Laos To Minimise Agricultural Imports

Laos To Minimise Agricultural Imports

VIENTIANE, Sept 19 (NNN-KPL) – The Lao Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry, advised to minimise importing certain vegetables and other agricultural produce, to help boost the cultivation of these crops in Laos, while also tackling inflation.

Farmers in Laos can produce about 6.53 million tonnes of rice, vegetables and other agricultural produce annually, Minister of Agriculture and Forestry, Phet Phomphiphak, told a meeting of government officials and private sector representatives, held in the Lao capital, Vientiane, recently, according to a Laopattana report today.

This figure comprises 3.72 million tonnes of rice, 2.31 million tonnes of vegetables and cash crops, and 507,644 tonnes of meat, fish and eggs. These quantities enable an average annual per capita consumption of 68.2 kilograms, he said.

Most of the food produced in Laos are sold or consumed by farming families, while some are stored for future use.

However, most farmers still use traditional methods to grow crops and raise livestock, and are highly dependent on seasonal weather conditions, meaning that the supply of fresh produce can be erratic.

Farmers are also struggling with the high price of imported agricultural inputs, especially fertiliser and animal feed.

Some traders resorted to importing these products illegally, which reduces the amount that can be sold by local producers.

High transport fees are another problem for farmers, and the rising price of fuel price is also driving up the cost of growing vegetables and other produce, with farmers struggling to meet market demand.

The Lao government is encouraging farmers and producers to supply more goods to the domestic market and to produce more for export, as this will bring in much-needed foreign currency and help reduce high foreign exchange rates.– NNN-KPL


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