Govt to reduce electricity unit price for agriculture
The Ministry of Energy and Mines has asked the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry to supply information on farming following the government's decision to lower the unit price of electricity used for agricultural purposes.
The information will be used to calculate the unit price of electricity as part of studies for the energy and mines as well as agriculture sectors, Deputy Minister of Energy and Mines Mr Thongphat Inthavong said recently.
An irrigation pump in Vientiane uses electricity to supply water. (File photo)
The unit price of electricity for irrigation is currently 448 kip per kWh for medium level usage and 526 kip per kWh for low consumption, which is cheaper than the rates charged to other sectors, he said.
The Ministry of Energy and Mines plans to adjust the unit price of electricity to encourage agricultural production for food security as well as to support farmers.
To ascertain appropriate electricity unit prices the ministry is studying consumption by various types of users, with agriculture to be given priority.
This year the government expected the agriculture sector to grow by 3.1 percent and account for 18.8 percent of GDP, according to the National Socio-Economic Development Plan for 2017.
Rice cultivation should cover about one million hectares and yield 4.28 tonnes per hectare or 4.35 million tonnes in total. Rice for national food security will be grown on 585,000 hectares producing 2.5 million tonnes or 57.5 percent of total production.
Farmers will be encouraged to grow crops such as sweetcorn on 28,000 hectares with 276,450 tonnes of production, 22,500 hectares of yams yielding 302,280 tonnes, 43,900 hectares of fruit yielding 838,000 tonnes, and 157,100 hectares of vegetables and other cash crops producing 1.5 million tonnes.
The energy and mines sector has been improving infrastructure to help grow the country's economy and reduce the number of families living in poverty.
So far, 48 hydropower projects are generating electricity with combined installed capacity of about 6,300MW and 92 percent of all families now have access to electricity.
The ministry expects that by 2020, Laos will have 90 completed hydropower plants with installed capacity of over 12,500MW and around 95 percent of families will have access to electricity.
The Ministry of Energy and Mines is focusing on five main policies for domestic energy development and export.
First is a stable and sustainable energy supply, second is developing renewable energy, third is unit price and energy market reform, fourth is ensuring energy developments are environmentally friendly, and fifth is sustainable hydropower.
By Times Reporters
(Latest Update January 07, 2017)