EXTENSION GAPS IN THE PRODUCTION, POSTHARVEST AND MARKETING OF ORGANIC RICE IN LAO PDR
The study aimed to understand organic farmer and processor constraints and potentials in coming up with quality organic rice that meets international standards in Sangthong District, Vientiane Capital, Lao PDR. Structured interview was conducted among 197 certified organic farmer-respondents. Farmers were past middle age and have low educational attainment. Farmer practices and laboratory tests on paddy rice confirmed that premium grain quality was not achieved because of failure of farmers to meet desirable levels of moisture content. Based on experimentation, shade drying produced better head rice recovery. However, mechanical drying has better potentials to improve grain quality because of less infrastructure investment needed. Based on economic cost and return analysis, organic rice processors can afford to give premium price incentive to farmers and still earn profit if they export to established markets. The study provided evidences on the effect of moisture content on grain quality and developed a price-based incentive scheme based on actual survey data and export data from processors. To facilitate improvement in organic rice quality, a broad based participatory and market oriented extension program is proposed. The organic rice supply chain will guide the extension campaign to integrate all capability and infrastructure needs, address constraints, and maximize potentials of actors. Given the importance of good postharvest system, future works could also delve into establishing a farmer association-managed rice mill to simplify organic rice certification process and empower farmers to trade directly with international partners.
Choulatida, P.N., Gummert, M. and Baconguis, R.D.T. (2015). EXTENSION GAPS IN THE PRODUCTION, POSTHARVEST AND MARKETING OF ORGANIC RICE IN LAO PDR. Acta Hortic. 1088, 655-660
organic rice, Oryza sativa L., small farmers, export supply chain