Laos focuses on creating safe agricultural produce

farm  eurleifLaos has already set several standards for agricultural products to be acceptable in the markets. (Image source: eurleif/Flickr)The Laos ministry of agriculture and forestry's agriculture department has revealed plans to ensure complete safety of agricultural produce grown in the country for domestic consumption and export

The department has formulated several standards for agricultural goods but has not yet set clear policies for producers, according to agricultural officials.

The department’s director general Monthathip Chanphengxay said that to encourage farmers to grow crops in line with international standards, the ministry of agriculture and forestry will be focusing on four specific areas.

Those areas will be organic agriculture, good agricultural practice, pesticide free production, and conservation agriculture.

Monthathip said that each of these aspects will involve various practices but they all will have the same goal, to ensure safety, environmental protection and sustainability.

The practices recommended under these systems will help to cut farmers’ costs by reducing their outlay on chemicals, while the market price of clean agricultural products is higher.

The government has already paved the way for farmers to grow crops through clean agriculture, but the sector currently lacks the funding and experts needed to put these methods into practice.

Most of the country’s farmlands are suited to clean agriculture because most rural farmers have grown their crops using traditional, chemical-free methods.

Monthathip said Laos could benefit from the marketing of organic crops when the country becomes part of the Asean Economic Community and the Asean Free Trade Area in 2015.

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