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Vientiane’s First Organic Store

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Consumers concerned about their health won’t have to travel far to buy organic products with the opening of the new Organic Home shop in Somvang-neua village, Hadxaifong district, Vientiane yesterday.

The store will not only serve organic products to customers, it’s also a key point for an organic farmers group in Hadxaifong district to collect their products to deliver to local restaurants, hotels and mini-markets in Vientiane.

The opening of Organic Home was supported in cooperation between the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry and the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) through their Lao Organic Agriculture Promotion Project (LOAPP).

The official opening ceremony that took place yesterday in Somvang- neua village was attended by Deputy Minister of Agriculture and Forestry Dr Bounkhouang Khambounheuang and the Ambassador of Japan to Laos Mr. Takeshi Hikihara.

Vientiane Vice Mayor Mr. Keophilavan Aphaylath, also in attendance, said that although Organic Home was now opened they could not guarantee that there will be enough demand in the area.

He says that Vientiane’s Agriculture and Forestry Department should be looking to target other districts in the capital to build organic products stores with an aim to create convenience for consumers.

Mr. Keophilavan also stressed that the department should focus on monitoring and controlling green agriculture production, ensuring the  Lao Organic Certified standard and enlarging the organic farming area to cover 30 percent of total agriculture area in Vientiane by 2030.

As part of this initiative, the Vientiane Organic Agriculture Production Group started in 2005 and ended in 2011. There were originally only four groups with 30 families in total but by the end of 2011 it had increased to 17 groups in Hadxaifong, Xaysettha, Sikhottabong, Xaythany, Pakngum and Naxaithong districts with a total membership of 313 families covering a total farming area of 176 hectares.

Starting in 2013, LOAPP which is a cooperation project between the Vientiane Agriculture and Forestry Department and JICA supported the groups’ activities such as marketing, equipment supply and the establishment of the Organic Home shop.

Currently there are 16 groups who have merged into one group in Vientiane province. It consists of 261 families with a total farming area of 119 hectares.

The organic agriculture groups have four distribution venues.

Firstly, there is one at Xaysettha Park in Xaysettha district. It opens every Wednesday and Saturday mornings from 6:00am to 12:00pm. Second, at Fa Ngum Park in Sikhottabong district, every Monday and Thursday from 1:00pm to 6:00pm and third at Houayhong Market in Chanthabouly district, open every Saturday morning from 6:00am to 12:00pm.

The last venue is the Organic Home shop in Somvang-neua village in Hadxaifong district which is the first organic products store in Vientiane, open every Monday to Saturday from 10:00am to 7:00pm.

 

Source: Vientiane Times