Authorities have acknowledged that Lao people continue to favor agricultural products imported from neighboring countries over home-grown produce.
According to a report by Lao Post, Lao consumers remain in favor of some fruit and vegetables imported from Thailand, Vietnam, and China.
A belief persists among Lao consumers that the quality of imported products is higher than that of produce grown domestically, according to a notice issued by the Ministry of Industry and Commerce.
Because of this belief, agricultural products are often imported illegally or smuggled into the country.
Deputy Chief of the Vientiane Capital People’s Council, Mr. Oudone Xaymounty, says due to insufficient demand for agricultural products grown in Laos, the country imports large volumes from neighboring countries each year.
The high costs related to investment in agriculture also cause difficulty for Lao farmers, says Mr. Oudone.
“The government is working hard to support the agricultural sector, however, the Covid-19 pandemic has severely affected the sector,” Mr. Oudone added.