UNODC alternative development projects in Lao PDR
Increasing food security and promoting licit crop production and small farmer enterprise development in Houaphan province
The project aims to improve food security by providing alternative development support to former opium poppy growing communities in 35 villages of Xamtai District, Houaphan Province. This will be achieved through the development of licit and sustainable alternative livelihood practices that contribute to food security. The project will help alleviate the negative impacts of falling commodity prices, increased cost of living and limited livelihood opportunities. Alternative livelihood practices will introduce new technology and improve skills to increase productivity and food security, provide access to micro credit as well as access to basic infrastructure. Farmer associations and production groups will be promoted to ensure sustainability.
The project emphasizes a community centred, holistic rural development approach that will strengthen the local authorities to provide better services. This will enable communities to sustain opium elimination, tackle the threats from other drugs and also reduce the risk of vulnerable communities from being targeted by trans-national organised criminal networks. The Project will contribute to the aim of the Government of Lao PDR to exit from the status of Least Developed Country (LDC) by addressing extreme poverty and hunger (MDG1), promoting food and human security as well as national stability.
Phongsaly alternative development fund
This project aims to assist the Government of the Lao People's Democratic Republic in eliminating opium poppy cultivation and in reducing poverty among approximately 10,000 persons (1,600 households) in 30 villages in the districts of Koua and May in Phongsaly province by providing community-based participatory alternative development, drug demand reduction, law enforcement and civic awareness programmes to the target communities. The activities implemented include the creation of an alternative development savings and credit fund, capacity-building for Government staff and efforts to improve the social and economic conditions of former opium poppy farmers.
Regional project in South-East Asia: increasing food security and promoting licit crop production and small-farmer development enterprise development in the Lao People's Democratic Republic and Myanmar
The project's aim is to address the pressing needs related to the current opium scenario, enabling farmers to achieve food security and be self reliant without having to cultivate opium poppy in order to generate an income. Activities focus specifically on alleviating poverty by improving food security levels in selected communities in the Lao province of Oudomxay and the Pekhon township in Myanmar's Southern Shan State. The project's main strategy is to assist small farmers to join the mainstream of economic and business development by implementing interventions that increase agricultural productivity. Small-farmer associations and cooperatives will be strengthened. Major target groups are communities that are currently active in the cultivation of opium poppy and communities that cultivated opium poppy in the past and suffer from food deficiency.