Laos to restrict development on farmland

VIENTIANE, June 26: Laos plans to restrict development on agricultural land to avoid possible food shortages in the future, reports Laotian time.

Phet Phomphiphak, minister of agriculture and forestry, told the current session of the National Assembly that the ministry will ensure that the country can maintain 70 percent forest cover, including riparian land, reports the Paxason newspaper.

Laos currently has 4.5 million hectares of agricultural land, of which 2 million hectares are dedicated to rice cultivation and the rest to agriculture and livestock.

The ministry implements land allocation and protected area demarcation projects in response to small, medium and large scale investments to prioritize the production of marketable crops.

The ministry will also improve soil quality by applying organic, bio-organic, green and chemical fertilizers in ten target provinces as part of a food security initiative.

Despite vast agricultural land, farmers in Laos are suffering from fuel shortages and rising fertilizer prices.

The Lao Farmers Network appealed to authorities on social media, saying farmers cannot plow their fields or water their crops without access to diesel fuel.

Amalia H. Mercado