Supporting Responsible Investments in Agriculture and Food Systems (RAI)

FAO and Lao Government will collaborate to improve environment for investments in agriculture

15/10/2020

15 October 2020 – The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) and the Government of Lao PDR have launched a project “Enhancing the Enabling Environment for Responsible Investment in Agriculture and Food Systems” in Lao PDR on Thursday, October 15.

Funded by the Federal Government of Germany, this project will strengthen the skills of policy makers and other key actors to support responsible agricultural investment.

 “To unlock the potential of the agricultural sector, Lao PDR needs USD 41 million per year in additional investments to achieve the first two Sustainable Development Goals by 2030, and USD 34 million of that investment should be spent on agriculture,” said Nasar Hayat, FAO Representative in Lao PDR at the project-launch workshop today in Vientiane.

The launch workshop was attended by policy makers and representatives from relevant ministries and institutions related to agricultural investment, as well as development partners.

The agricultural sector is a cornerstone of Lao PDR’s development strategy. Even though it employs two-thirds of the population, agriculture contributes only 16 percent of the country’s GDP due to low productivity and lack of modernization, among other issues.

 “Both private and public investments are needed to raise agricultural productivity and incomes, particularly in rural areas. It is equally important to ensure that these investments are responsible and contribute to, rather than compromise, sustainable development,”explained Mr. Hayat.

To increase responsible investment in agriculture, the project will support stakeholders in aligning the legal, institutional and investment-incentive frameworks to the ASEAN Guidelines on Promoting Responsible Investment in Food, Agriculture and Forestry.

The ASEAN Guidelines reflect the priorities and characteristics of the ASEAN region, and are grounded in the CFS Principles for Responsible Agriculture and Food Systems (CFS RAI), the first global agreement outlining how investment should address development challenges and benefit all those who are involved.

The project will offer training for policy makers and work with civil society organizations and other stakeholders to identify the needs and priorities in the review of policies, laws and incentives that would encourage investment in agriculture.

More information:

Lao PDR: Steven Cleary, International Communications Specialist, +8562056607279 (whatsapp); [email protected]