Cooking Fuel Alternative and Livelihood Development
This is a comprehensive action for rural development in Laos. It is specifically made for poverty eradication and environmental improvement.
I confirm that I am fully aware of the eligibility criteria, and based on its description, I am eligible to apply to the CSV Prize 2017.
Naly Agriculture Pty Ltd
Growth (the pilot has already launched and is starting to expand)
Annual budget in 2017 (USD)
Number of beneficiaries impacted so far
Headquarters location: Country
Lao People's Democratic Republic (Laos)
Headquarters location: City
Location(s) of impact
Provinces: Champasak, Savannakhet and Vientiane
Cities: Pakxe, Savannakhet and Vientiane
The innovation was rewarded as finalist by the USAID-PFAN South East Asia and presented at conference held in Bangkok, Thailand. The presentation drew high level of attention and we were invited to Asia Clean Energy Forum hosted by the Asia Development Bank in Manila, the Philippine. Presenters at the conference were Daopahchanh Phetsayarat - director and president of Naly agriculture Pty Ltd and Naly Yang - co-founder of the company. More details could be found at the USAID-PFAN website.
The Cooking Fuel Alternative and Livelihood Development was presented at the Asia Clean Energy Forum (ACEF) at the Asia Development Bank Headquarter in Manila, the Philippine. The presenter is Naly Yang - co-founder of Naly Agriculture Pty Ltd. The presentation drew high attention from large financial institutions including the European Investment Bank and the ADB itself. Please find out more about us at www.asiacleanenergyforum.org
The Cooking Fuel Alternative and Livelihood Development was presented at the UNDP Headquarter in Vientiane, Laos. At this particular moment, the organization rewarded us $50,000 for project initiative. The money will be spent under registered name Agriculture Alternative and Livelihood Development. Please find out more about us at the UNDP Laos website.
The innovation was presented to farmers - the target group and primary beneficiaries. At this particular moment, farmers were gathering for consultation in community hall. Later, they registered for membership and participating in project implementation.
The innovation was brought to land for good example and initiative. This particular image, the director and president was preparing soil for all year round vegetable farming. It is made for demonstration and training purposes. However, income generated from the field is large enough to hire 10 full time employees and feed 150 trainees/volunteers per years.
Farmer works hardest but earn very little. They are 70% of Lao population but own only 20% of national wealth. To improve their living standard, we organize them into farmer production and trade groups under Contract Farming Agreement (CFA). Under the CFA, chemical free and integrated agriculture practices are compulsory for all participants. The practices improve their earning from about $500/hectare/harvest circle to between $10,000 and $15,000/hectare/harvest circle. Thanks to new approaches!
Rice is basic staple for every Laotian. Indeed, rice is life! To make rural development works, rice issue must be addressed seriously. So far, conventional rice farming has failed farmers badly even nobody wants to toil his/her land but leaves home looking for opportunities elsewhere. However, we challenge the norm through new approach by introducing organic/chemical free and integrated agriculture practices. The practices significantly improve crops yield, increase earning and reduce cost.
Vegetable farming is another alternative we have made in rural development. As rice farming, we introduce chemical free in vegetable farming practice. Chemical free groceries could be sold up to 5 times more expensive than those conventional ones. On the other hand, vegetables could be cultivated relatively easy in large scale production and sold all year round. These allow farmers to earn significant income throughout the year. As result, vegetable farmers also have good and comfortable life.
Rice and vegetable farming are traditional in Laos. Mushroom farming, however, is excellent even the director has put his hands in the practice. First of all, it require very little investment for large scale production because most of its necessities and inputs could be found locally with very little or no cost especially in rural communities. Moreover, in comparison to rice and vegetable farming, it requires very less water. Significantly, it is easy to run and manage. Yet, everybody can do!
Mushroom farming, in our perspective, is Agriculture Alternative. We concentrated on this not only because of the economic qualifications above but also commercial, financial, environmental and medical benefits. For example: Mushroom species as shown in the picture could be sold in local market up to $3/kg. Some species could be sold as high price as $200/kg and only foreigners could afford it. Therefore, we regard mushroom farming as catalyst for life improvement and pay very special attention.
In addition to rice, vegetable and mushroom farmings, we also introduce beekeeping in our rural development initiative. It might not be highly popular as others but offers good income and less work. Professional beekeeper could be totally independent of agriculture because his/her earning is high. Indeed, beekeepers are environmentalists and conservationists because they are highly conscious about trees and biodiversity. After all, forest is source of honey. Honey price at present is $17/kg.
This is the only grape farm we have so far established in our rural development approach. It is highly successful because it offer good harvest yield and very testy. Most importantly, it adopts well into climate of Laos. In near future, we will scale it up for larger farms and bring more farmers to the field. At the same time, we will import more grape species for experiment and choose the only best for regeneration. At present, grape fruits are relatively scarce and could be sold up to $3/kg.
The director is so concerned about chemical contamination in food and high cost in agriculture. He therefore brought in tons of organic fertilizer and bio-necessities for agriculture. Thousands of farmer in rural communities participate in the project can pay only half of total cost of the necessities they need at delivery and the remaining paid at harvest time. The necessities are chemical free so that rice farmers can farm fish, prawn etc. in water of their rice plots. As result, poverty ends.
To make agriculture and food more sufficient and affordable, the director engineers new approach in fertilizer and manure production as shown in the diagram. Output from the process is 3 times cheaper than sale price of the organic fertilizer and 7 times lower than those paid for the chemical ones though it greatly and significantly improves harvest yield and biodiversity in agriculture. This has enhanced our rural development initiative further through cost cutting and income improvement.
To make rural development more practical, realistic and successful - outputs from agriculture and rural goods must be sold and converted to cash. The director concern so much about the issue and he put himself into action. Here is the only organic grocery market in town and we have played significant role in its operation. We are key player both in supply and trade because we manage large production networks through the Contract Farming Agreement. Therefore, we present every day. Many cannot.
Where possible, agricultural outputs and rural goods are processed as shown in this vermicelli production. The processing not only helps to reduce waste and pressure on sale but also improve earning greatly because processed goods could be kept longer, met greater demand and exported. Therefore, many primary produces/rural goods have been specifically grown for processing such as rice for noodle productions. In future, more produces will be added to the list such as banana, peanut, garlic etc.
Agricultural wastes must be economically and commercially utilized for financial and environmental benefits. As shown in the picture, we process paddy husk for artificial firewood. It could be burnt for cooking like conventional firewood. However, to make it more sufficient and environmentally friendly, we process it in charcoal kiln. Output from the kiln is called Artificial Charcoal or the Cooking Fuel Alternative. It lasts for 4 hours in cooking stove but its sale price is very competitive.
The processed goods must be packaged and label as honey jar shown in the picture. After all; processed, packaged and labeled products could be sold up to 15 time higher prices than those of raw produces. We have fully realized the potential and taken it into consideration seriously. In future; to enhance further and scale up the rural development, processing and packaging will play significant role in our operation. Yet, more factories and processing plants will be needed.
Environmental and health impacts are seriously monitored. To make it more realistic, effective and sufficient, we have appointed an expert at the National University of Laos, Southern Province Campus to be in charge of the issue. We regularly send her sample of water in rice plots and produces freshly from fields for testing in her laboratory. Test results must be always clear as shown in the picture. Otherwise, we make investigation immediately to find out the cause and take action accordingly.
This is truly real answer in Rural Development, Food Security and Poverty Eradication especially in area where arable land and water are scarce. It perfectly keeps water throughout life circle of rice crops. Farmers are no longer worry about drought or less rainfall or flood or even rat, wild boar and weeds because the concrete plot is engineered for crops protection. Yet, aquaculture can be perfectly run with the rice crops. In experiment shown in picture, a catfish weighs 1.5 kg in 4.5 months.
Rural poverty has made these children uneducated but roaming around in rag cloths.
In immediate future, through live improvement of their parents, the innovation will bring rural children to primary school for basic education.
Rural kids are majority of future working age population in Laos. If they are well educated, poverty could well become thing of the past within months - not years. The innovation has therefore also planed for them too.
We do not join the Twitter
Problem: What problem is this initiative trying to address?
Rural Poverty is our target for addressing. Indeed, poverty in Laos is not new. However, 80% of the poverty today has been born by rural communities. As result, working age population has left home seeking opportunity elsewhere. Majority of them cross border into Thailand and many never return. Subsequently, food and agriculture become highly insufficient. We address the issue because we need young people home to toil their lands and feed the nation. If the poverty is ignored, the country will soon face major crisis.
Solution Summary: What is the proposed solution? What do you see as its most promising aspects for creating shared value?
Rural poverty is big issue but could be overcome through Comparative Advantage as Agriculture especially Rice Farming. However, conventional agriculture has failed farmers very badly even working age population has left home seeking opportunities elsewhere and younger generations no longer want to toil their fields. To make it catalyst for change and attract new generations in the land, we recast the conventional practices that make farmers poor for Chemical Free and Integrated Agriculture. These will improve income of the farmers from just about $500/hectare/harvest circle to between $10,000 and $20,000/hectare/harvest circle. On gender and environmental issues, in nutshell, we will improve these through Cooking Fuel Alternative Production. It is made of paddy husk and last over 4 hours in cooking stove. This will save up to 4 hours/day/woman from cooking choir and millions of tree from logging for fuel/year. The trees will reduce CO2 large quantity every year and improve environment.
Impact: What is the impact of the work to date? Specify both the social and the environmental impact of your work
Since January 2016, under Contract Farming Agreement (CFA), we have organized and mobilized farmers into production and trade groups. The new approach attracts 3,500 farmers and their families. This financial year they earn 20 times higher than what they used to achieve. Thanks to the Chemical Free in Agriculture that allows them to farm fish, prawn, frog etc. in water in their rice plots! In environmental issue, the chemical free agriculture not only improves biodiversity in rice field but also stops water pollution and soil contamination permanently. In addition, millions of tree have been growing in forests and biodiversity gradually recovers through its natural course because of the cooking fuel alternative. Significantly, more women look more attractive and healthier because they have more times to make up and look after themselves. Thanks to good income, good food and the cooking fuel alternative. Yet, some school leavers have stayed home and few of those previously left return.
Financial sustainability plan: How is this initiative financially supported? How will you ensure its financial sustainability long-term?
Originally, the initiative was funded from our own pocket. This year, 30% of our budget is made of grant. The rest is met by earned income. In future; to guarantee sustainability and growth, we will principally operate the business on reinvestment and participants contributions. However, to make it easier and more realistic, a Farmer Credit Union will be established. With the institution, productions and trades will be fully funded and oiled. Nevertheless, to set up the Credit Union, up to $100,000,000 of funding might be needed. We definitely cannot establish the institution with our own resources. Therefore; a multilateral loan with low interest, long term repayment and certain grace period will be needed from international development funds including EIB, IFC, ADB, OPEC, Arab Funds etc.
Unique value proposition: What makes your initiative innovative? How does your project differ from other organizations working in the same field?
Our initiative is innovative because of 3 reasons:
1. It proposes Rice Farming Revolution shown in Image 20.
2. It replaces Conventional Agriculture with Chemical Free and Integrated Agriculture Practice.
3. It offers Cooking Fuel Alternative made of paddy husk.
On the other hand, our approach is different from those made by other organizations because it's much more comprehensive that addresses wide range of issues including education for children, labor migration, finance, environment etc
Founding story: Share a story about the "Aha!" moment that sparked the beginning of this initiative.
We have worked hard for years with clear vision and great confidence on the initiative. However; to our critics, it is so ambitious and will sooner rather than later reach a dramatic end. Nonetheless, we want to prove the critics wrong through level of achievement and international recognition. Unfortunately; though some degrees of achievement have been reached, the recognition is hard to come by. We cannot even seek someone or any place to share our values and ideas. Therefore, we jump up and say "YES!" when we found your venue for expression published in your website. We grasp the opportunity and share our works with no hesitation. We even post our hard works throughout the years in our Share Webpage including the Golden Field of Champasak and brand new experiment – Rice Farming Revolution. We are very happy to be part of the Change Makers you have originated regardless of the outcome.
Where did you hear about the Nestlé Creating Shared Value Prize?