Thailand: Lao market may need to import more fruits & vegetables

Market authorities have said that the Aussie Lao local fresh market, which is one of the largest markets in Vientiane, may have to sell more imported products. In 2018, the market imported 15 percent of the product, mostly from Thailand and Vietnam. Most of the imported products were tomatoes, eggplant, chilis, limes, onion, garlic, fruit and some other vegetables.

Although Lao growers supply about 70 percent of the product sold in local markets, the price is still high compared to those in Thailand and Vietnam, according to the Lao Ministry of Industry and Commerce.

Domestic producers and entrepreneurs have failed to compete with imported products while some of these products have also been hit hard by extreme weather. Many local farmers have given up growing vegetables and other crops and taken other jobs instead after they were unable to make a profit from farming, according to the daily.

In the first half of this year, agricultural produce, especially vegetables, yielded 1.19 million tons, an increase of 19 percent compared to the same period last year. The growth rate in agriculture is expected to achieve the target of 28 percent set for 2019 if there is no natural disaster, said the report.

To reach this year's target, the Lao government will continue to implement projects of national priority such as commercial-scale production and ensuring food security.


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