Agriculture

Agriculture is the backbone of the Greater Mekong Subregion’s economies. With over 60% of the subregion’s 340 million inhabitants engaged in small-scale agriculture, it directly supports the livelihoods of nearly 200 million people.

The Working Group on Agriculture (WGA) has been working toward the implementation of priority projects under the Core Agriculture Support Program.

While agriculture is the cornerstone of many families’ livelihoods, it is also exacting a toll on the environment, contributing to forest and biodiversity loss, water pollution and shortages, soil degradation, and greenhouse gas emissions.

People and governments in the Greater Mekong Subregion are working to develop agricultural practices that simultaneously conserve land and water resources, while at the same time increasing the productivity and profitability of agriculture, particularly for small-scale farmers.

Countries are pooling resources and expertise to increase the competitiveness of their agricultural products and encourage investment in agribusiness, while at the same time conserving the environment and natural resources. This involves research and technology that emphasizes climate-friendly agricultural development, including participation by the private sector with a focus on food security. This work is being guided by the Core Agriculture Support Program Phase II (CASP II) 2011-2020, supported by the Government of Sweden (Sida), Nordic Development Fund, Water Financing Partnership Facility, and Asian Development Bank.

At the 2nd GMS Agriculture Ministers' Meeting in Siem Reap, Cambodia on 6-8 September 2017, the ministers endorsed a strategy to promote safe and environment-friendly agriculture products, and a plan to strengthen value chain integration, involving smallholder farmers, rural women, as well as small and medium-sized agro-enterprises.

Related

Strategy for Promoting Safe and Environment-Friendly Agro-Based Value Chains and Siem Reap Action Plan, 2018-2022
Core Agriculture Support Program Phase II (2011-2015)
Core Agriculture Support Program Phase I (2006-2010)
Working Group on Agriculture (WGA)

Focal Persons at the Asian Development Bank

  • Srinivasan Ancha
    Environment, Natural Resources and Agriculture Division,
    Southeast Asia Department
  • Jan Hinrichs
    Environment, Natural Resources and Agriculture Division,
    East Asia Department

Other Concerned Staff & Consultants

  • Asadullah Sumbal
    Regional Cooperation and Operations Coordination Division,
    Southeast Asia Department
  • Rafaelita Jamon
    Regional Cooperation and Operations Coordination Division,
    Southeast Asia Department/GMS Secretariat

Send inquiries to GMS CCESP Secretariat and GMS Secretariat.

According to a report released by the Asian Development Bank, tourism in the Lao PDR supported growth in livestock and fisheries industries in 2019

Agriculture and Tourism Key to Lao PDR's Sustainable and Shared Prosperity — ADB

Raising competitiveness and strengthening the links between agriculture and tourism will contribute to post-coronavirus disease (COVID-19) recovery and inclusive growth in the Lao People’s Democratic Republic (Lao PDR), according to a report by the Asian Development Bank (ADB) released today.  

News Releases

The watershed of the Nakai Reservoircontains Lao PDR's largest biodiversity area with an outstanding collection of plants and animals endemic to Southeast Asia. Photo by ADB

PRC Firm, Lao PDR Sign MoU for Forest Restoration and Agri Development Study

Jiarun Agricultural Development Co, Ltd., of the People's Republic of China, and the Ministry of Planning and Investment of the Lao People’s Democratic Republic, have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on the feasibility study for a forest restoration and ecological agriculture development project. The MoU states that the feasibility study will be conducted for 5,000 hectares of land in Sanamxay district of Attapeu province in southern Lao PDR. The project is envisioned to generate over 50,000 local jobs, promoting the local economy and raising the people's living standards. 

GMS in the News

The Joint Declaration adopted at the 11th CLV Summit provides a foundation for the socio-economic development plan until 2030. Photo by VNA.

11th CLV Summit Commits to Strengthen Development Triangle Area

Cambodia, Lao PDR, and Viet Nam (CLV) Leaders expressed their firm commitment to strengthen the CLV Development Triangle Area (DTA) in order to accelerate economic growth, alleviate poverty, and promote socio-cultural progress in the subregion. At the 11th CLV Summit held online on 9 December, they adopted a Joint Declaration that provides a foundation for the subregion’s socio-economic development plan until 2030 and the Tourism Development Plan. They also adopted the Development Plan for Sustainable Rubber Industry.  

GMS in the News

The 9th ACMECS Summit Declaration emphasized post-pandemic socio-economic recovery and preparation for future crises. Photo by OCM.

9th ACMECS Summit Declaration Focuses on Post-pandemic Recovery

Leaders of Cambodia, Lao PDR, Myanmar, Thailand, and Viet Nam adopted the Phnom Penh declaration at the 9th Ayeyawady-Chao Phraya-Mekong Economic Cooperation Strategy (ACMECS) Summit held on 9 December. The declaration emphasizes post-pandemic socio-economic recovery and preparation for future crises and challenges through public health cooperation and enhanced supply chains. ACMECS leaders stressed the importance of vaccine multilateralism to ensure equitable and safe access to coronavirus disease (COVID-19) vaccines. 

GMS in the News

ADB is helping Lao PDR reduce economic losses resulting from floods and droughts. The project will pair upgrades in water management infrastructure with community-based disaster risk management and enhanced regional forecasting to improve disaster preparedness in the GMS. Photo by ADB. 

New Irrigation Systems and Information are Helping Revive Livelihoods in Lao PDR

Orlathai Ferchanthala dreams of turning her family’s subsistence farm into a commercial business growing rice and a range of cash crops, raising livestock, and outfitted with a modern irrigation system.

“The soil here is suitable for growing various crops, and the grass is perfect for raising cattle,” said Ferchanthala, a 35-year-old mother of three living in a rural community in southern Vientiane. “We need irrigation schemes to bring water into our farming areas in the dry season and proper dikes to protect us from floods in the rainy season.”

Projects

Asian Development Fund grant financing for a project in Lao PDR helped scale up efforts to improve food safety and ensure plant and animal health by improving sanitary and phytosanitary capacity in the country. Photo by Asian Development Bank. 

Together We Deliver Highlights Lives Improved through Asian Development Fund Grants 

Together We Deliver: Grants for a Brighter Future is a special edition of the Asian Development Bank’s (ADB) annual publication featuring stories of lives uplifted across Asia and the Pacific through grant financing by the Asian Development Fund (ADF). The ADF provides grants to support activities that reduce poverty and improve the quality of life in “ADF countries”—the poorest and most vulnerable countries in the region.

Publications

The development of night markets in three towns along the Mekong River aims to help revitalize the Greater Mekong Subregion and reduce poverty. Photo credit: Javier Coloma Brotons.

Increasing Economic Activities through Night Markets

A pilot project has developed night markets in selected border towns in the Greater Mekong Subregion (GMS) to take advantage of the economic opportunities opened by infrastructure projects in the area.

Articles