Establishment of sustainable and independent farm household economy in the rural areas of Indochina
Although most ASEAN countries have pushed their economies forward, the economic gap among member countries has expanded through this process. And now it is indispensable to narrow the development gap for the realization of the ASEAN Community in 2015. Thus, it is urgently vital to give more support to less developed countries, such as Lao PDR, etc.
Commercialization is one of the most effective agricultural policies to enable famers to increase their income and upgrade their living standards. But we have to keep in mind that commercialization always has some drawbacks as well. For example, successive cultivation of the same crop only for its profitability depletes soil fertility, and the excessive input of chemical fertilizer, herbicides and pesticides affects the ecosystems in various ways. Currently in Lao PDR, many farmers have begun to cultivate the crops not only for their daily needs, but also for cash income, and the traditional way of life in rural areas is now changing. So it is imperative to reach an ideal balance between commercialization and natural resources conservation simultaneously by taking a page from the lessons in developed countries.
This project aims at the development of new technologies, in which the regional natural resources are not only utilized sufficiently but also managed appropriately in a sustainable manner, respecting the traditional systems in the rural areas in Lao PDR (Fig. 1). Ultimately, this project intends to establish both sustainable and profitable farming systems and realize the existence of vital rural societies in harmony with biodiversity.
1. Improvement of Stability and Sustainability for Self-Sufficient Production
a. Small scale irrigation
b. Low-input and sustainable rice cultivation
c. Small-scale fisheries
d. Forest management
2. Promotion of Sustainable Commercial Production
a. Dry season cropping in paddy fields
b. Sustainable upland crop production
c. Stable animal feeding
d. Sustainable fruit production
e. High value aquatic animals
3. Socio-Economic Conditions for the Stability and Independence of Farm Household Economy
- Evaluation of new developed technologies and faming systems
4. Assessment of Biodiversity and its Conservation
- Evaluation of biodiversity
- Rural development methods to conserve biodiversity