Laos: Bananas are top agricultural export

Bananas are expected to be Laos' leading agricultural export in 2019 despite the Lao government banning the expansion of plantations around the country.

In 2017, Laos earned 167.9 million US dollars from banana exports, The figure dipped to 112 million US dollars in 2018, but, according to the Ministry of Industry and Commerce, was expected to increase to 168 million US dollars in 2019.

The bulk of the crop will be sold to China, some will be sold to Thailand.

Other major agricultural export earners in Laos were expected to include cassava with sales reaching 129 million US dollars, raw coffee at 143 million US dollars, rubber at 105 million US dollars, maize at 34 million US dollars, and 25 million US dollars worth of rice.

The commercialization policy on banana production benefited rural people. The most notable outcome of this policy has been the influx of investors to assist Lao banana growers in the country's northern provinces of Bokeo, Luang Namtha, and Oudomxay which led to an increase in banana exports from 46.6 million US dollars in 2015 to over 197.8 million US dollars in 2016.


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