FAO in Laos


FAO in cooperation with the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry conducted a rapid assessment to assess the impact that the recent increase in the prices of the fuel, fertilizer, animal feed and other inputs has had on farmers’ households in Lao PDR. The assessment consisted of ten focus group discussions in five provinces (Loung Namtha, Savannakhet, Champasack, Vientiane province and Vientiane capital that are major producers of rice and other agricultural commodities.
Various figures are quoted as the forest area of Lao People’s Democratic Republic. These include 57.5 percent (‘current forests’, DoF 2019) of the national territory, or 72 percent (FAO FRA 2020), or 84.8 percent (all ‘forest areas’, DoF 2019). All three figures are in fact correct, but represent different ways of defining land and forest area. “Forest area” figures can only be understood, and compared, based on clear definitions. Comparing current forest area of the country with data from a previous years, or with the forest area of others countries, necessitate using consistent definitions of forest. To discuss progress against the national forest cover target of 70 percent, the definition of forests needs to be clarified, and so does the purpose of this target. Without these clarifications, discussions regarding the target, and progress towards it, can become confusing and counterproductive.
Lao Agricultural Census 2010/11- Analysis of Selected Themes brings an insightful analysis about important changes of Lao PDR's agricultural development . This report compares datasets from the Agricultural Census of 1999/98 with the datasets of the 2010/11 Agricultural Census for six key issues: composition and structure of farm households, land use, cropping patterns and agricultural performance, forestry, aquaculture and fisheries, village-level infraestructure and development constraints, livestock and poultry production; and gender dimensions of the agricultural census. Overall, the studies find that there have been significant changes: Agricultural modernization has occured quickly as farmers have adopted modern technologies to become integrated into the market-based production, with evidence of livelihood benefits. Nevertheless, the analyses also shows that many challenges and constraints remain, particularly inequalities in productivity and development between upland and lowland areas.  
The percentage of the population of the Lao People’s Democratic Republic that regularly consumes insects is among the highest in the world. Most edible insects in Lao PDR are collected from wild habitats, and local people possess a rich body of traditional knowledge relating to harvesting practices, timing of collection and management of insect resources. Recently efforts have been made to introduce technologies for sustainable farming of selected insect species. This publication chronicles efforts to enhance the contribution of edible insects to food security and improved nutrition in Lao PDR. It describes the most commonly consumed insects, details collecting and management practices, introduces the fledging insect farming sector, and presents experiences related to food safety, processing, handling, marketing and consumption of edible insects in Lao PDR.
This publication contains an assessment of availability and use of aquatic organisms in upland paddy rice fields of three villages in Xieng Khouang Province. An area of 200 ha was surveyed, revealing the rich biodiversity of upland paddy rice ecosystems of plants and animals including insects, fish, amphibians, reptiles, molluscs and crustaceans. The survey found that 95 species of plants and animals are used for food, sale or medicine. It is the largest number of recorded species used by villagers in the upland paddy area. A report on integrating assessment findings into local and national policy development by supporting local government agencies and communities is also included. The publication is a compilation of findings from selected activities conducted under the Regional Rice Initiative (RRI) Component 1 on water and rice-fish systems in 2013. Individual assesments from Indonesia and the Philippines were also compiled.  
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