Laos, China launch plant inspection and quarantine project
Laos will benefit from a new plant inspection and quarantine development project with a feasibility study looking at improving the protection of agriculture and forestry production along the country's borders.
An agreement to implement the project was signed on Friday in Vientiane between the Director General of Department of Agriculture under the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry, Mr Vilaysouk Khenanavong and Chief Representative of China CAMC Engineering Co., Ltd in Laos, Mr Wei Baoping.
The Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signing ceremony was attended by Vice Head of Office of the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry, Mr Boun-Ai Nounounnavong and Chinese Embassy to Laos Representative, Mr Wang Qihui.
The project will run for an 18 month period (2017-2018) supported by the Chinese government and focus on protecting agriculture and forestry production, as well as promoting foreign trade development to create better social, economic and ecological benefits for Laos, officials confirmed.Speaking at the agreement signing last week, Mr Vilaysouk said the MoU would initiate a feasibility study to determine the necessary financial, technical, plus inspection and quarantine infrastructure required along with capacity building requirements at international borders and the central laboratory in Vientiane.
“The two parties have agreed to work together on the feasibility study including the technical aspects of plant inspection and quarantine implementation and the upgrading of systems at Laos' international borders,” he said.
“This project is in line with the government policy of improving agricultural plant inspection and quarantine as a priority under the socio-economic development plan and in accordance with the laws of Laos,” he said.
Mr Wei Baoping said the support to provide sound scientific quarantine and inspection services would assist agricultural production by minimizing the risks of introduced exotic animal and plant pests and diseases.
According to the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry, who is responsible for monitoring and surveillance functions at airports and borders to minimise risks, about 87 percent of the population is dependent on agricultural production and 26 percent of produce is exported. More importantly, rural populations are heavily dependent on subsistence agriculture.
According to the media, Chinese businesses have invested in 764 projects in Laos in areas such as mining, agriculture, electricity, handicrafts and tourism. Among these projects, 552 were funded by Chinese companies with 212 being joint ventures. China is Laos' biggest source of foreign investment.
By Times Reporters
(Latest Update January 24, 2017)