Sustainable Agriculture Project Sangthong

Thursday, February 01, 2007

Organisational Structure

The Sustainable Agriculture Project Sangthong has targeted the 8 poorest villages in Sangthong District. In two cases, the focus of project activities has centered in a ‘group’ (an administrative entity lower than a village, but which is under the jurisdication of the village authority) of a wider village to reflect the reality of the present situation where minorities often live in enclaves outside of the larger village. These groups tend to be considerably more disadvantaged than the wider village. Traditional methods of targeting villages in Laos has been based on administrative maps, generally ignoring this reality. Disadvantage was, in part, determined through child nutrition surveys conducted by the Sangthong Primary Health Care Project and in consultation with DAFEO staff and local authority.

The following villages were selected:

Ban Gua

Group Sumpay (of Ban Gua)

Ban Mai Pak Sang

Ban Hoi Dtom

Ban Vangma

Ban So

Group Hoi Sa Gan (of Ban So)

Ban Hoi Kham

In addition, Ban Nahoi Bang, though not particularly disadvantaged, was selected at the behest of local government, as it is a ‘model cultural village.’

In each project village, one or two farming families were supported to develop and maintain a demonstration garden based upon an Integrated Garden model, where a small area (generally 1 lai, where 6 lai comprise a hectare) was grown as a polyculture of fruit trees, vegetables, annual fruits, and medicinal and herbal plants. These Demonstration Gardens are the property and responsibility of the project farmer, who receives support from the project in terms of fruit tree seedlings, vegetable seed, training and advice. The arrangement, composition, and implementation of the garden is the sole province of the farmer, who may adopt or ignore advice of project officers at his or her discretion.

The Demonstration Gardens serve several purposes within the project:

  • to provide a tangible plot in which to demonstrate principles taught in technical trainings
  • to provide a practice and experimentation area in which local farmers can test project advice and methods
  • to provide an area in which practicum-based trainings can be carried out
  • to provide a source of new cultivars for the village
  • to provide a food resource for project family


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