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Australia Helps Improve Lao Farmers’ Livelihoods

(KPL) The Australia Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) has announced a new private sector partnership to improve livelihoods of farmers in Laos by strengthening buffalo breeding and milking practices.

This partnership brings together social enterprise Laos Buffalo Dairy (LBD), the Northern Agriculture and Forestry College (NAFC), the Provincial Health Department (PHD) and the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) to promote the regeneration of buffalo herds in Laos to improve rural livelihoods.

LBD will work to improve buffalo genetic health, influence dietary practices to include buffalo milk and help make buffalo dairies a viable commercial operation for smallholder farmers.

Students from NAFC will gain exposure to practical training opportunities at the dairy and the Health Department will help drive awareness of the nutritional benefits of buffalo milk.

Two NGOs will support the implementing partners’ contributions: Helvetas for NAFC and the Swiss Red Cross for PHD.

The Healthy Buffalo for Healthier People partnership valued at AU$ 596,860 aims to scale-up LBD to bring more buffalo into the breeding programme and reach more households. Households engaged in the dairy will have improved buffalo health, better breeding practices and learn how to milk for improved nutrition and potential revenue generation.

Australian Ambassador to the Lao PDR, Jean-Bernard Carrasco said: Australia is proud to support this partnership and will continue to work with Laos to leverage private sector resources to support development objectives and to improve the business environment.

This is the second collaborative partnership in Laos between DFAT and the private sector contributing to more inclusive growth.

Source: Lao News Agency