Lao Youth Model Organic Farmer
Anouthikone Sipaseuth (Top), is an organic vegetable farmer from Luang Prabang Province, Lao PDR.
Influenced by a young Thai programmer turned farmer, he left his job as an IT and Business professional at the National Treasury of Luang Prabang province to start an organic vegetable farm.
In 2017, Top and his family were going through a difficult time. He was in debt, and his neighbors discriminated against him for focusing too much time on his organic farm. His father also disapproved of his dream to become a farmer. Motivated by his ambitions, he decided to borrow $50 from his mother to buy sunflower seeds. He researched techniques for planting vegetables, especially salad, and taught himself through trial and error.
Currently, Top is a Youth model in the Organic Agriculture Business and an influencer of young farmers. Oxfam in Laos supports Top to be a facilitator to coach and influence farmer groups, particularly youths.
In some provinces in Laos, the agricultural profession is seeing a decline in interest, particularly from youths. Most farmers are elderly, and young people do not see the importance of inheriting this traditional profession.
The initiative empowers young people, “ Young Smart Farmers”, to be leaders and active participants in the development of sustainable agricultural practices.