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Laos planning new agriculture census

The government will carry out a major agriculture survey this year, intending to use the findings as a reference for the next national socio-economic development plan from 2020-2025.
Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance, Mr Somdy Duangdy, on Friday presided over a meeting that was a forum for stakeholders to discuss preparations for the third agriculture census, which is expected to take place this year.
According to a media release from the meeting organiser, participants discussed key issues related to the preparations, namely an action plan, stages of the census, and a budget for its operation.

Prime Minister Thongloun Sisoulith issued a decree in 2017 appointing Mr Somdy to head a national committee in charge of the third agriculture census.
The committee must carry out the census between 2018 and 2020, according to the decree.
The census is considerd to be of major importance. Its findings will determine the government’s policy on agricultural and social development, bearing in mind that agriculture is the mainstay of the economy.
The government regards the census as essential. The Statistics Law and the national statistics development strategy state that it is compulsory and should be carried out every five years.   
According to the media release, the findings of the survey would be used as an important reference for policy-makers in evaluating the success of the five-year national socio-economic development plan.
In addition, the findings would provide an important input for the next five-year socio-economic development plan, which will be implemented from 2020 to 2025.
The government views agriculture as an important pillar of the economy. Although the sector’s contribution to the economy is shrinking, it employs the majority of the Lao population.
The upgrade of agricultural production and the modernisation of this sector would result in raising millions of Lao people above the poverty line. It is the government’s policy to encourage farmers to produce clean products for domestic consumption and export.
At present, the service and industry sectors form the country’s main economic base, with mining and hydropower being the driving force of industrial growth.
According to the meeting organiser, in addition to preparing the agriculture census, Laos is planning to conduct a new economic census whose findings will also be used as a reference for the next national socio-economic development plan.

By Ekaphone Phouthonesy
(Latest Update May 6, 2019)

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