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Bamboo Houaphan

A year to create an enabling environment for a service center and a national platform to develop the bamboo sector in Lao PDR.

Projet de terrain

Date de début Date de fin Budget Financement
01/10/2015 31/12/2016 240000 € OXFAM, SDC

Projet

Since 2011, the Houaphan bamboo project facilitates a multistakeholder learning process involving villagers, producers groups, private sector and authorities, combining the natural resource management and the business approach through policy dialogue.

The proposed project builds on promising results of a learning process engaged since 2009 in Houaphan Province by Gret and other partners in collaboration with the Provincial Agriculture and Forestry Office (PAFO).
The Project covers 70 villages in 3 districts (Viengxay, Sobbao, Sam Neua) and shows sound achievements and promising results in 4 value chains (handicraft & furniture, fresh bamboo shoots, dried bamboo shoots, stick factory). The project works with more than 2 400 households that are members of 90 bamboo producer groups. In these households, women play an important role in most value chains, especially on handicraft and home and khome fresh bamboo shoots collecting and processing. An estimated 4500 women are involved directly in these activities.

Four small village cooperative processing bamboo shoots are experimenting, in collaboration with Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry/ Department of Agriculture (MAF/DoA) and with the International Federation of Organic Agriculture Movements (IFOAM), the Participatory Guarantee System (PGS) certification.

On Natural resource management, the project facilitated between government relevant agency and communities the allocation of 4400 hectares of communities bamboo forests for forest trade oriented management in 26 villages, and bamboo forest management plans have been facilitated in 19 villages (3 400 ha). The project collaborates with the GIZ LMRED (Land Management and Rural Economic Development project) on Communal land registration and title to be developed on natural bamboo forest. A total of 25 villages have increased their bamboo plantation (reaching 331 ha). All stakeholders (villagers, traders and local government) are engaged in the development and consolidation of 4 sustainable value chains, with the additional support of the national Forestry Research Centre of National Agriculture and Forestry Research Institution (FRC/NAFRI.)
On Business development, there are more than 180 farmer leaders engaged in bamboo groups piloting village bamboo producers groups, and more than 30 village service providers trained and providing services (bamboo plantation, handicraft techniques, forest inventory). As a significant result, producers started receiving substantial incomes from handicraft & furniture, fresh and dried bamboo shoots, and stick factory value chains1 (400 000 USD for 70 villages in 2014, meaning an average of 170 USD / household / year).
On policy dialogue, the formulation of the strategy phase II, 2016-2020 has been facilitated with provincial and local authorities and has been approved recently by the new Governor of HouaPhan (who is also a strong project’s supporter) (Provincial Bamboo Strategy in attached file).

Its main objective is that: The bamboo sector provides stable and sustainable incomes and employments, contributing to poverty alleviation and conserving forest functions and upland environment.

It plans to:

  • Approve and implement favourable and supportive policies on bamboo resource allocation, management and tenure, import and export tax reduction and exemption, investment incentives and improvement of the quota system
  • Design and implement activities to support the development of potential bamboo value chains (natural resource management, business development, policy dialogue)
  • Create a Bamboo Service Center (BSC) as an independent entity able to provide services to bamboo value chains stakeholders; an entity that will continue supporting the sustainable development of the sector. This organization will be led by a pool of professional providing services to farmers, producers groups, traders, other projects, on methods, techniques and advises with the aim to develop sustainably the bamboo sector. In 2016, the proposal is to study the legal status and procedures of kind of service center in Lao PDR, in order to legally register the entity. For now one, the business plan of the BSC has not been done yet, it is planned for 2016.
  • Gather the bamboo Producer Groups into a broader organization (association or cooperative), potentially see the opportunity to establish them under producers groups or cooperative as per Department of Agricultural Extension (DAEC) guideline.

Another promising advance has been the interest shown by MAF during the 2 days workshop in July 2015, in investing on a bamboo national strategy and platform. Resulting of this commitment, an alliance has been started between Gret, WWF (World Wildlife Fund), and RECOFTC (The Center for People and Forest) to develop the collective project (see concept note in attachment). Contacts have also been made with the TABI (The Agrobiodiversity Initiative) project on potential cooperation during the present project phase, with the idea of getting support on land use planning activities

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