Laos plans to export its first shipment of over fifty thousand tons of citrus fruits to China early next year.
The citrus fruits grown in Laos, which include oranges, pomelo, and lemons, will be transported to China in the next few months, according to Socio-Economic News.
The planned export comes after Lao Minister of Agriculture and Forestry, Phet Phomphiphak, and Ni Yuefeng, a Senior Customs Official from China, signed a memorandum of understanding last week.
Laos is expected to ship over 50,000 tons of citrus fruits to China initially in a deal worth USD 50 million.
Some 3,600 hectares of land across the country are dedicated to the cultivation of citrus fruits, with 70 percent of crops produced solely for export.
Citrus fruit is grown for export in nine provinces across the country, namely Luang Namtha, Bokeo, Xayaboury, Luang Prabang, Vientiane Province, Bolikhamxay, Savannakhet, Champasack, and Attapeu.
Vientiane Province is also known for its mandarin oranges.
In 2017, Australian citrus rootstock was exported to Laos and planted in newly developed nurseries to help Lao farmers move above subsistence-level farming.
Under a program launched by Ironbark Laos, smallholder families can grow citrus on a commercial basis using best horticultural practices.
Meanwhile, China is a key trade partner of agricultural products from Laos, accounting for more than 80% of total exports, particularly cassava, bananas, watermelon, sugarcane, and rubber.
The opening of the Laos-China Railway next month is expected to better facilitate exports to China from Laos and other countries in the region.
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