Banana to become Laos’ major agricultural export

Banana is expected to be Laos' top agricultural export in 2019 despite the local government’s ban on the expansion of plantations around the country, according to local daily Vientiane Times.

Illustrative image (Source: Reuters)

Illustrative image (Source: Reuters)

In 2017, the Southeast Asian country earned US$167.9 million from banana exports. The figure dipped to $112 million in 2018, but is expected to rise to $168 million in 2019, according to the Lao Ministry of Industry and Commerce.

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

The commercialisation policy on banana production benefits 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 in 2015 to over $197.8 million in 2016.

Other major agricultural exports of the country are expected to include cassava with sales reaching $129 million , raw coffee at $143 million , rubber at $105 million, maize at $34 million, and rice at $25 million.

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