Laos’ clean agriculture cultivation is expected to continue expanding to a total of nearly 8,000 hectares, up by six percent for the year, as demand growth for organic produce persists both domestically and internationally.
Officials from the Department of Agriculture reported yesterday that trends in health had seen the consumption of organic products increase and become more widespread worldwide and in the region.
Laos has certain endemic and organically produced herbs and plants that are of excellent health value.
Abroad, various Lao organic products are becoming more well-known and popular in international markets as more consumers become aware of the quality and organic production methods being used for commodities such as coffee and more.
The current area officially certified for organic agriculture is around 7,984 hectares, taking in areas of the capital and the provinces of Vientiane, Luang Prabang, Xieng Khuang, Oudomxay, Savannakhet, Champassak and Xayaboury, with the yield estimated at 3,375 tonnes per year.
Meanwhile, the members of the Lao good agricultural practices (GAP) products last year saw some 15 farmer groups with more than 500 families.
The area for GAP is around 1,400 hectares in the capital and the provinces of Vientiane, Khammuan, Savannakhet and Champassak.
Vientiane organic agriculture group has had access to several locations across the city.
Meanwhile, the agriculture, forestry and rural development of Laos will strive to expand at a sustainable level of 2.8 percent in 2018, accounting for 15.73 percent of GDP.
The Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry is targeting a yield of 4.2 million tons of rice, along with 199,800 tons of meat, 179,000 tons of fish, and 34,450 tons of eggs this year.
Other commercial crops for domestic sale and export include 137,500 tons of coffee, 1.2 million tons of sweetcorn and 2.4 million tons of cassava.
More than 140,000 people will benefit from efforts to make rice, maize, and produce farming more productive and profitable, through the Lao PDR Agriculture Competitiveness Project, approved today by the World Bank’s Board of Executive Directors the World Bank website states.
The US$25 million project will support 28,000 farming households in 224 selected rural villages to improve their yields and product quality and increase labour productivity and crop sales. Expanding access to high-quality seeds, machinery and irrigation schemes can reduce transaction costs and enable higher returns for farmers.
The World Bank supports Laos through its Country Partnership Framework 2017-2021 organised around three focus areas (inclusive growth, investing in people and protecting the environment) via the new agriculture project.
Source: Vientiane Times/ANN
by Ounkham Pimmata