Tag Archives: farm

Cabinet Strengthens Gov Agencies Leeway To Act on Land Concessions

Lao Government Revokes Land Concessions

Land Concessions, giving development and usage rights to various individuals and corporate domestic and international investors, has long been considered one of the critical levers to leverage local and foreign investment, economic activity and job creation in Laos.

A form of long term rental, the usage rights to state land have been ceded to investors for projects from shopping malls to banana farms.

As with all investments, the results have been mixed. Amid the successes, it is now those cases of incomplete and inactive investments, environmental pollution and failed developments that have long proved a recurring issue, leading to disquiet for those affected and headaches for Laos’ policymakers, legislators and regulating authorities as Laotian Times has previously reported.

The lack of progress on a total of 81,879 hectares held under some 201 land concession projects has spurred a new round of government efforts to resolve the discrepancies under the country’s laws and respective contract conditions.

Prompting the cabinet to act were the findings of a report indicating that some 240 state land concession projects had been causing environmental damage, the nation’s press representatives were informed on February 20, 2019.

Based on such revelations, country’s cabinet chaired by Prime Minister Thongloun has instructed the country’s state agencies to revoke the land concession licenses held by investors who fail to proceed with developments in accordance with their agreements.

The meeting also approved measures to encourage investors to develop the land for which they had received concessions.

Measures approved include the authorization for state agencies to cancel concessions or fine those companies that fail to utilize state property in ways they were required to under the agreements they signed, government spokesperson Dr Chaleun Yiapaoher told the press conference held at the conclusion of the monthly cabinet meeting held on Wednesday.

Other key topics discussed include measures to improve the business climate, tax collection, rural area development and urban planning for the future needs of the capital towards 2030 and beyond.

The latest moves by the government to regulate and in cases revoke rights for failure to abide by agreements in state land concession projects comes after National Assembly members debated the issue in December.

Foremost among several cases of complaints from local communities aired at the National Assembly regarded pollution caused as a result of the activities at banana plantations in several provinces.

It saw the NA resolve that the government agencies actively push such concession holders to ensure their investments and activities abide by contract conditions for the use of state land while complying with related laws and policies.

The cabinet directed state agencies and the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment to improve assessment of all land in question following the laws and guidelines before granting investors the right to a concession.

This could also better permit the Ministry of Finance to collect revenue in the form of land concession fees from project developers, Dr Chaleun said.

Land concession projects could only be approved in accordance with national and provincial land development master plans approved by the relevant authorities, investors and agencies were reminded.

Relevant state agencies were also instructed to work together to ensure that forests and other wildlife habitat areas were protected from damage by investment projects.

Chicken Farm Stink Raised at National Assembly

The National Assembly’s Committee on Economic Technology and the Environment has reported to the Assembly’s ongoing debate session that complaints are being made about a chicken farm in Bachiangchaleunsouk district, Champassak province.

According to the committee, despite being rural people, local residents are quite disturbed by the smell coming from the farm.

Deputy Director of the provincial Agriculture and Forestry Department, Mr. Viengsay Sipraphone, told Vientiane Times on Thursday that there are many chicken farms in the district but that the smells are only emanating from the Soukchaleun farm.

A team from the department and the provincial Natural Resources and Environment Department visited the farm to look into the matter and suggest possible solutions.

The farm owner promised to tackle the problem after the end of Lent, at the end of last month, he said.

The farm has two machines that it uses to bake the dung in order to reduce the smell from the chickens’ excrement but this seems insufficient to eliminate the smells as the chickens produce about 50 tonnes of waste a month.

When the dung is dampened by rain, the smell gets stronger. However, the farm owners have promised to buy another four to six machines in order to bake the remaining dung.

The dung that is baked will be sold to farmers as fertiliser.

The farm was originally located far away from communities in Bachiangchaleunsouk district but because of population growth many houses have since been built nearby.

Farms in the district currently provide between 300,000 to 400,000 eggs a day for delivery to people in the provinces of Champassak, Saravan, Xekong and Attapeu.

More eggs will be produced for sale to markets in Savannakhet and Khammuan provinces.

However, the eggs are not packaged attractively so some potential buyers reject them .

If farm owners do not take steps to improve the appearance of their packaging, their market share may decline as more and more people want eggs that look appealing.

The eggs are sold in cardboard cartons and come straight from the farm and are not washed beforehand, so some of them have dung attached. Nowadays, people in Vientiane don’t want to buy eggs if they look dirty.

Source: Vientiane Times

U.D.A Farm Moves One Step Closer to Listing on LSX

U.D.A Import-Export Public Company or U.D.A Farm announced Oct 27 that it has submitted initial public offering (IPO) documents to the Lao Securities Commission Office (LSCO), signalling its intention to make 25 million shares available to the public through the Lao Securities Exchange (LSX).

The announcement was made in attendance of the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the LSX, Mr. Vankham Voravong in Vientiane Capital along with Deputy Director General of the LSCO Mr. Khamkeo Visisombath, business people, and representatives of relevant sectors.

U.D.A Farm will use the funds raised through the LSX to produce another 2,000 sows in its farm to ensure that there is a sufficient supply of pork and baby pigs for domestic markets.

Some funds will be used for debt payment to the Agriculture Promotion Bank and as working capital of the company.

Financial advisors said food consumption is increasing due to constant economic growth in the country, partly driven by investment from both domestic and foreign investors.

U.D.A Farm President Mr. Nitsavanh Luangkhotpravongvienkham told a press conference that the company had submitted an IPO application to the LSCO to issue 25 million shares at 2,000 kip per share.

The company currently has 100 billion kip of paid-up capital. Once registered on the LSX, its paid-up capital is expected to reach 150 billion kip.

The farm currently produces around 8,000 baby pigs per month and about half of them are sent to Luang Prabang Province. With the funds raised through the LSX, the company will be able to produce around 12,000 baby pigs monthly.

“Besides baby pig production, we also give importance to environmental management. We use waste from those pigs to produce biogas, which is then used as fuel for electricity generation in the company. This aims to reduce spending on electricity in the company,” saidU.D.A Farm Vice President Mrs Channoune Sipaseuth.

CEO of APM (LAO) Securities Co., Ltd. Mr. Somphop Sakpunpanom, who is a financial advisor to the U.D.A Import-Export Public Company, said that the company recorded revenue of 52.97 billion kip (over US$6.49 million) and a net profit of 868 million kip (over US$106,000) last year.

In 2014, the company recorded revenues at 39.8 billion kip and a net profit of 1.1 billion kip. Meanwhile 2013 witnessed the company fetching 26.4 billion kip in revenue and a deficit of 708 million kip.

U.D.A Farm appointed APM (LAO) as its financial consultant to facilitate its structural improvement and registration with the LSX in July 2015.

The company, located in Mai village (KM46) on National Road No 13 North, Phonhong district, Vientiane Province, was established in 2010.

 

Source: KPL

Ministry Demands Closure of Factory, Chicken Farm

The Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment has recommended revoking the licences of a chicken farm and a brick factory in Xaythany district, Vientiane, after learning they were causing pollution and affecting nearby communities.

Minister of Natural Resources and Environment Sommad Pholsena told the National Assembly (NA) that he had suggested the Vientiane Natural Resources and Environment Department submit a letter to the Vientiane Industry and Commerce Department to consider revoking the licences of the two businesses.

Mr Sommad last week responded to a question raised by a member of parliament at the ongoing Ordinary Session of the National Assembly. He said he was aware of the issue. NA member for Vientiane Buaket Phommachanh said a chicken farm in Nasala village, which was operated by a local farmer in collaboration with Thailand’s food giant Charoen Pokphand Group (CP), was generating a bad smell and swarms of flies.

Mr Buaket, who visited the village, said some residents told him they had to eat their meals inside mosquito nets to avoid being disturbed by the flies.

“Villagers said they will relocate if the issue remains unaddressed,” he told the session, calling for a solution.

In addition, he said a brick factory in Nonsaath village, which is owned by a Vietnamese national, uses coal to fire the bricks which gives off unpleasant fumes.

Mr Sommad said the relevant sectors should lay down measures to prevent businesses from generating offensive odours before allowing them to operate.

“If we [state departments] are decisive in the same direction, these issues will be solved. It’s not difficult [to solve],” he said, adding that such issues should not be justified by the fear of losing revenue.

“We must uphold the interests of the people – the health of the people as core considerations.”

He said there were ways to address the issue such as relocating the farm and the factory in question to more suitable areas.

“We haven’t completely closed the door for them,” he said, implying that there were win-win options for the businesses, in which they are required to fully comply with the regulations and laws.

 

Source: Vientiane Times