The value of Laos’ buffalo and cattle exports this year could exceed $200 million, despite the trading difficulties caused by the Covid-19 pandemic.
In the first nine months of this year, the value of buffalo and cattle exports reached almost $180 million, according to the Ministry of Industry and Commerce.
Last year, the total value of buffalo and cattle exports exceeded $250 million.
Vietnam is Laos’ largest market for buffalo and cattle, with purchases amounting to $247 million.
The government is calling on farmers and producers to raise more cattle for export, especially to China, in anticipation of the upcoming operation of the China-Laos railway, which will greatly facilitate transport. The $5.9 billion railway is scheduled to come into service in December.
The government is encouraging farmers in all 18 provinces of Laos to raise cattle for export, driven by the growing demand from China. The drive for enhanced livestock production comes as the government seeks to fulfil the strong potential in cattle production for export.
The Livestock Department of the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry recently convened an online meeting to discuss cattle production with officials and businesspeople around the country.
Speaking at the meeting, department director Vilayphone Voraphim said the government aims to produce at least 50,000 cattle annually.
Under an intergovernmental agreement, Laos has been granted a quota of 500,000 cattle for export to China.
Lao officials say there are both opportunities and challenges for Lao cattle farmers in strengthening cattle and buffalo production based on China’s needs in terms of quantity and quality.
The sale of cattle to China could generate huge returns, not only for producers and farmers, but for the nation as a whole, officials say.
VIENTIANE TIMES/ASIA NEWS NETWORK