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Khammuan Eyeing Increased Agricultural Exports

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Laos’ southern province of Khammuan sees great potential in continuing to improve its agricultural products to drive exports and economic growth.

The province recognises Laos joining the ASEAN Economic Community as an opportunity to boost exports while seeking business partners over the next few years, according to a provincial official.

Director of the province’s Agriculture and Forestry Department, Mr. Bounchan Xayphanya reported recently that Khammuan still has much unused land suitable for growing a variety of crops.

Consequently there are many potential farming opportunities, which the province looked forward to developing to increase exports.

For example, the province is encouraging rural families to grow a variety of commercial crops to bring in sustainable income and improve their circumstances.

The province expects rice production will reach around 406,940 tonnes in fiscal year 2016-2017, with 84,603 hectares of rice under cultivation this rainy season which could produce 329,950 tonnes. The dry season covers 13,650 hectares, capable of producing 76,990 tonnes.

This means there is enough for people in Khammuan to consume and leave more than 1,000 tonnes available to sell.

The province’s economic growth also increased around 12 percent last year compared to 2014 thanks to increased exports of rice, livestock and vegetables.

Khammuan is encouraging farmers to improve their properties to carry more livestock aiming to go from an importer to exporter of meat.

Provincial authorities also reported its farmers were intending to plant sugarcane, tobacco, corn, sweet potato, and especially focusing on planting two seasons of vegetables to boost locals’ income as well as economic growth.

However, farmers need easier access to affordable finance to sustainably develop their properties which will in turn reduce the poverty rate in line with the government’s policy.

 

Source: Vientiane Times