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May 24, 2017

Signing of Record of Discussions on Technical Cooperation Project with Laos: Supporting the production and sales promotion of safe agricultural products

photosigning ceremony

On May 23, 2017, the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) signed a Record of Discussions with the Government of Laos in Vientiane, the capital city, for the Clean Agriculture Development Project, a technical cooperation project.

In order to promote the production of safe and environmentally-friendly agricultural products (clean agricultural products) such as organic products, the project will strengthen the production capacity of farmers to meet market needs, strengthen the capacity of the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry and provincial and district offices in the target area to intermediate between clean agriculture markets and producers, and support improvements in agricultural product safety in Laos.

Accounting for 26 percent (2012) of the gross domestic product in Laos, agriculture employs more than 70 percent of the labor population and is a key industry supporting employment in rural areas. In recent years, the Government of Laos has promoted the production of clean agricultural products to improve food safety, and has been boosting efforts that emphasize the strengths of domestic agriculture, which utilizes fewer agricultural chemicals and chemical fertilizers than nearby countries. However, the demand for clean agricultural products has been stagnant due to an inadequate familiarity among consumers in terms of food safety and trust. In addition, producers and purchasers (general consumers, retailers and distributors) have not adequately shared information about products, including quality, harvesting time and shipping methods with each other, making it difficult to develop and expand markets for clean agricultural products. Moreover, there is a limited number of farmers with the capacity to produce a stable volume of clean agricultural products that satisfy the quality demanded by the market.

Targeting four of the country’s 17 provinces, the technical cooperation will provide support to between 800 and 1,200 farmers with technological improvements in such areas as production techniques for clean agriculture and quality management, and also provide technical guidance and organizational strengthening so that the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry officials at the national, provincial and district levels can provide production and marketing advice to producers and purchasers. The project will also support advocacy activities to gain a wider understanding of the value of clean agriculture among distributors and purchasers. By doing so, the project aims to expand the production and supply of clean agricultural products while meeting market needs and expanding markets.

In addition to this project, JICA is currently implementing the Project for Participatory Agriculture Development in Savannakhet Province for continued support of the promotion of commercial agriculture in Laos, contributing to economic development.

[Basic project information]
Country Lao People's Democratic Republic
Project title The Clean Agriculture Development Project
Planned implementation period June 2017 to May 2022
Executing agency Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry, Clean Agriculture Development Center
Target region, facilities Four provinces in Laos
Specific project details (provisional) Conduct market need surveys, develop a production and distribution plan among farmer organizations to meet market needs, build the capacity of Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry officials as intermediaries, and promote clean agriculture by supporting advocacy activities to foster the understanding of clean agriculture.

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