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Prime Minister Urge to Strengthen Agriculture, Forestry, and Rural Development

Source: Vientiane Times

Prime Minister Sonexay Siphandone issued the advice to officials when chairing the annual meeting of these three sectors on Wednesday. To ensure the positive transformation of these important sectors, the Prime Minister highlighted key areas of focus.

First, he advised that the food and nutrition security program must be linked to evaluations and based on the actual results of activities carried out so far. The program must ensure that enough food is produced, that there is access to adequate transport between provinces and districts; that people eat a nutritious diet that is affordable; and that food production is stable and able to withstand weather extremes and climate change.

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Secondly, more crops should be grown for domestic consumption and export, so that farmers have bigger incomes and a better standard of living. In addition, more crops should be grown to reduce the need for imported produce.

Furthermore, banks and other credit suppliers should work together to ensure there are stable markets for farm products while providing farmers with low-interest credit and creating conditions that favor greater consumption and use of Lao-grown produce that is high quality, affordable, and can be used in the tourism sector.

Thirdly, with regard to forest restoration and expansion, all related sectors should pay close attention to forest management to ensure that ecosystems and people’s lives are not adversely affected.

This is essential to prevent severe droughts and flooding and to ensure that sufficient water sources are available for crop cultivation, the Prime Minister said.

Finally, given that rural development is closely linked to the elimination of poverty, agricultural production must be placed at the center of development efforts and its sustainability should be ensured in terms of economic, social, and environmental aspects.

The premier also advised organizing production groups that can pool together technical aspects of production along with financial aspects and marketing, and the provision of low-interest capital.