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A farmer-group based approach linking research and development for the promotion of conservation agriculture in the Lao PDR

Jullien F., Tivet F., Lestrelin G., Tran Quoc H., Lienhard P., Khamhung A., Rattanatray B., Panyasiri K., Chabanne A., Julien P., Séguy L.. 2010. In : Chanphengxay Monthathip B. (ed.), Khamhung Anonth (ed.), Panysiri Khamkéo (ed.), Chabanne André (ed.), Julien Frédéric (ed.), Tran Quoc Hoa (ed.), Lienhard Pascal (ed.), Tivet Florent (ed.). Investing in sustainable agriculture : the case of conservation agriculture and direct seeding mulch-based cropping systems. Proceedings of the Regional Workshop held in Phonsavan, Xieng Khouang Province, Lao PDR, 28th October - 1st November 2008. Vientiane : Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry [Laos], p. 196-207. Regional Workshop on Conservation Agriculture, 2008-10-28/2008-11-01, Phonsavan (Laos, République démocratique populaire).

Over the past fifteen years, farming systems have changed drastically in southern Xayabury province, Lao PDR. Rotational cultivation systems and fallow periods are disappearing, being gradually replaced by a 'resource-mining' agriculture that has serious environmental costs, including increased soil erosion, loss of soil fertility, and chemical pollution of the environment. Under the Programme for Capitalization in Support of Rural Development Policy (PCADR)1 , and its components PASS2 and PRONAE3 , alternatives were sought to the degradation of the physical environment, and to the reduction in income and work productivity in these rainfed cropping systems, based on the use of direct seeding mulch based systems (DMC). The aim of this article is to present and discuss the approach taken to promote the dissemination of these innovations, centring research and development actions on farmer groups. This study discusses the results obtained and details the constraints for launching such an initiative and ensuring its perpetuation over the long term.

Mots-clés : agriculture alternative; république démocratique populaire lao; agriculture de conservation

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