Southern Attapeu province is improving the quality of its rice production to increase rice sales domestically and for export, with rice trade experiencing rapid growth in recent years.
The province’s Deputy Governor, Mr Souksamay Chanthamath pointed out recently that this year the province expected to produce rice to sell on the domestic market totaling 90,000 tonnes, an increase of 20,000 tonnes compared to the previous year.
Mr Souksamay explained that Attapeu can now plant rice in two seasons with 24,500 hectares of paddy, which is more convenient for expanding production for both the domestic and export markets.
At present, the province has a main market to sell rice to a beer company in Champassak province, which has responded with increased orders on the domestic market.
Presently, the province aims to encourage farmers to increase their rice plantations in order to improve their family incomes.
This year, the province has 21,500 hectares of rice planted for the rainy season and expects to plant 3,000 hectares in the dry season, helping farmers to increase their production by 10 percent compared to 2015.
MrSouksamay said an expansion in agriculture including rice helped to drive growth up to 12 percent last year, with provincial poverty rates also decreasing to 10 percent.
Reports tabled at the inaugural session of the provincial People’s Council recently showed the agriculture sector has grown by 10.6 percent and now represents 28.2 percent of GDP growth.
The growth came largely from rice, rubber plantations, sugar cane, oil palms, grass, coffee and livestock farming.
Foreign investment, especially the operation of rubber plantations by Vietnamese investors has also seen rapid growth in terms of the province’s GDP.
The combined investment volume by domestic and foreign investors in the province reached 2.8 trillion kip.
Meanwhile GDP per capita in the province reached US$1,770 last year, exceeding the target, which was set at US$1,500.
The Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry estimated that total Lao rice exports for the entire country were between 300,000-400,000 tonnes last year.
Source: Vientiane Times