Lao PDR

GIEWS Country Brief: Lao People's Democratic Republic 14-February-2012

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FOOD SECURITY SNAPSHOT

  • Paddy rice production of the 2011 main (wet) season estimated at above average but similar to the record level of year before

  • Rice prices have stabilized since November 2010

  • Food insecurity concerns rise due to the adverse impact of floods, especially in central and southern parts of the country

Paddy rice production of the 2011 main season estimated at above average but similar to the record level of year before

The 2012 dry season paddy crop is currently in growing stage under mixed performance of rains, although most of it is irrigated.

Harvesting of the 2011 main season rice was completed in December 2011. Heavy rains, combined with typhoons during last year’s monsoon season caused localized flooding in Mekong river basin particularly in the central and southern areas of the country. Reportedly, nearly 64 000 hectares of rice fields, or about 7 percent of the total area under paddy, were affected since the end of June 2011. In spite of this localized flood damage to the wet season paddy crop, the annual aggregate production in 2011 is estimated at 3 million tonnes (equivalent to 1.8 million tonnes of milled rice), similar to the record harvest a year before. The country is expected to remain more-or-less self sufficient in rice. However, some 220 000 tonnes of maize are likely to be exported during 2012. Much of the trade takes place informally through the porous borders with Thailand, Viet Nam and Cambodia.