Laos Slaps Ban on Agricultural Imports to Boost Local Economy

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Fruit and vegetable produce in Laos

The government of Laos has banned the import of certain types of farm produce, livestock, and fish, hoping to spur domestic production.

In an urgent attempt to promote domestic production and boost the economy, Laos has banned the import of certain types of agricultural produce, including livestock and fish, Vientiane Times reports.

Crops that may no longer be imported include cabbage, garlic, onions, pepper, and lettuce, with the government saying these items should be farmed more intensively to provide for the nation.

The government also hopes to ramp up the production of cattle, pigs, goats, chickens, ducks, and geese, extending the import ban to these animals and their meat products.

All freshwater fish including the popular tilapia may also no longer be imported.

Other types of seafood may be imported but will fall under strict regulations, with certain provinces allocated a specific quota in accordance with demand.

Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Planning and Investment, Dr. Sonexay Siphandone, was quoted as saying by Vientiane Times that the government hopes to boost domestic production, stepping in to ensure supply is met by local production before relying on imports.

He said that the government has determined the import needs of certain rice varieties, plants, animals, wood, fish, frogs, machinery, and production equipment to balance domestic demand.