The agriculture and forestry sectors remain Lao PDR's primary source of livelihood and play a key role in reducing national poverty. The Smallholder Development Project (current project) has therefore been promoting sustainable commercial smallholder agriculture and associated agribusiness through strengthening extension services, enhancing access to information and markets, capacity building, and increasing investments in agribusiness. This additional financing provides for the consolidation and expansion of well-performing investments initiated under the current project. It covers 8 districts in four provinces.
The project has employed an effective gender mainstreaming approach with gender action plan including key activities including consultation meeting for farmer groups and trade group/processor, training farmers on documentary preparation to access credit, and facilitating both men and women's performance in the contract farming arrangement. To promote gender equality, the government has asked all ministries to develop strategies and action plans to promote gender equality at the national, provincial, district, and village levels.