Vientiane, Lao PDR, October 17, 2019MktWeb1

Villagers from Khamkeuth District in Bolikhamxay took advantage of a rare opportunity to access the market in Vientiane Capital in October, selling their vegetables and traditional brooms at the World Food Day Market for 2019.

Ms Phoui of Phonthong village travelled to Vientiane with 150 kg of fresh vegetables and 200 handmade brooms from farmer production groups in Keosenkham, Nongxong, Phonthong and Sopphouan villages in Khamkeuth, and was doing a brisk trade on the market’s opening day.

The four villages are home to families resettled under the Theun-Hinboun Hydropower Expansion Project, which opened in 2013, and have for the last ten years received assistance from the Theun-Hinboun Power Company (THPC) to build sustainable livelihoods.

Over the past two years villagers have been working with THPC and Click Lao Marketing Company to improve sales of their produce. Farmers have specialised their products according to local conditions and demand. Ms Phoui now takes vegetables grown at Phonthong under Good Agricultural Practice guidelines to the Lak Xao district capital market every day, providing an income stream for villagers in the production group.

In Ban Nongxong, THPC has built a market for villagers to sell their produce and the company sources fresh MktWeb2vegetables for its canteen and workers from the market when possible. In Keosenkham, villagers use social media site Facebook to market their high-quality traditional brooms, made from naturally foraged broom grass and other sustainable wild materials.

The farmers’ group lobbied THPC for help to attend the World Food Day market at Vientiane ITECC, with Click helping the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry to promote the event under the theme of a healthy diet for a #ZeroHunger world. Ms Phoui said that THPC provided transport for her and the village products, while the farmers’ group paid her accommodation and expenses. With her spring onions and Chinese kale selling quickly, it looked like a decent investment.

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