September 24, 2023

BENEO provides local rice farmers in Laos with farm machinery

Investment improves working conditions for over a hundred farmers

BENEO’s rice ingredients production site in Wijgmaal, Belgium, has changed the long-term
working life of more than a hundred small-scale farmers in Laos, thanks to the provision of
harvesting and threshing machinery. This investment reflects BENEO’s commitment to its
stakeholders throughout the entire supply chain and has enabled the business to strengthen
its farm level partnerships even further.

As the primary economic activity in Laos, small-scale rice farming accounts for 70% of the
total cultivated area and one-fifth of the total GDP. 1 BENEO liaised with its longstanding
partner IDP, the leading producer and supplier of rice in Laos, to find out how working
conditions for local farmers could be improved. As a result, 8 harvesting machines and 4
threshers were purchased to help ease workloads and improve field yields.

Whilst BENEO retains full ownership of the equipment, the farmers have been trained on
how to use and maintain it to ensure the long-standing success of the project. The machines
support 10 groups of 10 small-scale farmers. They help lighten the workload and speed up
the harvesting process for them and their families by eradicating the need for hand cutting
and manual threshing. With threshing now taking place directly on the field, this lowers the
risk of loss caused by rainfall, as well as mould formation. As a result, the farmers can
expect higher yields and better income. They can also earn additional money by renting out
the machines to other farmers in the region, enabling many more families to benefit from
BENEO’s investment.

Roland Vanhoegaerden, Operations Managing Director for BENEO’s rice ingredients
comments: “We value our long-term relationship with our farming and logistical partners in
Laos. By liaising with IDP, we could quickly see where our investment would make the most
impact. As a result of supporting our farmers with new equipment, more than 100 farming
families have their everyday workloads eased. Also, 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.”

Frédéric Jullien, CEO at IDP comments: “We are honored that BENEO chose IDP to work
with on this project. 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.”

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