Grant aid Government of Japan

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The government of Japan will provide grant aid amounting to 1.4 billion Japanese yen (over US$12 million) to implement the project for improving the lower secondary school environment in the central and southern provinces.The signing ceremony for the exchange of notes for grant aid for the project took place yesterday in Vientiane. 

The notes were signed and exchanged by Ambassador of Japan to Laos Mr Takeshi Hikihara and Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mr Saleumxay Kommasith.

Under the new grant aid, the project will expand and rebuild some 37 secondary schools in four central and southern provinces, and provide furnishings such as desks and chalkboards. 

http://vientianetimes.org.la

Times Reporters

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Spa Navientiane

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An authentic spa and massage house near by  Thatluang square in Vientiane capital, Open daily from 10:00-21:00. Clean and warm hospitality.

Services:

Lao Traditional Massage: 60.000 kip/h

Deep Oil Massage: 120.000 kip/h

Shoulder Massage: 100.000 kip/h

Foot Scrub: 70.000kip/h

Foot Massage: 60.000 kip/h

Face Massage: 150.000 kip/h

Belly Massage: 150.000 kip/h

Mineral- Milk Skin Spa: 300.000 kip/ 1:30 h

Situated at Sisangvone road, Thadluang Tai, Saysettha district Vientiane Capital.

Tel: 021 265 553, 020 557 11662 

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Successful young professional boxer

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Successful young professional boxer Ms Minar Kounlavong is now targeting Muay Lao events with her 60kg weight taking her out of competitive weight categories with the gloves on.
A lack of corporate sponsorship has also made it difficult for her to find boxing opponents over the last two years.
She held the World Boxing Council (WBC) Asian Flyweight title after a bout in September 2015 and the same year was able to beat two Thai opponents in the women’s 54kg division. 
http://vientianetimes.org.la
Sangkhomsay Bubphanouvong

Lao professional female boxer Ms Minar Kounlavong is not sure she can become a professional without access to events at the international level and no main sponsor to support her. 

Ms Minar is increasing her weight class from 57 to 58 kg category and in the future hopes to have an opportunity to increase her weight even more. 

Currently she is 17 years old. She has broken from training for many months and she doesn’t have plans to vie at the professional level, while she will begin to study in the seventh year of high school in September after passing her examinations this year.
Her father Mr Kampanath said that Minar is not yet powerful enough to train in boxing again and will not plan to compete with opponents in Laos and elsewhere from September to December this year.

While Minar’s mother said she will stop boxing training because currently she doesn’t know if she can compete at the professional level.

Mr Kampanath said in truth Minar loves to train in boxing and her dream is to be the best boxer in Laos and also is hopeful she can still be a professional boxer in the future.

Minar has previously held the World Boxing Council (WBC) Asian Flyweight rank and she is also an excellent muay lao fighter who was able to beat her Thai opponent Dokmaipa in the women’s 55kg division at a kickboxing competition in Bangkok, Thailand on January 24.

In the past, the Lao Amateur Boxing Federation supported 500,000 kip for Minar, which she used to train to beat her Thai opponent in six rounds in warm up match on July 3 in Savannakhet province and also beat a Thai opponent in a warm-up match in August of 2015.
http://vientianetimes.la/
Times Reporters

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How Producers in Laos Are Turning to Specialty Coffee

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Let’s grab a Khaafeh Lao and talk about what’s behind your morning coffee – both the beans and the producers. This is the story of the people farming your specialty coffee, and the long process of change they’re going through to meet the growing demand for quality and quantity.

SEE ALSO: What Are the Challenges Facing Lao Hill-Tribe Coffee Farmers?

coffee in LaosA woman spreads coffee cherries out to dry. Credit: CARE International in Lao P.D.R, Chris Wardle

Lao Coffee: The Basics

If you’re drinking coffee in Laos, it’s very likely from plantations established almost 100 years ago by French colonialists.

According to the Lao Coffee Sector Development Strategy (2014), the 1920s French planteurs de caffee first grew Arabica coffee in Laos using Bourbon and Typica varieties. The French were attracted to the elevation and volcanic soils of the Bolaven Plateau in the southern province of Champasak. Later, during the 1950s, Arabica – plagued by frost, leaf rust, and the impacts of war – was replaced by Robusta and a rust-resistant and higher-yielding Robusta-Arabica Catimor.

SEE ALSO: Geisha vs Bourbon: A Crash Course in Coffee Varieties

Phouxay Thepphavong, Secretary General of the Laos National Chamber of Commerce and Industry, shared several facts about our freshly brewed morning coffee. For a start, today, coffee is Laos’ most valuable agricultural export. The coffee export industry was valued at US $50 million in 2015, sizeable for a country of only 6.5 million people.

As for the farmers, Thepphavong explained that rural areas are home to most Lao people and over 70% of the country’s poor. Coffee provides employment for nearly 40,000 families in the seven coffee-producing districts of southern Laos. Production is expanding into other highland areas in northern Laos as well.

LaosMountains in Laos, a landlocked country seeking to graduate from Least Developed Country status by 2020. Credit: Nicole Motteux

The People Behind Your Coffee

In the south, coffee cultivation intensifies. It’s a spectacular scenery of rolling hills, mountains peaks reaching 1,400 m.a.s.l., and pristine rivers, populated by diverse ethnic minority communities. Coffee producers here are typically young ethnic Katu, Talieng and Yae people.

The Dak Chueng district lies in the Sekong Province bordering Vietnam. People here traditionally made a living from shifting cultivation, known as hai in Laos and also referred to as swidden cultivation or slash-and-burn agriculture. It’s one of the oldest land-use systems in the world.

However, many shifting cultivators in Dak Chueng have recently chosen to forgo their traditional agriculture for the ready income of coffee production.

Mr Phosy and Mrs Thip are 35 years old and of Yae ethnicity. Three years ago, they moved from their upland rice hamlet with their three children, aged 16, 14, and 12 years old, to Dak Man village to start their own coffee farm.

Coffee farming beckoned with opportunities they had rarely experienced before. They wanted to send their children to school in the village, get medical care, and buy other goods and services.

The older generation, however, decided to stay upland. Mrs Thip explains that her parents are “too old to move.”

“They cannot change their ways,” she says.

coffee in LaosA young woman during her daily work. Credit: Vincent Rouffaer

Investing for The Future

Coffee trees take three years to produce cherries, and the costs of moving totalled ₭32,234,000 (almost US $4,000). To meet the capital costs of establishing a coffee farm, the family sold some of their livestock and borrowed money from the bank. To make ends meet between planting and production, Mrs Thip relied on her upland family for rice, bananas, and pumpkins for household consumption.

Mr Phosy and Mrs Thip still visit the upland hamlet almost weekly to forage for food in the forest and the family vegetable plots, as well as take care of their elders. They also bring down manure to improve the soil of their coffee gardens, at a rate of two 50-kilo bags per motorbike trip.

Other opportunities to generate income are difficult to come by, but they remain optimistic for the future.

“We are young so we can change,” says Mrs Thip. “Growing coffee seedlings long term is very different to upland farming. We have relatives in the village to advise us. They told us how to produce seedlings and prepare the field. We learned how to weed. We have never pruned our coffee. The only way we can make this change is with the help of our family.”

The Cost of Inexperience

Mr Phosy and Mrs Thip are concerned that their past farming experience hasn’t prepared them for quality coffee production. There are many things they are unsure about: the management of tree rejuvenation and plant nutrition, soil fertilization and mulching, water retention, plant pests and diseases, and more.

In addition, they know that producing specialty coffee requires certain harvesting and processing techniques as well as diligent post-harvest handling. Yet this is completely new to them.

LaosCoffee producers in the Dak Chueng District. Credit: CARE International P.D.R

The family are on the same path of change as other coffee growers who started 10 years earlier. They too mined soil nutrients and mismanaged their coffee because they had no foundation or training in horticulture. With limited knowledge, resources, and capital, smallholder coffee producers face low yields and poor-quality beans – all things linked to soil nutrient deficiencies, diseases, and pests.

Poor harvesting and post-harvesting handling techniques together with a weak understanding of the market did not bring a good return for Mr Phosy and Mrs Thip. Currently, they sell mostly dried cherries and defective red cherries, receiving a very low price for their fledgeling coffee product.

coffee in LaosA worker sorts through drying coffee cherries. Credit: CARE International P.D.R, Chris Wardle

Cash Income Changes Lifestyles

Like many other families, Mr Phosy and Mrs Thip do not receive support from government agricultural services. They rely on other smallholder producers for advice and traders that have outreach programs to secure their supply lines.

Coffee production is a transformational commodity for poor upland farmers in the Bolaven Plateau in southern Laos. The majority of villages in Dak Chueng are dependent on coffee as their main source of cash income.

Many smallholder producers had limited access to cash before. Having cash makes a tangible difference to many households, enabling them to buy food such as rice, tea, salt, MSG, homeware, and 2G mobile phones. It allows children to go to school and the family to access medical care. More successful coffee producers can buy motorbikes and smartphones.

Better Equipment, Better Profits

Several NGOs and international coffee traders work to support smallholder coffee producers in the Bolaven Plateau, the country’s main coffee-producing area. They do so, in many cases, through sharing information on good agricultural practices and coffee post-harvest handling.

For example, I have recently completed a research project with CARE International in Laos. The body implements projects in the Dak Chueng District, including the European Union Food Security Project Women and Income and Nutrition Groups, to support the transition to sustainable production practices inclusive of women and youth.

Their interventions include diversification, the community management of natural resources, intensification of existing coffee plots rather than expansion, sustainable land management, access to finance, and use of communication systems for better market access.

coffee in LaosDiscussing best agricultural practices: Credit: CARE International in Lao P.D.R

Similarly, since 2014, Outspan Bolovens Ltd., a subsidiary of Olam, has set its pricing signals to encourage producers to alter their post-harvest processing practices. Some smallholder producers are switching to using hand pulpers, many provided by CARE International, to remove the cherry pulp before washing and drying the parchment coffee. This allows them to attract a higher price from Olam and so obtain extra income.

Some producers are also processing the cherry to parchment in the village, rather than selling their crops unprocessed. In 2015, Mrs Seng made up to four times more than her usual income by selling parchment instead of cherries.

Additionally, some producers have also started storing parchment during the rainy season, waiting until the roads and river are accessible to get the product to market.

“Evaluations highlight a high level of local ownership and significant positive impact on ethnic communities, particularly women and girls,” says Phounsy Phasaveng, Provincial Program Manager at CARE International in Laos.

coffee in LaosAdding cherries to the depulper. Credit: Mr Lat Rattanavong

These changes are small and slow, yet they have the power to make a real impact to coffee producers in Laos. Accessing the specialty market can provide cash, education, healthcare, and more.

It’s important that producers continue to learn about good agricultural practices and local post-harvest processing – something that will, to begin with, require the support of traders or NGOs.

I encourage you, as you buy your coffee, to look out for origins and brands like this. Improve the quality of the coffee in your cup, as well as the opportunities for producers along the supply chain.

Written by Nicole Motteux, based on a case study with CARE International in Lao P.D.R (Nicole Motteux, 2017: Disconnect – the transition from shifting cultivation to coffee production). All interviews were conducted with Mr Thongchanh from the Coffee Research Station as an interpreter.

Perfect Daily Grind

see original link: https://www.perfectdailygrind.com/2017/10/producers-laos-turning-specialty-coffee/

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Lao coffee Development

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coffee plantation Boloven plateau

The government is planning to develop coffee-rich Bolaven Plateau in southern Laos as the country’s top agri-business and agri-tourism destination due to its perfect climate and fertile volcanic soils.
A master plan for developing the plateau is being drafted by the National Economic Research Institute to ensure sustainable development in Bolaven.
Officials from the institute told Vientiane Times on Friday that zones of the plateau would be identified and allocated according to their suitability for organic crop plantations and tourism activity development.
http://vientianetimes.org.la
Somsack Pongkhao

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Painting exhibition in Japan

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Lao artists Mr May Chandavong and Mr Hongsa Khotsouvanh are sending their works to be exhibited at the Sunshower exhibition of contemporary art in the Japanese capital of Tokyo this year.
Sunshower, which features contemporary art from Southeast Asia, including Laos, from the 1980s to now, will also commemorate the 50th anniversary of Asean this year. 
Southeast Asia is enjoying remarkable prosperity, not just in terms of economic growth but in the contemporary art scene as well.
The exhibition is organised by Japan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs in association with the embassies of Asean countries. It began at the National Art Center and Mori Art Museum in Tokyo on July 5 and will run till October 23.
http://vientianetimes.org.la
Visith Teppalath

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Buddhist lent

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During 3 months from July to early October lunar calendar the monks stay in the temple (Wat) and practice the Buddhist 227 principal seriously (Sin 227) and it call Buddhist lent (Khao Phansa). From early October this year the Buddhist Lent has end on 5 October (Ok Phansa).

In the morning in every temples have practice arm giving ceremony, in the evening is light festival.

Naga (River Dragon) is cultural symbolic and respect of Lao peoples, we often recognise 

 for the light festival in the evening  will hold a candle with flower fos some province such as Luang Prabang, it preferred to make a a kind of a lamp and work around the temple for 3 round then leave the lamp on the floor. After that they will leave a fire boat at the river. The fire boat is made in different size from small to large. Mostly every village will make a big fire boat with full decoration.

 

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Interview Sivilay Abstract artist

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Sivilay Abstract Artist

 

Sivilay is one of the best abstract artists who interprets the culture and tradition from his hometown onto the canvas for exhibition in local and abroad as well as transmitting his experience and techniques as an instructor for students at National Fine Arts Institute in Lao PDR. From a small village in Adsaphone district, Savanakhet province where many Phou Tai ethnic group inhabit, Sivilay has admired the beautiful hand writing of his father who is a teacher of elementary school, and tried to interprets all those wording and feeling to the artistic images. Once he has met with his father’s friend who is a painting’s teacher, since then he started learning paintings. Phou Tai peoples is very special, basically men and women are very good on signing, dancing and producing very beautiful silks and men playing the Khaen (Lao traditional music instrument). With those entourage Sivilay has inspired and introduced those cultural images onto his paintings and most of his paintings are related to culture, tradition, peoples and happiness.

 

Night activities Ta Oi peoples

Hmong

Lao new year Luang Phrabang

Laven peoples harvesting coffee and men serving tea and coffee

Courtship interaction while men playing Khene and women singing.

Fresh market

Coffee harvesting process

Animal feeding

Cotton string making Laten people

Khmu people having Jar alcohol

Bamboo string making by Brown lady

Embroidering Iumiane people

Fire stove, or dry wood caring by Akha lady

Phou Tai ladie go to temple

Katou man playing music instrument

Akha ladies

Ta oi ladie

Mariage inter courtship

The paintings showing above is prepared for The Lao Plaza Hotel 2018 design for desk calendar size and would be distribute to Lao Plaza Hotel Clients. For more informations or if need the original canvas is also available now. Please send us an email: cubic.consultancy@icloud.com 

 

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