Vientiane Times, February 2, 2016
The Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry has announced it will pursue three focal targets set to ensure food security, greater commercial production and sustainable forestry management. In its five-year plan provided recently, the ministry revealed the first target is to secure food production with sufficient nutrition. In this regard, the ministry will pursue the annual production of 2.5 million tonnes of paddy rice via government-introduced food security projects. Of which, between 200,000 and 400,000 tonnes will be stockpiled as national reserve.
Domestic average annual production and supply of meats, chickens and eggs increased from 48 kilograms per person in 2011 to 55 kilograms per person in 2015 meeting the targeted plan.
As a result, the Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations certified in 2015 that Laos had achieved millennium development goal I (MDG 1) on eradicating extreme poverty and hunger. Zoning projects have been established to promote clean and organic production of crops such as coffee, cassava, jobs tear, bananas, rice, and watermelons among others. Notably, Laos has started to export rice to China and is expected to increase these exports to 8,000 tonnes in the immediate future generating income of US$6 million (more than 48.4 billion kip). Livestock farms have increased in number, highlighted by a Japanese investor’s large and modern farm in XiengKhuang province to rear thousands of head of cattle. In a move to ensure sustainable management of forests, a survey has been completed to facilitate the allocation of 51 production forest areas. Allocation of production forest will assist logging plans. The ministry said it would continue to complete the allocation of production forest areas and village forest areas across the country to facilitate sustainable forestry management.