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China, Singapore cultivating local farmer support to grow chemical-free rice

Chinese and Singaporean investors are working with farmers in Laos to grow chemical-free rice for export under a joint development project.
An agreement on the joint development for the cultivation of healthy rice was signed on Friday between Cui Can E-Commerce of China and QLV Agrotech Co., Ltd., and endorsed by Deputy General Manager of Amethyst Tong Cai Investment Fund Management Co., Ltd, China, Mr Wu Yu-Lian.
The agreement was signed at Don Chan Palace Hotel in Vientiane, witnessed by officials from Laos’ Ministry of Planning and Investment, the Governor of Sangthong district, and other officials including Associate Professor Dr SengdeuaneWayakone, Director of International Relations from the National University of Laos.
The investors will start the project in Sangthong district. Among thousands of rice species, including some that are native to Laos, will be  selected for planting for export to Chinese markets, according to the CEO of  QLV Agrotech Co., Ltd., Mr Frederick Tan.
QLV, the agriculture wing of Quality Life Vision Group of Companies in Singapore, together with the Chinese investors will commence the project in Santhong district.

The investors realised the strong potential for rice cultivation in Laos after a survey revealed that the climate was suitable and there is a vast unpolluted land mass and abundance of water.
Mr Tan said the two Chinese companies will be responsible for funding, market sales and technical support. His company QLV Agrotech Co., Ltd will manage the project and work with the relevant authorities and farmers to grow rice using the necessary techniques to meet market requirements.
The investors plan to extend the project to other provinces in Laos after it proves successful in Sangthong district. Sangthong is a farming area in Vientiane, and the authorities there have been encouraging farmers to cultivate rice using environmentally friendly methods.
In 2017, the Lao and Chinese governments signed an agreement to export 20,000 tonnes of rice from Laos to China.
The project will focus on environmental-friendly cultivation methods and will work closely with the National University of Laos faculties of agriculture and forestry to provide job opportunities for the new graduates with the relevant skills.
Chairman of Cui Can E-Commerce, Mr Chen Lin, said that while the majority of the population in Laos are farmers, most agriculture is still at the slash and burn stage. In general, agriculture is not well developed, Lao people do not grow grain in large quantities, and they do not get good returns.
But Laos has abundant agricultural resources and great potential for development. It has high rainfall and plenty of sunshine. The climate and the geographical conditions are suitable for crop growing and out of all the grains grown in Laos, rice is cultivated on the largest area.
Due to Laos’ vast untapped economic development, the ecological environment has not been damaged by farmers and there is great possibility for the production of natural and organic products that are free of contamination by chemical pesticides and fertilisers. The overuse of chemicals can result in relatively low yields.
There are many advantages favouring the development of ecological agriculture in Laos, the promotion of high quality pollution-free biotechnology, and the expansion of the green agriculture market, according to Mr Chen.
There are strong synergies between China and Laos. Laos has superior climatic conditions and abundant land resources, but its economy is striving for advancement, its financial strength requires foreign support, its agricultural technology requires advancement, and its management experience is insufficient.
This means the country’s high-quality talent is extremely lacking in experience.
Relatively speaking, China is a big country in terms of agriculture and has obvious advantages in terms of technical levels, management experience, talent allocation, financial support, and market resources in agricultural production. It can be seen that agricultural development in China and Laos has strong economic synergies, Mr Chen said.
In recent years, China’s economy has developed rapidly and people have begun to pay more attention to green, organic and healthy lifestyles.
Mr Xi Jinping, General Secretary of the Communist Party of China has proposed the principle of “ecological development, eco-agriculture” and has encouraged a form of agriculture that to a great extent, promotes the development of ecology, Mr Chen said.
Against the backdrop of the China-Asean Free Trade Area, the Greater Mekong Sub-Region Economic Corridor, the “One Belt, One Road” initiative and economic cooperation with the Greater Mekong Sub-Region, the Chinese government has strengthened exchanges and feedback on agricultural investment between the two countries and has made cooperation more transparent and institutionalised.
“Under such a favourable investment environment, we have been able to receive Amethyst Tong Cai to support investment in Laos’ agriculture. It is important to look at Laos’ rich agricultural resources and pollution-free ecological environment. We will start from the cultivation of organic rice in Laos, followed by processing, finishing, promotion of sales to logistics services, leisure tourism, to achieve a large industrial chain,” Mr Lin said.
He added that their aim was to enable more people to eat pollution-free, healthy and organic rice produced in Laos to improve everyone’s awareness and habits with regard to rice consumption and create a healthier and more organic life philosophy.
It is hoped that through this long-term cooperation, Lao people’s incomes will increase, which will in turn stimulate labour development to solve the problem of a labour surplus, production capacity supply and demand, and ultimately bring about mutual benefits.
Deputy General Manager of the Amethyst Tong Cai Investment Fund Management Co., Ltd. of China, Mr Wu Yu-Lian, also spoke at the ceremony. He said the Shenzhen Amethyst Tong Cai Investment Fund Management Co., Ltd. was the only company in China that had provided funding for many well-known funding agencies (Tiger Fund, Atlas, and Venture Partners, to name a few) around the world. This approach shows the company has a gene that determined it was born with an international perspective. The company is prepared to invest 10 billion yuan in funds raised around the world in the areas of medical care, new retail, new agriculture, intelligent AI, and block chain technology.
Cui Can E-Commerce was born in Yiwu, China’s small commodity capital and e-commerce innovation city. Company Chairman Mr Chen Lin has laid good foundations for cooperation over the past eight years.
The new Lao rice project, which incorporates several aspects of awareness, has quickly promoted the determination of the company’s institutional investment.
Mr Wu Yu-Lian said Mr Chen Lin was an entrepreneur with an international perspective. He was very considerate and intrepid and possessed a unique vision, a keen business sense and executive power.
Cui Can E-Commerce actively responds to the guidance of China’s “One Belt, One Road” policy, rapidly enters cross-border e-commerce, and looks for organic agricultural products that have great potential in the Chinese market in the future.
The accumulation of years of data collection and the depth of cooperation with industry-leading platforms has laid a solid foundation for the Lao rice project. The future explosive power will be astonishing. Laos has always maintained a very friendly relationship with China and is a good neighbour that our Chinese people can trust, Mr Wu Yu-Lian said.
The good ecological environment in Laos has created high-quality organic agricultural products. It is also a UN export-free inspection product. For example, rice products have already established a good reputation in China and the future growth space will be unlimited.
Amethyst Tong Cai’s investment in the Lao Rice Project with Cui Can E-Commerce, with a round of RMB 150 million, is believed to be only the beginning of this cooperation. Next, the company will increase its financial support and continue to accompany Cui Can E-Commerce to IPO, and even further.
Mr Wu Yu-Lian said “Through multi-party cooperation, I believe that this is the beginning of a certain win-win situation.”
During the signing ceremony, Mr Tan thanked the Deputy Minister of Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry, Dr Phouang Parisak Pravongviengkham, Deputy Minister of Investment and Planning Mr Houmpheng Souralay and Director-General of the Department of Forestry Mr Sousath Sayakoummane for their valuable advice; the Governor and Vice Governors of Santhong district, along with former advisors to the Prime Minister’s Office Mr Somphone Phanousith and Dr Chris Chanthaboury, as well as Assoc Professor Dr Sengdeuane Wayakone, Director of International Relations, National University of Laos for their full support in this project.

By Times Reporters
(Latest Update April 23, 2018


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