Laos launches project to improve lives of Savannakhet farmers

VIENTIANE (Vientiane Times/ANN): The irrigated agriculture and rural development project will be an essential contribution to food security, commercial crop farming, and rural development to reduce poverty in Savannakhet province.

A construction groundbreaking ceremony for the project took place last week, attended by the Minister of Agriculture and Forestry, Dr Phet Phomphiphak; Savannakhet provincial Governor, Santiphab Phomvihane; Ambassador of the Republic of Korea to Laos, Im Moo-hong; Chief of Resident Representative office of Economic Developing Cooperation Fund (EDCF) under the Korea Exim Bank, LEE Dong-Geon, government officials, local authorities and staff of the Korea International Cooperation Agency (KOICA).

The Integrated Irrigated Agriculture and Rural Development Project mainly aims to achieve improved livelihoods and socio-economic conditions among the small rural holders in Champhone and Songkhone Districts of Savannakhet province, covering 13 villages 2,855 families.

This project’s primary purpose is followed by various sub-objectives that will benefit and improve the villager’s quality of life.

The feasibility study for the project was funded by an EDCF grant of US$350,000 conducted by a Korean consulting company in cooperation with the Department of Irrigation of MAF and Savannakhet provincial Irrigation Department in 2010, and it completed in early 2011.

EDCF decided to approve this project in 2014, and the Loan Agreement for this mentioned project was signed between the Lao Government and the Korea Exim Bank in February 2015 in a loan amount of US$46 million, and US$7.3 million is a joint fund from the Lao Government, the total project cost US$ 53.2 million.

The Department of Irrigation of MAF is the Project Executing Agency responsible for the administrative operation of this project by having the main consultancy services of JV.

Dasan Consultants and Yoosin Engineering Cooperation along with the JV. Ilsung Construction Company and Dongbu Cooperation is the main contractor from the Republic of Korea.

They are performing construction projects despite the spread of Covid 19 and flooding in 2019 and 2020.

Experts and engineers of construction companies have been trying to achieve construction since early October 2020 onward progress to February 2021 can perform the actual 15 percent of the contract value equivalent to US$3,884,385.

The target for 2021 is to complete 18 canals with a total length of 39,240km, two Community Agricultural technology development centres, and 60 per cent pumping heads.

By 2022,95 per cent of the project will be complete.

In 2023, the construction will be completed 100 percent and continue to provide the training strengthen to the water user group of operation and maintenance of the facilities to make the project sustainable and effective, the Director-General of the Irrigation Department, Bounkham Sydavong side.

After the ceremony, Deputy Director of Planning and Cooperation Division, Department of Irrigation, Sathathep Thammachak, on behalf of the Project Coordinator, also guide the delegation to visiting the project sites to monitor the progress of the actual work in the field and see the laboratory for the quality control of the project. - Vientiane Times/Asia News Network

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Laos , project , farmers , Savannakhet , EDCF , Korea Exim Bank


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