Working towards greater community control over land, forests and natural resources

Posts Tagged ‘coffee’

Rubber export revenue rises despite persistent low prices

Vientiane Times, 28 November 2014

The country’s income from the export of rubber products increased substantially this year despite the crisis in rubber pricing in the world market. In the last fiscal year the country earned about US$96.7 million from rubber exports to China, Vietnam and Thailand, of which only US$37 million had come in the first six months according to the Agriculture Department of the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry.The price of rubber in the country has currently dropped to just over 4,000 kip, while varying between 7,000 and 8,000 kip at beginning of the year. After the number of rubber trees that were mature enough to tap had increased substantially, rubber went to the top of the list of Lao agricultural exports as the highest revenue earner.

Champassak coffee exports soar

Vientiane Times, 17 July 2014

Coffee exports have increased in the first six months of this fiscal year, with the rise also set to drive up next year’s export figures, Champassak province reports. The province has exported more than 6,770 tonnes of coffee bean in the first six months of the 2013-14 fiscal year and the larger export figure will also be evident in the last six months, according to a report from the province last week.

Bolaven coffee farms to be protected

Vientiane Times, 19 March 2014

Coffee plantation areas on the Bolaven Plateau in the southern province of Champassak are expected to be better protected after the government approved a national strategy to promote coffee as a competitive crop.

President of the Lao Coffee Association, Mr Sinouk Sisombath said last week that he was among the people who played an important role in pushing for the nation’s coffee development strategy to improve its competitiveness.

Olam statement in response to granting of land rights in Laos

Olam International coffee plantation in Paksong, Champasack Province.

Olam International coffee plantation in Paksong, Champasack Province.

Olam International, Oct 3, 2012

This statement details the background and actions taken with regard to a dispute by local villagers, over the granting of land rights in the Paksong District, Laos, where Olam operates a coffee growing subsidiary, Outspan Bolovens. Olam is committed to growing our business responsibly, applying the highest international standards of best practice in surveying and assessing the social and environmental impact of cultivation of land under our stewardship. A survey of the land in question was conducted according to national laws and regulations and we commenced our development in the belief that there were no issues outstanding. However, in December 2011, an international NGO brought some issues concerning this plantation to our attention so we acted promptly to investigate.

Coffee colonialism in Laos

Entrance to the Olam coffee plantation area in Champasak Province

Entrance to the Olam coffee plantation area in Champasak Province

Asia Times Online, 19 June, 2012

VIENTIANE – It is an increasingly familiar tale in Laos: poor farmers are pushed off their ancestral lands by corrupt local officials to make way for capital-rich, foreign-invested plantation agriculture. But the tenacity of one small group of agrarians who are fighting back has revealed the abuse of power that attends many Lao land dealings, representing a landmark case in the country’s often opaque and obscure authoritarian politics.

Coffee colonialism brews trouble for farmers in Laos

Southeast Asia Globe, July 04, 2012

In a situation reminiscent of the blockbuster Avatar, a small ethnic group in Southern Laos is battling an international Singapore-based agribusiness, for the return of their land. Their faces are not blue. They are brown from hard work under intense sun, and they travel by open truck instead of flying dragons, but the farmers’ intensity and potential for dramatic conflict is equivalent to that of a Hollywood film. Puan is a thin, angular-faced man and unofficial leader of the five-man delegation of Nya Hitun/Yahern people that came to Vientiane in mid-April. He looked up, his sharp cheekbones catching the light and said, “We will die for our land”. The way things are in Laos at times, that might just happen. In the hard-line nation, protest is still banned and those who disobey are often arrested and disappear.

ບໍ່ແຮ່ບົກໄຊ໋ເຢີ້ຍໜ້າທ້າທາຍຊາວສວນກາເຟບໍລະເວນ

ວຽງຈັນທາມສ໌, 26 ເມສາ 2012

ສວນກາເຟທີ່ກວ້າງໃຫຍ່ຈະບໍ່ມີອີກຕໍ່ໄປຖ້າຫາກລັດຖະບານບໍ່ຈຳກັດຂະໜາດບໍ່ແຮ່ບົກໄຊ໋ເຊິ່ງເປັນໂຄງການທີ່ສະເໜີເຮັດໃນເຂດພູພຽງບໍລະເວນພາກໃຕ້ຂອງລາວ, ເຈົ້າໜ້າທີ່ຈາກສະມາຄົມກາເຟລາວກ່າວ ຕໍ່ວຽງຈັນທາມສ໌.  “ພະນັກງານທີ່ດິນໄດ້ເຮັດການສຳຫຼວດ ແລະ ພົບວ່າໂຄງການບົກໄຊຈະຖືກປະມານເຄິ່ງໜຶ່ງ ຂອງສວນກາເຟ ທີ່ມີໃນປັດຈຸບັນ,” ເຈົ້າໜ້າທີ່ຜູ້ດັ່ງກ່າວເວົ້າ, ເຊິ່ງລາວເອງບໍ່ຕ້ອງການອອກຊື່ ຕົນ. “ຖ້າລັດຖະບານບໍ່ຈຳກັດຂະໜາດຂອງພື້ນໂຄງການເຊິ່ງຖືກພື້ນທີ່ຂອງຂ້ອຍ, ຂ້ອຍຄິດວ່າ ສວນກາເຟກວ່າເຄິ່ງໜຶ່ງຈະບໍ່ມີອີກ. ເຈົ້າໜ້າທີ່ເປີດເຜີຍຂໍ້ມູນຕໍ່ກັບສື່ມວນຊົນວ່າໃນອາທິດຕໍ່ໜ້ານີ້ຈະມີກອງ ປະຊຸມຄະນະບໍລິຫານກາເຟແຫ່ງຊາດລາວ ປະກອບມີພະ ນັກງານລັດຖະບານ, ຜູ້ປູກກາເຟ ແລະ ຜູ້ຄ້າ ເຊິ່ງຈະຫາລືນຳກັນໃນທ້າຍເດືອນນີ້. ເຈົ້າໜ້າທີ່ກ່າວວ່າ ລາວຫວັງວ່າຄະນະບໍລິຫານຈະຫາລືເຖິງມາດຕະ ການທີ່ເຂັ້ມແຂງເພື່ອ ປົກປ້ອງສວນກາເຟເພື່ອຮັບປະກັນການເຕີບໂຕຢ່າງຍືນຍົງຂອງອຸດສະຫະກຳໃນລາວ.
ມີສວນກາເຟປະມານ 50,000 ເຮັກຕາຢູ່ໃນພູພຽງບໍລະເວນ, ເຊິ່ງມີຜະລິດຕະຜົນທັງໝົດປະມານ35,000  ໂຕນ. ໃນປີ2011, ປະເທດລາວສົ່ງກາເຟອອອກໄດ້21,000ໂຕນ, ນຳເອົາເງິນຕາຕ່າງປະເທດເຂົາມາ ປະເທດໄດ້ເຖິງ US$50 ລ້ານໂດລາ. ກຸ່ມດາວເຮືອງ, ເປັນໜຶ່ງໃນວິສະຫະກິດສ່ວນບຸກຄົນລາຍໃຫຍ່ສຸດໃນລາວ, ໄດ້ລົງທຶນປະມານ US$65 ລ້ານໂດລາ ເພື່ອຈະສ້າງໂຮງງານຜະລິດກາເຟໃນອີກບໍ່ດົນ, ເຊິ່ງຕ້ອງ ການເມັດກາເຟຈຳນວນຫຼາຍ. ບໍລິສັດຍັງໄດ້ລົງທຶນເຮັດສວນປູກເພື່ອຮັບປະກັນການຕອບສະໜອງ ກາເຟໃຫ້ກັບໂຮງງານ, ເຊິ່ງຄາດວ່າຈະເປີດໃນອານາຄົດອັນໃກ້ນີ້. ເຈົ້າໜ້າທີ່ບອກວ່າ ລາວຮູ້ຂ່າວ ມາຈາກອຳນາດການປົກຄອງແຂວງຈຳປາສັກວ່າລັດຖະບານໄດ້ອານຸຍາດໃຫ້ ນັກລົງທຶນຕ່າງປະເທດສືບຕໍ່ການສຶກສາຄວາມເປັນໄປໄດ້ຂອງໂຄງການບໍ່ແຮ່ບົກໄຊ, ແຕ່ຍັງບໍ່ມີການຕັດສິນໃຈໃຫ້ສຳປະທານບໍ່ແຮ່. ລາວ ບອກວ່າ ລາວຕ້ອງການໃຫ້ລັດ ຖະບານຫຼຸດຂະໜາດຂອງໂຄງການລົງເພື່ອຮັບປະກັນແກ່ອຸດສະຫະກຳກາເຟລາວ ແລະ ບໍ່ແຮ່ບ໋ອກໄຊສາມາດດຳເນີນໄດ້ທັງສອງຝ່າຍ.  “ກາເຟສ້າງຄວາມຍືນຍົງໄດ້ຫຼາຍ ກວ່າບ໋ອກ ໄຊ. ບໍ່ແຮ່ອາດສ້າງລາຍໄດ້ ຫຼາຍໃຫ້ແກ່ລັດຖະບານແຕ່ບໍ່ໄດ້ສ້າງລາຍໄດ້ແກ່ຄົນທ້ອງຖິ່ນເພາະພວກເຂົາບໍ່ມີທັກສະເຮັດວຽກກັບບໍ່ແຮ່,ລາວກ່າວ. ລາວກ່າວວ່າ ປະເທດລາວສາມາດຫາລາຍໄດ້ຈາກການ ສົ່ງອອກກາເຟ ຖ້າຫຼາຍພາກສ່ວນ ຊ່ວຍກັນເພື່ອປັບປຸງອຸດສະຫະກຳ ແລະ ຮັບປະກັນການຄ້າທີ່ຍຸດຕິທຳລະຫວ່າງຜູ້ປູກ ແລະ ອຸດສະຫະກຳການຜະລິດ. ປັດຈຸບັນ, ຜູ້ປູກກາເຟບໍ່ທັນໄດ້ໃຊ້ເຕັກນິກທີ່ດີສຸດໃນ ການສົ່ງເສີມ ແລະ ໃຫ້ມີຜົນຜະລິດ, ແລະ ອາໄສວ່າ ສະພາບອາກາດເໝາະສົມໃຫ້ຜົນຜະລິດທີ່ດີ. ເຈົ້າໜ້າທີ່ບອກວ່າ ມັນອາດຫຍຸ້ງຍາກໃຫ້ແກ່ການພັດທະນາອຸດສະຫະກຳການຜະລິດກາເຟລາວ ຖ້າຜູ້ປູກບໍ່ສາ ມາດສະໜອງວັດຖຸດິບໄດ້ຢ່າງໝັ້ນ ຄົງ.

Bauxite mine poses challenge for Bolaven coffee growers

Vientiane Times, April 26, 2012

Coffee plantation on the Bolaven plateau. Growers fear that large areas of coffee plantations will disappear if the government does not limit the size of a proposed bauxite mining project.

Large areas of coffee plantations will disappear if the government does not limit the size of a proposed bauxite mining project on the Bolaven plateau in southern Laos, an official from the Lao Coffee Association has told Vientiane Times. “Land officials conducted a survey and discovered that the proposed bauxite mine would encroach onto about half of the land that is currently under coffee cultivation,” said the official, who asked to remain anonymous. “If the government does not limit the size of the area to be mined, I think about half of the coffee plantations will disappear.”

Affected citizens speak of land use problems caused by concessions

Tractors ploughing the land in the villages in Paksong, Champasak.

Allocating land to commercial investment projects can potentially offer improved access to services and expansion of employment opportunities for local communities. However, if environmental and social safeguards and natural resource governance systems are not fully in place the risk of negative impacts is high.

Two Lao language audio files are available to listen where affected citizens speak of problems they are facing after village lands were granted to concessions. Both files have been recorded  in a Lao National Radio (103.7) program.

Vietnamese investments in Laos in the spotlight

Viet Nam News, December 10, 2011

Numerous Vietnamese firms were investing in Laos in fields ranging from agro-processing to hydroelectricity, said Ta Minh Chau, Vietnamese Ambassador to Laos. Chau said investment from Viet Nam had increased rapidly in recent years. He said the total registered capital of Vietnamese businesses in Laos now stood at US$3.7 billion, making it the third largest foreign investor in the country.

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