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Saturday, July 13, 2024

Vientiane Authorities Sell Stockpiled Rice to Ease Shortage and Stabilize Prices

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In response to a significant rise in the price of rice, Vientiane authorities have approved the sale of stockpiled rice to alleviate the hardship faced by low-income individuals.

Vientiane authorities have taken steps to address the recent surge in rice prices, which have risen by over 20 percent in the past few months.

To provide relief to those on low incomes, the sale of stockpiled rice has been approved from 26 July until 26 August. 

A total of 285 tons of Grade B sticky rice will be available for purchase at Khamphaengphet Chaengsavang Agriculture Promotion Co., Ltd. in Nasiew Village, Naxaythong district.

The rice will be sold for LAK 12,000 per kilogram, and the sales will take place on weekdays from 8 am to 5 pm.

The decision to sell stockpiled rice is part of the government’s rice management plan, aiming to provide supplies at a slightly lower price than the current market rate. This move is expected to ensure stability in the market and mitigate any irregularities.

Deputy Director of the Vientiane Department of Industry and Commerce, Mr. Nunta Sanouvong, highlighted that the cost of living has significantly increased due to inflation, labor costs, and a 20 percent rise in transportation expenses.

Additionally, during the rice growing season, farmers tend to keep their supplies for personal consumption, leading to a 30 percent drop in rice supplies.

The price of rice has witnessed a substantial increase, with all types of rice experiencing a rise of 70-76 percent compared to the first half of last year.

Paddy sticky rice now costs an average of LAK 6,800 per kilogram, compared to LAK 4000 last year. Grade B polished sticky rice, which constitutes around 70 percent of rice consumption, has seen an increase from LAK 7,242 to LAK 12,750 per kilogram, reflecting a 76 percent surge in price.

Last year, over a million people in Laos experienced food insecurity, with 71,000 facing severe acute food insecurity and an estimated 1.4 million experiencing moderate levels of food insecurity, according to a joint report by the FAO and WFP.

Laos was designated a “country of concern” due to the threat of food insecurity, as stated in a 2022 FAO/WFP report on crop and food security assessment in Laos.

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