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Laos intensifying efforts in agriculture climate change response

The government is accelerating efforts to boost farmers’ yields to meet national food security strategy and production targets by 2020 in response to global climate change.
Minister of Agriculture and Forestry Dr Lien Thikeo made the statement during a recent address to mark World Food Day.
He noted that Laos had been hit hard by natural disasters, including floods in the central and southern provinces, a plague of caterpillars which invaded maize crops, and an outbreak of African swine fever in many parts of the country.
“This situation indicates that we will have short-term difficulties. And with the end of the rainy season food production will not be able to match the levels of last year,” the minister said.
The ministry is raising awareness about climate change and the  challenges that will be faced in minimising and mitigating the negative impacts of natural disasters, he added.
Initiatives with farmers would aim to compensate for losses incurred during the rainy season and to ensure a reserve for domestic consumption and commodity purposes.
Dr Lien explained that the agriculture and forestry sector, through consensus with local authorities, had set a target of dry season rice produc-tion to cover 100,000 hectares; rainy season rice in 2020 to target 870,000 hectares; total rice production to target 4 million tonnes; crop commercialisation to target 384,300 hectares; and per capita average meat, egg and fish supply for personal consumption would target 65 kg in 2020.
The focus is on helping farmers to boost yields, restoring livelihoods, and ensuring an adequate food supply for everyone across the country, particularly people in loss-hit areas.
The initiatives aim to strengthen the commercialisation of agriculture for domestic consumption and exports, and to stabilise the macroeconomy.
The focus for 2020 will be on bolstering rice production in high potential areas, as well as vegetable and meat output with the active participation of farmers, agribusinesses and entrepreneurs in coordination with local authorities.
To implement the vision, strategy and five-year development plan on agriculture, forestry and rural development, food security, and poverty eradication, Dr Lien said the ministry would continue working with all sectors and development partners to enhance cooperation to support the recovery of farmers and others affected by natural disasters. 

ByOunkham Pimmata
(Latest Update November 5, 2019)

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