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FAO Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific

Lao PDR

Implementation of the Global Strategy in Lao PDR

73.1% employed in agriculture

10.3% land area devoted to agriculture

28% share of agriculture in GDP

Challenges

Agriculture is vital to the landlocked Southeast Asia nation of Lao PDR, employing more than 73 percent of its citizens and contributing approximately 28 percent to the country’s GDP. Lao PDR has a national strategy for the development of statistics that came into force in 2010. Its work to date has highlighted a lack of environmental data for the country. 

Lao PDR doesn’t have an integrated system for agricultural statistics, and most of the data demands of the agricultural sector are met through its administrative reporting system, which has its own inherent weaknesses.  Data generated through the administrative reporting system is not always reliable and there is a need to migrate to better and more objective methods of data collection.  Other challenges to consider are needed improvements in the national accounts for the agricultural sector. There is also a need to develop a sound and workable system for the collection and dissemination of farm gate prices.  Lack of uniform standards, concepts and methods for collection of agricultural statistics, an inadequate number and low level of statistical skills of staff, and inadequate coordination mechanisms among stakeholders are some of the other important challenges. 

Current Work

The Global Strategy in Asia Pacific has proposed meeting agricultural and rural statistics needs in Lao PDR through the following actions.

· Develop a Strategic Plan for Agricultural and Rural Statistics (SPARS)

· Improve the administrative reporting system for agricultural and rural statistics

· Improve dissemination of agricultural statistics

· Develop a system for collection of farm gate prices

· Develop cost of production statistics for rice

· Improve the quality of data used on the food balance sheet

Achievements

Three missions and two workshops in Lao PDR have resulted in three key reports leading to forward progress on SPARS: an In-depth Country Assessment (IdCA), a country proposal for short-term technical assistance and training and a draft roadmap for a SPARS.  The full SPARS has been drafted and will be submitted for endorsement in the first half of 2016. Improvement of the administrative reporting system will be launched as a short-term technical project in 2016. In addition, Global Strategy collaboration has encouraged the Government of Lao PDR to launch both a Steering Committee and Technical Working Group on agricultural and rural statistics, which will enable quick action on their SPARS, and its better integration with the National Strategy for the Development of Statistics.