Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Laos pushing for growers to shift away from opium

Laos pushing for growers to shift away from opium

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
An agreement on the project was signed last week in Seo Chai village, Yot Ou district, between Lao authorities and a Chinese company. VIENTIANE TIMES

Laos pushing for growers to shift away from opium

A Lao-Chinese project that will encourage people in Laos’ northernmost Phongsaly province to grow agricultural crops instead of opium poppies has been launched, at an estimated cost of 161 million yuan ($25 million).

The Chinese government is purportedly funding the initiative to help improve the lives of the province’s residence as well as bolster economic development.

The aim is to reduce poverty levels by weaning people off the cultivation of opium poppies and encouraging them to grow other crops that have more overall benefit.

An agreement on the project was signed last week in Seo Chai village, Yot Ou district, between Lao authorities and a Chinese company. The project will run for 30 years from the date of signing, with the Chinese company to work with local residents to grow crops.

The company will provide funding, technical advice and a market for the crops grown, which will be farmed by local residents.

The Lao government has allocated 140ha for crop production in Seo Chai and other villages where opium poppies have been traditionally cultivated. The crops harvested will be sold in Laos and to other countries.

Under the project, a secondary school will be built in Seo Chai village, as well as a village office, a police office, health centre, a Lao-Chinese Cultural Friendship centre, and an agricultural training centre.

A market will also be built along with a warehouse to store agricultural produce, a park, housing and dormitories for workers, a crop processing plant, and a place to demonstrate economic development.

The Chinese company will undertake construction of the secondary school in Seo Chai village at a cost of 1.3 million yuan.



  • Capital-Poipet express rail project making headway

    The preliminary results of a feasibility study to upgrade the Phnom Penh-Poipet railway into Cambodia’s first express railway indicate that the project would cost more than $4 billion and would take around four years to complete. The study was carried out by China Road and

  • Thai boxers to join SEA Games’ Kun Khmer event

    The Cambodian SEA Games Organising Committee (CAMSOC) – together with the Kun Khmer International Federation (KKIF) and Khmer Boxing Federation – have achieved a “great success” by including Kun Khmer in the upcoming biennial multi-sports event on its home soil for the first time, said a senior

  • Bullets to bracelets: Siem Reap man makes waste from war wearable

    Jewellery is often made from valuable gemstones like emeralds or diamonds and precious metals like gold or silver, or valueless things like animal horns. But a man in Siem Reap has approached the manufacture of delicate pieces from a different angle. His unique form of

  • Second Hungary business forum set for H2

    Cambodia has asked Hungary to provide GSP- (Generalised System of Preferences) Plus facilities for when the Kingdom sheds its least-developed country (LDC) label, as the two countries prepare to hold a second business forum in the second half (H2) of this year to expand trade

  • 61% of 2022 imports came from just 3 markets

    The three largest exporters to Cambodia – mainland China, Vietnam and Thailand – accounted for 60.94 per cent of the Kingdom’s total merchandise imports last year, at $18.245 billion, which was up 11.99 per cent over 2021, according to the General Department of Customs and Excise. Cambodia’s total imports

  • CPP sets out five primary strategic goals for 2023-28

    The Cambodian People’s Party (CPP) on January 29 concluded its two-day extraordinary congress, setting the party’s priority goals for 2023-2028. The ruling party’s congress was attended by more than 3,000 members from across the Kingdom, including the members of the permanent and central committees,