Clean, organic agriculture production set to expand
Expanding clean agriculture production to supply market demands together with improved international market access can serve to catalyse growth in the Lao organic produce sector, an audience including the Minister of Agriculture and Forestry was told yesterday.
Director General of Department of Agriculture, Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry, Mr Vilaysouk Khennavong reviewed the implementation and plans for the clean agriculture production development during an annual meeting held yesterday in Vientiane attended by Minister of Agriculture and Forestry, Dr Lien Thikeo.
The department is also holding a two-day clean agriculture products fair to sell and exhibit clean agricultural, organic agricultural and good agricultural practices (GAP) products from several provinces.
The department is focusing on offering of support to local farmers groups to transition from inorganic chemical agricultural production methods to organic alternatives.
They seek to support expanded range and volumes of organic production by raising more understanding about organic agriculture among Lao farmers and the provision of technical support.
Mr Vilaysouk reported on the planned activities for the development of clean agriculture, organic agriculture and GAP production across Laos.
The Department not only plans to expand clean agricultural production, they are also plan to develop marketing based on analysis of market demands at domestic and overseas levels and seek to ensure quantity, quality standards and price.
They will continue to build and develop the local market system by setting up buyer groups to create convenient access for farmers to deliver their products to local restaurants, hotels and mini-markets for commodities including rice, coffee, tea, vegetables and other crops.
The department will also seek to enlarge permanent marketplaces to sell organic products in target provinces and set up guarantee system to manage production and price.
Mr Vilaysouk noted registration of 39 companies and farmer groups with 2,785 families under the relevant organic agricultural registration scheme.
The current area dedicated to growing the organic agricultural is around 7,984 hectares, covering the capital and the provinces of Vientiane, Luang Prabang, Xieng Khuang, Oudomxay, Savannakhet, Champassak and Xayaboury, with yield estimated at 3,375 tonnes per year.
Meanwhile, the members of the Lao GAP now number some 15 farmer groups with more than 500 families, and 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 several distribution venues across the city.
That Luang village in Xaysettha district hosts organic markets Wednesday and Saturday mornings weekly.
A similar range of produce can be found at Fa Ngum Park in Sikhottabong district, every Monday and Thursday afternoons and at Huayhong Market in Chanthabouly district every Saturday morning.
By Times Reporters
(Latest Update April 21, 2017)