Mrs. Aomnoukhan Sum is 40 years old, a mother of two and a smallholder farmer in the Saravanh province in Lao P.D.R. ‘We do not own land, so we rent 1 hectare to grow rice. I have no irrigation. This means I am depending on the rain and I can only harvest once a year. When the rice stock is finished before we have the new harvest, we borrow rice from our relatives.’ Rice is the main source of calories for the people in Laos. The importance of rice for food security is reflected by farmers describing food scarcity as ‘rice deficit’. The SD=HS baseline data shows that rice deficit is experienced during the months of August, September and October. The Program helps farmers to reduce the duration and severity of this seasonal food scarcity period.

Mrs. Aomnoukhan Sum recently joined the Farmer Field Schools, in June 2017. ‘I am learning a lot, I go there every week. Before joining the Farmer Field Schools, I got my seed from the local grain market. Sometimes the seed was good, sometimes not. My biggest wish for the future is to overcome poverty so we will not be hungry anymore, and my children can go to school.’

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