Laos Utilises Cooperatives to Support Agricultural Growth

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Laos need to create the national committee for development of cooperation aiming to support and helping the agriculture sector in its expansion efforts.

For several years, the councils still lacked enough funding for agricultural development from the government

Speaking at the opening ceremony, Deputy Minister of Agriculture and Forestry, Mr Khambounath Xayananh, said at the workshop’s purpose is to review the progress of 2016 and planning for 2017. During the workshop, participants reported the progress of their activities and shared their future plans.

He said, since 2010, the Confederation has strengthened its capacity, focusing on the promotion of the agriculture sector, improving shareholders’ farming systems and empowering farmers as well as production groups and entrepreneurial associations to become voluntarily involved in agribusiness. There are 14 cooperatives nationwide aiming to provide funding support for cooperative development projects to improve and develop the agriculture sector further.

The Lao government has promoted the strengthening of the agricultural sector by improving cultivation techniques and practises through scientifically established methods, he noted.

Such contributions have greatly improved the economic situation of farmers in addition to small and medium enterprises by strengthening their initiative and self-help capabilities, he continued.

This promotion campaign is also supported by international donors like the German Cooperative and Raiffeisen Confederation (DGRV).

Since 2013, the DGRV played an important role in contributing to the development of a legal framework with regard to the cooperative system, he said.

In the agricultural sector, the DGRV is supporting the setting up of farmers’ cooperatives and the provision of their respective institutional capacity building efforts.

In the financial sector, the establishment and strengthening of member based organisations such as village banks and credit unions are also supported.

Laos’ membership in the World Trade Organisation means more competition and new challenges for Lao society and cooperatives can contribute to strengthening farmers’ capacities and marketing power.

 

Source: Vientiane Times

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