Agriculture For Nutrition project


We work to eradicate extreme poverty and malnutrition.

Strategic Support for Food Security and Nutrition Project (SSFSNP)

AFN at a glance


The Government of the Lao People’s Democratic Republic (GoL), with the support of its development partners, applied to the Global Agriculture and Food Security Program (GAFSP) for grant financing for a Strategic Support for Food Security and Nutrition Project (SSFSNP) later changed to Agriculture For Nutrition Project (AFN) under the GAFSP’s third call for proposals. IFAD and the World Food Programme (WFP) were identified in the application as the investment and technical Supervising Entities respectively.

The AFN have a duration of 6 years, started in 2016. Project interventions focus on the implementation of the four nutrition-sensitive agricultural activities within the 22 priority interventions under the NNSPA, namely, (i) expanding and intensifying the production of nutritionally-rich plant-based foods; (ii) production and promotion of animal-based protein for household consumption; (iii) improved post-harvest handling and food processing to strengthen year-round food security; and (iv) promotion of income-generating activities, with a focus on women.  The project empowers women to sustainably achieve better family nutrition outcomes, particularly for pregnant women and children up to the age of 5 years, through group implementation of the aforementioned NNSPA nutrition-sensitive agriculture interventions.  In pursuing its agriculture outcomes, the Project promotes “green technology,” for sustainable land management and climate adaptation, with all interventions having a neutral or positive (“no regrets ”) effect on the ability of communities to adapt to climate change. A similar “no harm” principle applies to nutrition outcomes.

Nutrition has been mainstreamed into all three AFN project components, so that each activity contributes to improved nutrition and that, together through synergies, the sum effect is greater than each individual part.

GASFP provided a grant of USD 30 million (77.3%). Local private enterprise  contribution is USD 0.5 million (1.3%). Village beneficiary contribution is USD 2.9 million (7.5%). The GoL contribution is estimated at USD 5.4 million (13.8%). The Government contribution covers taxes, duties and some rural infrastructure. Land use registration and project management staff costs.

Where we work

The Project is implemented in 12 districts and approximately 400 villages in Oudomxai (Namor & Lah), Phongsaly (Mai, Boun-Tai, Samphan & Khua), Xieng Khouang (Kham & Nonghet) and Houaphan (Huamuang, Xam-tai, Kuan & Xon) provinces in Northern Laos.

The project villages and districts were selected based on: (i) poverty data – poorest districts and villages; (ii) good potential for agriculture-led growth; (iii) good village leadership commitment; (iv) climate change vulnerable; and (v) good opportunities for coordination with other on-going projects.

The project target group are within the population of the 12 project target districts, with ethnic groups representing most of the population in all districts (around 73%).

Goals and Objectives

The Goal of the Project is: “Contribute to reduced extreme poverty and malnutrition in poorest communities.” 

The Development Objective is: “Improved and diversified agricultural production and household nutrition enhance life prospects.” 

Target Population & Ethnic integration

The main target groups are within the population of 400 AFN target villages. Ethnic people represent the majority of the population in all AFN districts. The AFN do not work in villages which have been relocated in the last four years since 2016 and/or which will be resettled in the next four years. The Project allocate investment resources competitively based on benchmarked village performance. Women constitute a specific target within the main target group (particularly female headed households where existing). To ensure that they get equal and priority access to Project services and benefits, the AFN adopt measures to increase women’s participation and influence in community-based participatory planning.

The Project works in 400 villages and targets 34,000 poor smallholder households. Assuming a 60% success rate, the AFN plans to lift an estimated 21,000 Households out of poverty by Project-end. In Project Districts, villages and households not directly targeted by the AFN would benefit indirectly through improved capacities, methodologies, systems and technologies adopted within their community, kum ban and district.

Component information

The project have three technical components and one project management component as depicted below;

Component 1: Strengthened public services.

This component supports government staff capacities, procedures, and technical packages to implement selected National Nutrition Strategy interventions. 

This Component have one output;

Output 1: Build government staff capacities and procedures and technical packages to support and converge community implementation of selected National Nutrition Strategy interventions.

Component 2: Community-driven nutrition-sensitive agriculture interventions established.

This Component is supervised by the World Food Programme (WFP) under the GAFSP Technical Assistance (TA) grant, aiming at improved nutrition-sensitive agriculture planning by districts, villages, and households.

This component has two outputs;

Output 2: Planning for improved nutritional outcomes, which will include two activities, namely (i) District multi-sectoral convergence planning; and (ii) Village development planning; and

Output 3: Women-led improvement in household nutrition, which also includes two activities, namely (i) Farmer nutrition schools; and (ii) Household availability and utilization of nutritious food.


Component 3: Sustainable and inclusive market-driven partnerships established

Based on the built capacities and plans as described above, investments are co-financed with villages, households and enterprises.  

This Component have two outputs;

Output 4: Profitable investment in nutrient-sensitive, climate-adapted agriculture.

Output 5: Linking farmers to markets.

Component 4: Project management

This component is designed to maximize project effectiveness and efficiency through smooth implementation of activities and adaptation of similar implementation procedures used in other IFAD projects. 

Funding partners

Implementation partners

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