Going Organic : insights for dreaming big

Tasting organic long beans from the organic farm     Admiring water sprinklers at organic farm

The world of organic can be over-whelming: procedures, certification, testing. Not an easy-access option for small farmers keen to try new farming techniques.

That’s why Vets without Borders and FoA organised an introductory 3-day training for farmers in Dounien village to show them the ropes, explain what is meant by organic and ‘good agricultural practices’ (GAP) and experiment with making their own compost.

The visit to Ban Thaxang, a local organic farm set up 3 years ago and run by 20 households, showed what all this can look like in practice, and gave participants a real vision for dreaming big.

Trainer Ms Phimmasone said “The participants already have animals and some land, but they didn’t know how to make organic compost and use natural pest control. Now they have seen how others are doing it, it will help them to try it themselves”.

Co-trainer Mr Sayvisen added “The next step will be to actually try these new approaches in their own farms. We don’t want to just stop at training, we will help them prepare for new and growing markets”.

For lunch the workshop group tasted samples of fresh water spinach from Ban Thaxang and everyone got to take some vegetables home.

Over the new few weeks, group members will volunteer to work as model farmers to try out these new techniques in their backyards.