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SWISS COOPERATION

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Let’s AGREE! in Lao PDR

By Touravanh 4 months ago
Home  /  Areas of Intervention  /  Agriculture and Food Security  /  Let’s AGREE! in Lao PDR

If farming communities are to remain a viable and vibrant part of Lao society, rural youth need local opportunities to earn money, be creative and enjoy themselves. With this goal in mind, the Northern Agriculture and Forestry College (NAFC) recently hosted a scheme to promote entrepreneurship among students who will become future farmers, business people and development workers.

Students inspect the prototypes business ideas created by their colleagues

Students inspect the prototypes business ideas created by their colleagues

Called AGREE – ‘Agripreneurs for Green Rural Enterprises and Economy’ – the scheme involved a series of weekend learning events and a competition that generated many new ideas for small agribusiness that students could run when they graduate.  The scheme started with 52 proposals in October and ended with 12 teams who presented their business ideas to a panel of judges on 21st January. 

The 12 finalist teams await the decision of the AGREE judges

The 12 finalist teams await the decision of the AGREE judges

The judges awarded first prize of 6.5 million kip to three students who developed a plan for processing and marketing a herbal tea made from the flower of the butterfly pea (dok angsan).  What impressed the panel, which consisted of prominent people from the public and private sector in Luang Prabang, was the prototype packaging, the financial calculations, and the confidence of the students.  The second prize went to a team producing ‘five-star chicken’ (gai dam), while the third prize was awarded to students who developed a technique for growing off-season lemons.  

The winning team receive a prize of 6.5 million kip from Mr. Thongsamouth Phoummasone, the NAFC Director

The winning team receive a prize of 6.5 million kip from Mr. Thongsamouth Phoummasone, the NAFC Director

The AGREE scheme has been implemented by NAFC and Enterprise & Development Consultants (EDC) with the support of two projects that are funded by the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC).  Those projects –  The Lao Upland Rural Advisory Service (LURAS) and Support to the Reform of the Northern Agriculture and Forestry College (SURAFCO) – will now consider how to support some of the finalists who wish to put their exciting business ideas into practice after graduation.

The winning business idea, a delicious purple tea made from the flower of the butterfly pea

The winning business idea, a delicious purple tea made from the flower of the butterfly pea


 

Learn more about the students at the the Northern Agriculture and Forestry College (NAFC) and their dreams and aspirations on becoming a student at the college from SDC’s last visit to the campus: Student Dreams and Aspirations in Agriculture and Forestry Education – Lao PDR.

 

 

Categories:
  Agriculture and Food SecurityLaos
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