CONNECTING FARMERS AND BUYERS

ASEAN Farmers’ Organisations Support Programme

Rice farming

When smallholder producers are connected to private sector buyers both sides can benefit. For instance, at a workshop organised by the Lao Farmer Network (LFN) one of the participating private sector buyers, the Mueng Lao Company, proposed to buy over 60 items of fresh vegetables each day, including spring onions, for a fixed price from members of the network. Three smallholder collectives now supply the company with a total of 450 kilograms of spring onions daily. Even though the price has not increased, farmers have access to a dependable market which will help them plan investment, coordinate production, and generate reliable income.
In addition, in Tholakhom district, Vientiane province, LFN supported the creation of the Jaeng Agriculture Cooperative to strengthen lowland rice farming. Even as members of the cooperative, farmers found it difficult to get a fair price and were reluctant to grow rice. To enhance the livelihoods, LFN arranged a direct contract between the farmers and the Phoon Nguen Rice Company, a local company supplying packed rice in the markets in Vientiane. This has improved relations between the rice farmers and the purchaser, which together with timely information, has provided benefits for both parties: farmers have a reliable market, and purchasers have a reliable supply.

Our members used to make about 2 million LAK (US$230) per month, but with this partnership they now make about LAK6 million LAK (US$690) a month.

Khammone Louanglath, Head of Thongmang organic vegetable group of LFN