Laos agriculture

A landlocked country of 7 million between the Mekong River and Annamite Cordillera, the Lao People’s Democratic Republic (Lao PDR or Laos) has the lowest population density in Southeast Asia.[1] Officially, over 81% of land is classified as forest, and only 6.5% is arable land.[2] Actual natural forest cover, however, is estimated by the government at 40%, with a target to increase to 70% by 2020.[3] Some of the remaining area, considered as “damaged forest”, is sloping land used for cultivation.

Most members of the 49 recognized ethnic minority groups in Laos have traditionally subsisted from shifting (swidden) agriculture and forest products. Patterns of land use have been transformed through population displacements during and after the Indochina wars;[4] government policies to eradicate opium and swidden cultivation;[5] and relocation of hundreds of thousands of residents to new villages closer to roads and public services.[6]

The government of the Lao PDR prioritizes economic growth and poverty alleviation through “sustainable development of the nation’s rich natural capital and land,” particularly through encouraging private investment and granting concessions of state land to investors.[7] Forest, land, water, and mineral resources together make up more than half of the country’s wealth.[8] The national strategy to “turn land into capital”[9] has brought mining, hydropower, and agri-business land concessions to large areas of rural Laos, frequently turning small-scale farmers into landless laborers in the process. This represents an unprecedented transfer of land access from farmers to foreign investors.[10]

Selected indicators

Total spending for agricultural reserch measured measured as a share of the value added from agriculture, forestry and fishing activities

Measurement unit: 
Percentage

Distribution of agricultural holders by sex (female - Share %) according to the FAO Land and Gender Database.

Measurement unit: 
Percentage

GDP per capita based on purchasing power parity (PPP). PPP GDP is gross domestic product converted to international dollars using purchasing power parity rates.

Measurement unit: 
PPP$ 2011

Land area is the total area (1'000 Ha) of the country excluding area under inland water bodies.

Measurement unit: 
1'000 Ha

Total funding for programmes still ongoing in January 2016 (US $).

Measurement unit: 
US$ (Current)

Total number of programmes still ongoing in January 2016

Measurement unit: 
Number

Total population is based on the de facto definition of population, which counts all residents regardless of legal status or citizenship--except for refugees not permanently settled in the country

Measurement unit: 
Number

Rural population refers to the share (%) of people living in rural areas as defined by national statistical offices. It is calculated as the ratio between Urban Population and Total Population.

Measurement unit: 
Percentage

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Total population is based on the de facto definition of population, which counts all residents regardless of legal status or citizenship--except for refugees not permanently settled in the country

Measurement unit: 
Number

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Total population is based on the de facto definition of population, which counts all residents regardless of legal status or citizenship--except for refugees not permanently settled in the country

Measurement unit: 
Number
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Arable land (1'000 Ha) is the land under temporary agricultural crops (multiple-cropped areas are counted only once), temporary meadows for mowing or pasture, land under market and kitchen gardens

Measurement unit: 
1'000 Ha

It measures the area (1'000 Ha) covered by forest.

Measurement unit: 
1'000 Ha

Land area is the total area (1'000 Ha) of the country excluding area under inland water bodies.

Measurement unit: 
1'000 Ha

Permanent crops (1'000 Ha) - land cultivated with long-term crops which do not have to be replanted for several years (such as cocoa and coffee); land under trees and shrubs producing flowers, such

Measurement unit: 
1000 Ha

Permanent meadows and pastures - land used permanently (five years or more) to grow herbaceous forage crops, either cultivated or growing wild (wild prairie or grazing land).

Measurement unit: 
1000 Ha

Land Governance Assessment Framework (LGAF)

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    Legend
    • Very Good Practice
    • Good Practice
    • Weak Practice
    • Very Weak Practice
    • Missing Value

    Voluntary Guidelines on the Responsible Governance of Tenure of Land, Fisheries and Forests (VGGT)


    Legend: National laws adoption of the VGGT principle
    • Fully adopt
    • Partially adopt
    • Not adopted
    • Missing Value

    Note: The Voluntary Guidelines on the Responsible Governance of Tenure of Land, Fisheries, and Forests in the Context of National Food Security (The VGGTs) were endorsed by the Committee on World Food Security in 2012.

    The "VGGT indicators" dataset has been created by Nicholas K. Tagliarino, PhD Candidate at the University of Groningen, with support from Daniel Babare and Myat Noe (LLB Students, University of Groningen). The indicators assess national laws in 50 countries across Asia, Africa, and Latin America against international standards on expropriation, compensation, and resettlement as established by Section 16 of the VGGTs.

    Each indicator relates to a principle established in section 16 of the VGGTs. Hold the mouse against the small "i" button above for a more detailed explanation of the indicator.

    Answering the questions posed by these indicators entails analyzing a broad range of national-level laws, including national constitutions, land acquisition acts, land acts, community land acts, agricultural land acts, land use regulations, and some court decisions.

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    Disclaimer: The data displayed on the Land Portal is provided by third parties indicated as the data source or as the data provider. The Land Portal team is constantly working to ensure the highest possible standard of data quality and accuracy, yet the data is by its nature approximate and will contain some inaccuracies. The data may contain errors introduced by the data provider(s) and/or by the Land Portal team. In addition, this page allows you to compare data from different sources, but not all indicators are necessarily statistically comparable. The Land Portal Foundation (A) expressly disclaims the accuracy, adequacy, or completeness of any data and (B) shall not be liable for any errors, omissions or other defects in, delays or interruptions in such data, or for any actions taken in reliance thereon. Neither the Land Portal Foundation nor any of its data providers will be liable for any damages relating to your use of the data provided herein.