VIENTIANE (Vientiane Times/Asia News Network): The Department of Agriculture of the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry is partnering with Rice Farming Initiative Sole Co., Ltd. in a feasibility study on Alternate Wetting and Drying (AWD) rice planting methodology and carbon generation.
A Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on the study was signed in Vientiane last week by the Deputy Director General of the Agriculture Department, Vanthieng Phommasourin, and the President of Rice Farming Initiative Sole Co, Ltd, Khamtanh Khamphanh.
The signing was witnessed by the Deputy Director General of the Department of Planning and Cooperation, Dr Phommy Inthachack, and company advisor Ho Wei Chung.
Also present at the signing ceremony were the Head of Office of the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry, Sipaphay Xaysongkharm, and Director General of the Agriculture Department, Bounchan Kombounyasith, as well as other government officials and company representatives.
The MoU gives the go ahead for the feasibility study and the writing of a project investment proposal to carry out Alternate Wetting and Drying rice planting methodology and carbon generation in Savannakhet, Khammuan, Saravan and Champassak provinces.
The study will evaluate the best techniques for increasing the quantity and yields of rice planted using the AWD method.
It will also evaluate ways to reduce methane emissions during rice cultivation, as well as carbon generation, while also looking at ways to foster bilateral cooperation in the development of agriculture to create an investment model between the government and private sector. If the results of the study are successful and accepted, Rice Farming Initiative Sole Co., Ltd. will set up a project to introduce the AWD system.
It is envisaged that this will save water, reduce methane emissions, and support the goals of the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry to boost crop yields for food security, domestic sale and export, and poverty reduction.
Rice Farming Initiative Sole Co, Ltd. is also working with the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry in carrying out a feasibility study on carbon trading in Laos.
In January, the company signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Forestry Department on a feasibility study to investigate the creation of a forestry carbon credit market.