SDC visits TABI in Lao PDR

Last week a Swiss delegation visited Swiss-funded programmes in Laos, including the Agrobiodiversity Initiative (TABI) run by NIRAS since 2009.

The visit to the Swiss development programmes was led by Ambassador Thomas Greminger, Deputy Director General of the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC) and responsible for the South Cooperation Department. He was accompanied by the Ambassador of Switzerland to Laos, Mr Ivo Sieber, Head of the East Asia Division at SDC, Mrs Franziska Freiburghaus, and Director of the Mekong Region Programme, Mr Tim Enderlin.

TABI is promoting livelihoods options based on agrobiodiversity products, and sustainable landscape management in the Northern Uplands. Among the products or activities supported are wild honey, broomgrass, wild tea, indigenous pigs and chicken, indigenous rice, fish conservation, NTFP management, awareness and education programmes, etc.

The field visit with TABI took place in Phonxay district, Luang Prabang province, where the programme showed its coffee and tree nursery and where a display of TABI supported products had been prepared. Later the delegation visited a nearby village where a training on broom making was taking place. The team expressed great interest and satisfaction of what they saw and heard.

Ambassador Greminger reaffirmed Switzerland's continued support as a development partner of Laos. Switzerland, through the SDC, is supporting 17 bilateral and regional projects in Laos with a total of almost US$20 million a year, according to the SDC.