Laos To Ramp Up Cattle Exports

LAOS - The Laos Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry's Agriculture and Forestry Section plans to sell 1.4 million head of cattle to neighbouring countries by 2015, especially targeting export markets along the borders with Thailand and Viet Nam.
calendar icon 5 January 2012
clock icon 2 minute read

AsiaNewsNetwork reports that currently, there are large demands for imported beef in hotels, restaurants, supermarkets and local markets, according to a recent report from the sector. If they can achieve their target by 2015, the export of beef will generate around 320 billion kip (US$40 million) in revenue for the local economy, giving a significant boost to rural development.

Senior agricultural personnel intend to work with the provincial and district authorities to take up cattle breeding on a larger scale, in order to meet the demand from regional markets, and raise farmers' living standards by boosting their disposable income.

The sector needs to achieve a minimum of three per cent growth in the cattle market and two per cent in buffalo sales annually over the next four years.

Government livestock-rearing programmes are being supported by development partners such as the Asian Development Bank, the United Nations' Food Agriculture Organisation and other NGOs.

The various organisations provide technical assistance on pasture improvement, animal shelters and other measures to help protect livestock from diseases, especially foot and mouth disease, which is a major problem in the rainy season.

In addition, the sector plans to develop animal breeding standards by improving veterinary care and birthing methods to meet regional and international standards.

Many farmers are now benefiting from selling their cattle at local and regional markets. For example, many people in Samakkixay, Saysettha, Salongxay, Sanxay and Phouvong districts of Attapeu province are now selling their cattle to Thailand and Viet Nam.

This year Attapeu province will export more than 1,500 cattle to Thailand and 500 to Viet Nam, according to a report from the provincial Agriculture and Forestry Department. Cattle breeders bring their cows and buffalos to local saleyards, where they are purchased live for export to the neighbouring countries.

Cattle numbers in the prov ince have risen by up to five per cent in recent years. There are now more than 60,000 cattle on a grazing area of over 10,000 square kilometres, a department official reported.

The World Bank and the Mekong Wetlands Biodiversity and Sustainability Project are supporting the livestock raising programme and have provided advice on animal husbandry and vaccination issues.

They are also educating villagers about livestock containment issues to ensure the conservation and sustainable use of wetland biodiversity areas. Their conservation efforts include capacity strengthening at local, regional and national levels in order to address the root causes of wetland degradation.

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