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LAO PDR: UNODC launches new Alternative Development and Food Security Project in Oudomxay province

k26 inspection

Vientiane, March 19th 2010 - UNODC project office in Oudomxay organized on 24-25 February 2010 the first Inter-Institutional Technical Advisory Committee (ITAC) and Project Inception meeting for the new UNODC Alternative Development project entitled "Increasing Food Security and Promoting Licit Crop Production and Small Farmer Enterprise Development in the Oudomxay province, Lao PDR."

This project, which will cover a total of 50 villages in its three target districts, benefiting 2,964 households and an estimated 17,500 people is fully funded by the Government of Germany (BMZ), and will span 2 years (2010-2011).

A total of 40 participants took part in the meeting, including the Vice chairman of the Lao Commission on Drug Control and Supervision (LCDC), the Vice Governor of Oudomxay, the Chairman of the Oudomxay Provincial Commission on Drug Control and Supervision (PCDC) and the UNODC Representative to the Lao PDR. High-level representatives from the German Embassy as well as experts from UNODC headquarters in Vienna, UNIDO and the Royal Project Foundation also participated in the meeting, in addition to several international organizations and representatives of local authorities and departments.

Project objectives, outcomes, outputs and activities, as well as the preliminary results of the baseline survey and the community assessment were presented and discussed in the meeting.

It was highlighted during the ensuing discussions that efficient coordination and cooperation between donors, development agencies and other international organizations working in the same target areas is essential in order to maximize the impact of the project.

In this connection, continued cooperation with UNIDO and the Thai Royal Project was discussed. The Project's impact is expected to benefit from the expertise of UNIDO in post-harvest processing, small enterprise development and marketing development and the Royal Project's innovative work in agricultural development and farming production.

Coordination with other relevant local partners, such as the German Agency for Technical Cooperation (GTZ) and the German Agro Action (GAA) was also recommended. In addition, practical comments and suggestions from the provincial authorities were also made in regard to project implementation, indicating support and high commitments to the project.

Following the meeting, participants visited an existing UNODC target village in the La district of Oudomxay, where they witnessed farmers engaged in several income generating activities ranging from bloom grass production, to sesame oil processing and Porsa (mulberry bark) production.