Lao PDR releases the Lao Agricultural Census, 2011
On 13 June 2012, SDC Mekong Regional Country Director Ruth HUBER attends the release of the 2011 Lao Agriculture Census results ceremony, held at the ICTC in Vientiane. SDC provides assistance as the lead donor and has been involved in building the foundations to survey and publish the information for public knowledge.
SDC has contributed to the dissemination of the Lao Census 2005 through the development of the first Socio-Economic Atlas of Laos in 2009. This led to making detailed socio-economic information widely available, accessible and understandable to a broad audience. We are committed to support the dissemination of the new Agriculture census in a similar manner, to ensure that this valuable work will be available to all those who are committed to improve agriculture and food security in Lao PDR. <>
The newly developed agriculture strategy highlights some of the changes through significant increase of food production, in particular the achievement of rice self-sufficiency, the development of commercial farming, the multiplication of investments in hydropower, mining and industrial plantations and a progressive reduction of slash and burn agriculture. However, and the rich natural resource capital which constitute the very foundations for agriculture and rural livelihood, are being transformed substantially, also creating more difficulty to those rural communities which still cannot benefit from sedentary commercial agriculture. We believe that there is a pressing need to better understand these dynamics and the current situation of the rural poor. The results of the Agriculture Census will exactly serve this purpose.
SDC has been a strong advocate and supporter of the production of a new Lao Agriculture Census. We believe that the new Census will be a valuable instrument to inform decision-makers before planning and implementing of development activities in rural areas. We do concur with the Government of Laos and other development partners that updated and reliable data are more than necessary to define the most appropriate ways and approaches to address development challenges of increasingly complex rural societies.
The new Census brings together key stakeholders from various sides of Government. The lead agency, the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry, has been essential to initiate the process and to bring all the actors together. The technical capacities of the Department of Statistics and the coordination role of the Committee for Rural Development and Poverty Alleviation and a wide range of development partners, including IFAD, AFD, GTZ, AusAID and ADB, which together with SDC, have provided the financial support to the project. FAO has provided the guarantee that the process was carried out according to international standards.