Making the agriculture sector – especially the rice sector – more productive is key to both poverty reduction and livelihood improvement in Lao PDR. The Agricultural Census (2012) estimated a “farm population” of 4.5 million: those who live in “farm households”, the definition being a household engaged in agricultural production activities such as growing crops, raising livestock, or engaged in aquaculture. These account for approximately 70 percent of employed persons, while around 76 percent of all households in the country grow rice. Commercial agriculture (e.g. cassava and maize) is expanding rapidly, and crops tend to be grown by small farmers under contract. Plantations, such as bananas and rubber, are normally concessions managed by companies, which rely on cheap manual labour often resourced from migrants, generally with low wages.
A high level of vulnerable employment is driven by the agriculture and fishery sector, sales workers, and elementary occupations. Within these three sectors, respectively 99, 73 and 73 per cent of workers are in vulnerable employment (self-employed, but not employer, or in unpaid work for the family).
Lao PDR has put in place the classification for quality investment in specific sectors such as agriculture, forestry, and hotel and tourism. The Government is working with development partners and private sector to take into account various concerns on the social and environment impacts of investment projects, especially for concessional investments.
Responsible production and consumption is one of 17 Global Goals that make up the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.
An integrated approach is crucial for progress across the multiple goals. Learn more about Goal 12 and its targets.