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Laos to expand coffee plantations, eyes 1 million tonnes by 2025 

The Lao government plans to expand the area under coffee cultivation as part of efforts to increase crop quantity and quality and sustain the earnings of growers until 2025, a senior government official has said.
“The government is looking at the possibility of producing one million tonnes of coffee beans by 2025," Deputy Minister of Agriculture and Forestry, Dr Phouangparisack Pravongviengkham, said during a recent celebration to mark the 10th anniversary of the Bolaven Plateau Coffee Producers Cooperative in Champassak province.
However, it will not be easy to reach this target because it is linked to expanding the area under cultivation and increasing productivity over the years, he added.
Dr Phouangparisack said the export of Lao coffee created a significant source of revenue by the agriculture sector.
"That is one of the most important reasons for the government to cooperate with provincial authorities, to support coffee growers with technical advice, and to seek international funding to help farmers," he said.
Currently, the three southern provinces of Champassak, Xekong and Saravan are the main areas where coffee is grown.
The four northern provinces of Phongsaly, Xieng Khuang, Luang Prabang and Huaphan have been identified as possible new areas for the establishment of coffee farms.
Coffee plantations currently cover 4,000 to 5,000 hectares in Phongsaly province, the Deputy Minister said.
He noted that coffee farms may also be established in the southern province of Attapeu.
Due to a slump in coffee prices on the world market, the sale price of Lao coffee and export volumes have declined in recent years, and the government is making a push to export more coffee.
"The sale price of Lao coffee is still dependent on prices on the world market. But if we continue to produce coffee of higher quality, we can ask for a reasonable price," Dr Phouangparisack said, adding that more advertising is needed to promote Lao coffee worldwide.
The promotion of coffee producers’ cooperatives will also enable growers to continue working.
In 2013, Laos exported 30,000 tonnes of coffee valued at US$72 million. In 2014, exports dropped to 26,000 tonnes valued at US$60 million, while in 2015, exports fell further to 23,000 tonnes valued at US$50 million.
According to the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry, more than 20,000 families make a living from selling coffee beans and more than 300,000 people are engaged in jobs linked to the coffee industry.

By Times Reporters
(Latest Update
November 15,

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