Katherine Ashley (PhD student) – 18th March, 2015
A two-day workshop was held on the 20-21st February marking project commencement of ‘Development of a biosecure market-driven beef production system in Laos PDR (AH/2012/068)’ and ‘Enhancing transboundary livestock disease risk management in Lao PDR (AH/2012/067)’.
Held in Vientiane, Laos, the workshop brought together in-country partners involved in both projects and we were grateful for the presence of the Australian Ambassador to Laos, Mr John Williams, Dr Bounkhoung Khambounheung, Director General, Department of Livestock and Fisheries and representatives from the Asian Development Bank (ADB) and the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) alongside colleagues from the Department of Livestock and Fisheries, Department of Planning, National Agriculture and Forestry Research Institute, Faculty of Agriculture, National University of Laos and the Faculty of Agriculture and Environmental Science, Savannakhet University.
The inception workshop was an informative and engaging session and provided an in-depth discussion of the project objectives, activities and expected outcomes and the roles and responsibilities of all stakeholders for each project. These discussions were complimented by presentations provided by Lao project staff into the current state of the nations large ruminant sector, the national strategic plan for large ruminant production and the national strategic plan for large ruminant research. The USYD project staff then had the opportunity to provide information to our Lao colleagues on recent studies into the large ruminant market and carcass composition, the prevalence and control of foot-and-mouth disease (FMD) in the region, the financial impact and knowledge of FMD in Laos and the socio-economic impact of improved livestock production and the importance of women and girls in agriculture.
The Mekong Livestock Research team is now looking forward to a busy and productive 2015 with the roll-out of both projects across Laos and working with our in-country partners to develop a biosecure market driven beef production system in Laos and enhance transboundary livestock disease risk management. This will involve close collaboration with project sponsors, project staff and project participants and we look forward to working with these partners to achieve improved smallholder livestock production and health!