Support to the Reform of the Agriculture and Forestry Colleges in Lao PDR (SURAFCO)


Based on the government’s strategy, SURAFCO Phase III supports quality teaching in all five Agriculture and Forestry Colleges of Laos: college management, needs-based infrastructure, teaching equipment, knowledge sharing and exchanges. This is a key contribution to implement the Reform Strategy towards 2020 in order to increase the number of qualified agricultural and extension workers who can fulfil the need to move from subsistence-based to a market-based agriculture.

Country/region Topic Period Budget
Laos
Agriculture & food security
Agricultural policy
Agricultural development
01.03.2017 - 31.12.2020
CHF 5'100'000
Background

Laos is undergoing a rapid transition and continued economic growth, with an average of 7.5% GDP growth between 2010 and 2015 and a forecast of 7% for 2016 and 2017. The Lao Government has determined agriculture development as a priority and has established guidelines to shift from sub­sistence agriculture to market-oriented agriculture. Projections are that by 2020, the GDP of the Agriculture and Forestry Sector would grow at the average rate of 3.4%, contributing 19% to the national economy. Agriculture remains a main in­come source for nearly 70% of the population and it contributes significantly to rural poverty reduction.

The Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry (MAF) has been implementing the “Strategy for the Reform in the Agriculture and Forestry Colleges towards 2020 in Lao PDR” since January 2008 to improve the mid- and high-level diploma college education. This strategy aims to develop skilled human resources needed in the public and in the private sector of a modern market-based agricultural sector. SURAFCO Phase III will be the final phase where consolidation and capitalization will be key.

Objectives

By 2020, with Northern Agriculture Forestry College (NAFC) in the lead and with regular exchanges amongst all colleges under MAF, all five colleges are gradually adhering to quality standards in Education to ensure the development of skilled human resources that respond to the needs of a modern market-based agricultural sector.

Target groups

Direct beneficiaries are:

  • All five colleges (all college staff, and students):
    TIC (Thangon)
    BAFC (Bolikamxay)
    SAFC (Savannakhet)
    CAFC (Champasak)
    NAFC (Luangprabang)

  • MAF, Department of Personnel and Organisation, and Division for College Management under the same Department 

Indirect beneficiaries are:

Farmers, producer groups, farmer associations, private sector, Provincial and District agricultural offices, extension service offices, and the TVET sector.

Medium-term outcomes
  1. Quality teaching based on skills and student centred learning approach and responding to demands of the labour markets is implemented in all 5 colleges
  2. College management ensures effective and systematic school administration and further development of the educational quality
  3. Infrastructure and equipment offer basic conditions for teaching and learning in all 5 colleges

Crosscutting topic “Knowledge Sharing and Exchanges”: All 5 colleges regularly exchange on good practices, lessons learned, and innovations that improve the quality of education.

Results

Expected results:  

  • Teaching contents respond to the needs of the labour market
  • Teaching quality is assured by a coaching and supervisory system
  • Management practices are transparent, accountable and respect issues such as inclusiveness and gender
  • Cooperation with partners benefits teaching, practical terms and access to jobs
  • Quality Assurance Units are set up and functional at all five colleges
  • Career Advice/Counselling Unit established and functional at all five colleges
  • The Division for College Management at MAF is supporting effective college management and education quality assurance
  • Teaching facilities and equipment are supporting effective practical teaching and learning


Results from previous phases:  

  • The NAFC in Luangprabang has gained an excellent reputation as a qualified institution providing upland agriculture education.
  • The spreading process to the other colleges (roadmap) has started successfully, particularly in curriculum development, module planning, and exchanges. In total, 2’763 students (1’034 female) currently benefit from SDC inputs.
  • NAFC teachers have improved the education quality, teaching contents and methods through various technical trainings in-country and abroad.
  • NAFC has reached a high standard of functional physical facilities.
  • NAFC has strengthened tools to improve gender and social equity amongst students and staff.
  • 80% of graduates from the first 2 batches under the new curriculum were either employed or self-employed within 1-2 years after their graduation.


Directorate/federal office responsible SDC
Credit area Development cooperation
Project partners Contract partner
  • HELVETAS Swiss Intercooperation
  • SDC Field Office


Other partners

Individual farmers and farmers’ groups, private and public sector actors, agro-processing enterprises, iNGOs, NPAs, students’ and youth groups, education institutions.

Coordination with other projects and actors

LURAS, TABI, VELA, Ministry of Education and Sport (MoES)

Budget Current phase Swiss budget CHF   5'100'000 Swiss disbursement to date CHF   4'260'715
Project phases Phase 3 01.03.2017 - 31.12.2020   (Current phase) Phase 2 01.12.2012 - 28.02.2017   (Completed)