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FAO helps Lao farmers increase cattle exports to China

The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) has partnered with the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry (MAF) to facilitate safer cattle trade between the Lao PDR and China with a key objective of increasing cattle exports to China.

Through the FAO-China South-South Cooperation Project on Transboundary Animal Disease Control in the Greater Mekong Sub-Region (the project), FAO’s Emergency Centre for Transboundary Animal Diseases (ECTAD) has provided the Department of Livestock and Fisheries (DLF) with disinfectant, disinfectant sprayers and vaccines for Foot-and-mouth disease (FMD) and Goat Pox for cattle, at the handover ceremony taking place on April 20, 2023 at DLF’s Office. This initiative was funded by the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs of China (MARA).

Dr. Souphavanh Keovilay, DLF’s Deputy Director General, acknowledged the contribution made by the project during the past few months of 2023. Technical experts from FAO ECTAD and MARA’s Centre of International Cooperation Service (CICOS) provided technical know-how and training courses on animal quarantine management to Lao animal quarantine and health officers, farmers, livestock traders, and village veterinary workers in Sing district, Luang Namtha Province, a border area between the Lao PDR and China.

The training focused on quarantine and health requirements for cattle exports issued by the General Administration of Customs of China (GACC) and MAF in 2019 and later revised in 2022. The knowledge gained from this training helps minimize the risk of transmissions of Foot-and-Mouth Disease (FMD) and Lumpy Skin Disease (LSD) along the value chain.

“At least 40,000 cattle will be protected against the threatening livestock diseases, through the current FMD and LSD vaccination campaigns conducted by FAO, MARA and DLF in all five districts of Luang Namtha Province. This vaccination practice will provide assurance to Chinese authorities that FMD and LSD should not constrain exports,” said by Mr. Chanthalath Pongmala, Assistant FAO Representative to the Lao PDR. He also highlighted the economic benefits of the vaccination campaigns for all those involved in quality cattle export to China, while emphasizing the importance of controlling transboundary animal diseases to improve the livelihoods of agricultural communities.

The handover of the disinfectant equipment and vaccines, worth more than USD138,000, included 500 kg of disinfectant powder, 3 trolley disinfectant sprayers, 100 electric backpack sprayers, and 75,000 doses of FMD vaccine and Goat pox vaccines. The materials will be distributed to all 18 provinces across the Lao PDR to help farmers protect their livestock against animal disease threats and improve their livelihoods.

Source: Lao News Agency