Development


Laos’ traditional medicine gaining popularity with Chinese

Date 10 March 2018
Caption: Herbal medicine products from the Viengthong Trading Company on display at a Lao product festival in Vientiane.
Khamvilaythong to succeed in improving her herbal medicines. Head of the Handicraft Processing Division of Viengthong Trading Company, Ms Khanthong says that today more than 200 kinds of herbal medicines under the Kating Thong Herbal Medicine brand are on sale at their outlet in Saphanthong-tai village, Sisattanak district. Many of these products have received a One District, One Product (ODOP) certificate from the Ministry of Industry and Commerce, some of which are on display in her showroom. This is one of many ways to increase sale opportunities for local producers. It’s also a good opportunity for a new producer who is looking to break into the market and boost distribution. The products being sold at the company include coconut oil, Phyllanthus emblica tea, morinda juice, black sesame juice, bergamot shampoo, honey and other plant-based products. All of her production processes comply with guidelines set by the Ministry of Industry and Commerce and Ministry of Health. Ms Khanthong has now submitted a proposal for certification of 13 herbal products under the ODOP scheme and expects to get approval soon. Before starting the business, Ms Khanthong ran an export business in 2000, selling goods to China, Thailand and Vietnam. After working as an exporter for six years, she saw that demand was decreasing. So she looked elsewhere and decided to turn to traditional medicine in 2007-2008. This shift happened by chance. At the time she suffered from gastrointestinal problems and treated the condition with traditional medicine. This was her starting point for developing traditional medicines for sale. At first, there were not many customers and most of them were elderly. In 2010, she saw her customer base increase thanks to word-of-mouth promotion. Today, Ms Khanthong says the company will step up production depending on customer demand. To increase its export base, the company attends trade expos to raise awareness of the products. The company has already attended trade expos in Cambodia, China, Thailand and Vietnam. These events are very important because they allow new customers to access the company’s products and it has proven to be a good marketing strategy. “We have already had good results from these expos. Today we have some regular Chinese customers who buy our products in Vientiane and sell them in their own country,” said Ms Khanthong. To boost income, the company also sells wooden carvings, textiles, and silk items. Some are made by local producers who put them on display in the company’s showroom. Ms Khanthong thanked the Ministry of Industry and Commerce for allowing the company to become a place for the display of ODOP products from across the country. Today, the company has branches in Huaphan, Savannakhet, Khammuan and Champassak provinces.
By Times Reporters

Rice farmer switches to chickens to boost income

Date 10 March 2018
Running a chicken farm brings in a good income for a family because both chickens and eggs are easy to sell due to their cheap price and are always in demand by local vendors and markets. Mr Bounluan Inthavong, 67, owns a chicken farm in Nanart village, Naxaithong district, Vientiane, where he has raised chickens and fish since 2015. Mr Bounluan also grows rice on 3-4 hectares but the fields were often flooded so he decided to build a chicken farm and fish ponds on the land instead. This proved to be a wise and profitable decision. He created three fish ponds which contain 30,000 tilapia and other fish, and built two chicken houses in which he keeps 3,000 chickens valued at about 300 million kip. He bought the birds for 26,000 kip (100 baht) each from the Charoen Pokphand Group of Thailand in Laos, and they lay eggs for about 18 months. If chickens don’t produce eggs, he sells them to vendors for 20,000 kip each. So far, he has raised 3,000 chickens which lay 2,100 eggs a day. He sells them to local vendors who come to his farm to buy eggs every day. They sell for 20,000 kip per tray of 30 eggs, bringing in 1.4 million kip a day. Each day Mr Bounluan earns 400,000 kip, which amounts to more than 10 million kip a month. He says it has taken him only three years to recoup the money he spent to build the chicken farm and fish ponds. In the future, he plans to join a livestock group in Naxaithong district. He is keen to do this because the group uses a system that cleans chicken eggs and selects them. This will increase the value of his eggs as they will be clean and their quality and food safety can be assured. Livestock groups in Naxaithong district also help with the sale of eggs and feeding of chickens as well as helping to prevent disease among chicken flocks. Mr Bounluan is also planning to grow vegetables for market sale as he thinks this will be another success story because of the high market demand.
By Times Reporters