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Beneo provided eight harvesting machines and four threshers to ease workloads and improve yields for small-scale rice farmers in Laos.
Beneo’s rice ingredients production site in Wijgmaal, Belgium has provisioned more than a hundred small-scale farmers in Laos with harvesting and threshing machinery as part of Beneo’s commitment to stakeholders throughout the entire supply chain, enabling the business to strengthen its farm level partnerships. Small-scale rice farming accounts for 70% of the total cultivated area and one-fifth of the total GDP of Laos and the Wijgmaal is the source of more than half of the world’s rice starch. Beneo liaised with its longstanding partner IDP, which is a leading producer and supplier of rice in the Laos, to determine how the company can improve working conditions for farmers. This resulted in the purchase of eight harvesting machines and four threshers to ease workloads and improve yields.
Beneo retains full ownership of the equipment, but the farmers have been trained to use and maintain the machinery to ensure long-standing success of the project. The machinery supports 10 groups of 10 small-scale farmers, eradicating the need for hand cutting and manual threshing. Farmers can expect higher yields and better incomes, and will also be able to earn additional income by renting out the machines to other farmers in the region.
Roland Vanhoegaerden, operations managing director for Beneo’s rice ingredients explains in a press release that in addition to helping the farmers, “by offering these economic resources to rice farmers we are helping to further work towards the UN’s 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Given the success of this initiative, we intend to launch another project of this type in the coming year to support more rice farmers.”
“We are honoured that Beneo chose IDP to work with on this project,” added Frédéric Jullien, CEO at IDP. “As a company, we are focused on assisting farmers to improve their work conditions, whilst maintaining rice quality. Beneo’s contribution has shown its commitment to the sustainable development of the rice value chain here in Laos.”