The kick-off meeting for the 2nd Implementation Support Mission of the Lao Agriculture Competitiveness Project took place on 26 March 2019, at office hall of Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry. The Workshop was co-chaired by Mr. Soulivong Sayavong, Deputy Director General of Department of Planning and Finance, Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry and Mr. Mark Austin, Program Leader from the World Bank, with representatives from the line Ministries, World Bank team and National Project Management officials.
After launching the project on 31 August 2018, the work plan and budgets for the last four months of 2018 were implemented. Priority activities were defined in accordance with the Project Appraisal Document and the Project Operation Manual, in which activities are organized in four components: (A) Improved Agricultural Efficiency and Sustainability; (B) Enhanced Agricultural Commercialization; (C) Project management and (D) Contingent Emergency Response. In the first stage of the project, most of the activities focused on surveys, data collection, and assessment of the potential of target groups such as: rice seed multiplication groups, GAP rice, vegetable and maize farmers’ production groups, as well as organic vegetable production groups. Simultaneously, the project management tasks included, among other, building capacity of the target provinces staff on procurement, finance, project management, etc.
At the meeting, the National Project Coordinator reported significant progress, the initial outputs after the first six-months, as well as proposals to accelerate the implementation of the Lao Agriculture Competitiveness Project, as options to be discussed during the World Bank mission in Lao PDR.