Laos continues to import agricultural produce because local production is not enough to meet domestic consumption, according to Lao authorities.
The local production has increased, but it is still not enough although the authorities support local farmers to produce more in order to meet the demands, said Mr. Toungeh Synuanchanh at the Ad Hoc Committee on Promoting Production and Consumption of Domestic Products and Consumer Goods Import Management.
“More fruit and vegetables will be imported in the rainy season because the farmers cannot plant their crops over a large area, since they have to invest more in the planting process, such as building greenhouses and other facilities,” said Mr. Toungeh, as quoted by Vientiane Times.
The capital Vientiane also needs more fruit and vegetables imported from neighboring countries to meet demand.
In particular, the city still relies on imports of vegetables and fruit from Thailand as local farmers cannot produce enough for consumers in the province, Mr. Phouvone Phousavery, the Deputy Head of Domestic Trade in Vientiane, told the paper.
Thai Commerce Minister Jurin Laksanavisit said last week that the country plans to boost fruit exports this year and speed up cross-border shipments to key export markets, including Laos.
Paiboon Wongchotesathit, president of Thai Fresh Fruit Traders & Exporters Association, also forecasted that export values for Thai fruit to grow by at least 10% this year from THB 113 billion (USD 3.5 billion) last year amid strong demands from main importers such as China.