VIENTIANE, Nov. 22 (Xinhua) -- The United Nations World Food Program (WFP) and Lao National Agriculture and Forestry Research Institute (NAFRI) recently signed an agreement to develop new tools for farmers to adapt to climate change in Laos.
Following the agreement, WFP and NAFRI will establish schools where farmers can learn more about crop management and how to best adapt to climate variations, Bounthong Bouahom, Director General of the NAFRI told local Vientiane Times on Tuesday.
The project will give farmers weather information to make decisions about their crops in times of fluctuating meteorological patterns, and will provide them with real-time rainfall forecasts, provided by the National Department of Meteorology and Hydrology.
WFP's support to this project comes at an important time and will be crucial in ensuring the country is better prepared to deal with climate change," said Bounthong.
Over the past years, Laos has experienced higher temperatures and reduced rains during the dry season, and more intense rainfall during the rainy season, leading to longer and more severe droughts, and an increased risk of floods. In an economy highly dependent agriculture, particularly in rural areas, reducing the impact of climate change in agricultural production is important in order to protect household food security.
Helping farmers with extreme weather linked to climate change is key to improve food security in the country," said WFP Laos Country Director Sarah Gordon-Gibson.
The project aims to help farmers in the seven main rice growing provinces of Xayabouly, Bolikhamxay, Khammuane, Savannakhet, Salavan, Attapeu and Champasak. It will also have longer-term impact in the agricultural development sector by improving the knowledge and resources of national institutions and policy makers.