FAO in Lao People's Democratic Republic

Ministry and FAO Join Forces to Drive Sustainable Livestock Transformation in Lao PDR


Vientiane Capital, Lao PDR – 7 November 2023 – The Department of Livestock and Fisheries (DLF) under the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry (MAF), with support from the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations, organized the National Dialogue on Investment in Sustainable Livestock Transformation in Lao People’s Democratic Republic (Lao PDR) from 6-7 November 2023. 

Livestock plays a pivotal role in the Lao PDR’s agriculture sector, contributing to over one-third of the sector’s value added. The demand for livestock and livestock products, including meat, milk, egg, among others, is rapidly increasing both domestically and in neighbouring markets, particularly China and Vietnam. This growth is fuelled by the development of a regional road network throughout the Greater Mekong Subregion and bilateral agreements between Lao PDR and its neighbours on livestock export. Livestock exports to China alone are valued at approximately USD 54 million annually.

The two-day national dialogue, held on 6–7 November 2023, aimed to address the challenges and opportunities for promoting investment in transforming the sustainable livestock sector. The first day focused on contributing to more effective, inclusive, sustainable, resilient, and low-carbon agrifood systems in Lao PDR to achieve the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals. Building upon the discussion and analysis from the first day, the second day focused on identifying priority investment for livestock commercialisation towards sustainable transformation in Lao PDR. Strategic public-private partnership and roadmap for the future were also highlighted and prioritized.

During the workshop, Mr. Kaviphone Phouthavong, Director General of the Department of Livestock and Fisheries, Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry, praised FAO for its close collaboration over 5 decades and support to the people of Lao PDR. He also emphasized the urgent need for a Livestock Development Master Plan with National Plan of Action to support sustainable livestock development transformation. The ultimate outcomes of this initiative will ensure food security, inclusive rural development, and climate resilience in country and beyond, mentioned the Director General. He acknowledged that a shared vision and strategies developed through this national dialogue will facilitate and gain commitment from all stakeholders, while priorities for mobilization of technical and financial resources will be established to support and realize the sustainable livestock transformation in Lao PDR.

Dr. Thanawat Tiensin, Director of FAO Animal Production and Health Division, affirmed FAO’s long-standing commitment to the Government of Lao PDR to ensure food safety, food security and the economic wellbeing of millions of farming households. He recognized the significance of future contribution to be made through the livestock sector, and thus acted as a change actor to support the transformation. Dr. Tiensin emphasized that such transformation must be sustainable while ensuring essential nutrients, livelihoods, and economic opportunities for millions of people. It needs to promote the long-term availability of the agrifood system, protect natural resources, enhance economic resilience, increase productivity, reduce production costs, enhance market competitiveness, and ultimately contribute to economic growth and rural development.

FAO plays a crucial role in supporting its member countries to promote sustainable livestock production and climate actions through various interventions and initiatives. This includes providing technical assistance to countries, like Lao PDR, in the development and implementation of policies and strategies for sustainable livestock production, encompassing climate-smart livestock practices. FAO also conducts training programs and workshops aimed at enhancing the capacity of farmers, extension workers, and policymakers to adopt climate-friendly livestock production techniques. FAO also fosters the exchange of knowledge and experiences among countries, with a focus on promoting best practices and sharing successful case studies related to sustainable livestock production and climate change mitigation/adaptation. In addition, FAO supports research and innovation in livestock production systems, including the development and dissemination of climate-smart techniques and practices.

This two-day national dialogue workshop was well attended by representatives from various ministries, both national and provincial levels, such as the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry, Ministry of Industry and Commerce, Ministry of Finance, Ministry of Planning and Investment, Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment. Other stakeholders that can impact the sustainable livestock transformation also participated in the event, including local universities, private livestock processing companies and associations, UN agencies and development partners, namely the World Bank, UNDP, USAID, World Vision and CARE International.


Related links:

        Global Health Security Agenda

        FAO One Health


        FAO Antimicrobial Resistance