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Lao PDR initiates project to boost productivity and quality of vegetables

18 Mar 2024

To address challenges in the agricultural sector in Lao PDR, the Micro, Small, and Medium Enterprise Promotion Agency under the Ministry of Industry and Commerce (LNPO), along with the APO Secretariat, organized a project on Productivity and Quality Improvement for Fresh Vegetable Producers. The hybrid in-country Technical Expert Services (TES) project was implemented in two phases on 16 and 19–24 February. It focused on assessing challenges and prioritizing needs for the Development of Demonstration Companies (DMP) in the agricultural sector.

The project enabled representatives from two potential DMP farms and the LNPO to assess the current situation and needs by analyzing existing challenges and opportunities for increasing the yield and quality of fresh vegetables, access to markets, and introducing smart farming techniques. Key discussions revolved around soil fertility, climate, irrigation systems, smart farming techniques, and market demand. Participants had the opportunity to analyze existing challenges, visit vegetable farms and markets, and engage with relevant authorities to understand the sector’s status comprehensively. Visits to Agrilao and Muanglao Farms in Vientiane, discussions with the Department of Agriculture Extension and Cooperatives, and assessments of market restraints highlighted the importance of adopting smart farming practices to enhance productivity and exports.

Agriculture plays a vital role in the nation’s economy, employing over 70% of the population and contributing over 25% to GDP. However, limited access to modern farming technologies, insufficient infrastructure, and weak market linkages have hindered its growth. The project aims to transform the agricultural sector in Lao PDR, improve market linkages, and increase farmers’ incomes. By addressing sectoral challenges, the APO aspires to contribute significantly to the nation’s economic development. The TES project was facilitated by two resource persons from Japan.

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