Country Programme in Lao People’s Democratic Republic 2009-2014 2015
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    ES1 The Country Programme Evaluation of FAO’s contribution in Lao People’s Democratic Republic (Lao PDR) was conducted in 2015 with a view to contributing to the design and implementation of the next Country Programme Framework (CPF) starting in 2016. The purpose of the evaluation was to provide inputs to better orient FAO’s programme in Lao PDR, making it more relevant to the needs of the country, and identify potential areas for future support in line with FAO’s comparative advantages. It also aimed to assess FAO’s contributions to achieve its Global Goals, namely: i) eradication of hunger, food insecurity and malnutrition; ii) elimination of poverty and the promotion of economic and social progress for all; and iii) sustainable management and utilization of natural resources at the country level. ES2 The evaluation was conducted by a team of five, led by an evaluation manager and supported by an evaluation analyst from the Office of Evaluation. It involved an extensive review of doc uments; interviews with over 160 stakeholders; and field research in the provinces of Khamouane, Savannakhet, Champassak, Swekong and Luang Namtha. The draft report was reviewed for accuracy by an external advisor, government partners and FAO’s Country Office. Following the principle of national ownership of development, the evaluation was conducted in a consultative manner with key Government partners through the formation of a Consultative Group comprising representatives from the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry (MAF), the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment (MNRE) and the Ministry of Planning and Investment (MPI) which chaired the group. The group was consulted in the formulation of the evaluation’s terms of reference, the composition of the team, the validity of the findings and conclusions in the draft report, and the organization of the stakeholder workshop. ES3 Over the past 20 years, Lao PDR has achieved significant economic growth and considerable advances in po verty reduction. With the expansion of agricultural trade, the country finds itself with a comparative advantage in a number of areas, including organic agriculture, niche products and geographic indications. These achievements, however, have not translated into significant reductions in Lao’s seriously high levels of food insecurity and undernutrition. Moreover, a lack of technical capacity and knowledge constrains the country’s ability to capitalize on its comparative advantages. ES4 Lao PDR i s very vulnerable to disasters, including weather events such as typhoons, flooding and drought, rodent and pest attacks, and animal disease epidemics. The most widespread of these are weather related risks and their frequency and intensity is likely to increase as a consequence of climate change. The additional pressure on the country’s natural resources severely strains the livelihood systems of the poorest: many households’ livelihoods continue to depend on natural resources, and the agricult ural sector employs 76 percent of the workforce.

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