FAO in Laos

Success stories

The Lao Peoples’ Democratic Republic is highly susceptible to climate change and natural hazards, particularly flood and drought conditions which seriously affect the country’s agricultural production.


Ms. Vieng, 32, can now proudly say that she is a mushroom farmer of Luang Prabang Province. A smile appears on her face when showing an oyster mushroom fruiting body from a bag she learned to prepare after participating in a training on mushroom cultivation with her group in Huayman, her native village in Phonexay District.

Pakxong district is situated in the Bolovens highlands in the south of Laos. The land in Paksong is rich and suitable for growing horticulture crops. Not surprisingly, Pakxong district is at the centre of Lao PDR’s cabbage production. Cabbages are sold through local traders both to the capital Vientiane and for export to Thailand where Bangkok is the main consumption centre.

In the words of Dr. Thongloun Sisoulith, Deputy Prime Minister of Foreign Affairs, October 26th, 2012 was an “historical moment for the Lao PDR government and its people”. His speech at the General Council of the World Trade Organization (WTO) headquarters in Geneva that day culminated a 15-year negotiation process to approve Lao PDR’s access to the Organization. Official membership would not come until February 2013, after ratification by the country’s National Assembly.

Environmentally sustainable farming practices can help farmers in Laos increase and sustain their income while it can also help make the crops safe for consumers and farmers themselves. 

A recent survey on organisms used by villagers in an upland paddy rice ecosystem in Xiengkhouang Province confirms Lao farmer’s high reliance on biodiversity in the upland paddy areas. The survey revealed that 95 species of plants and animals are used for food, sale or medicine. So far, this is the largest number of recorded species used by villagers in the upland paddy area, although declining.