Infrastructure expansion helps to spur development in Xayaboury
Infrastructure improvement is playing an important role in raising living standards nationwide, and Hongsa district in Xayaboury province is one of many areas benefitting from such changes.
Slowly but surely the district is gaining in prosperity and moving closer to its development goals and poverty eradication.
Hongsa is located about 90km from Xayaboury provincial capital and is home to 28,721 people in 5,737 families, who live in 34 villages.
Convenient road access is helping to boost rural development and improve people's living standards.
Roads pass through four districts of the province. The Namngern international border crossing provides a link to Thailand and Road 2W links to the northern provinces. These roads are important in furthering socio-economic development.
In 2015-2016, the economy grew by an average of 12.3 percent per year. Total income reached more than 509 billion kip and average annual per capita income was mo re than 17 million kip, district Governor Mr Khamphet Phommalath said.
The agriculture and forestry sector grew by 5.4 percent, accounting for 33 percent of the district's total income.
Industry grew by 15.3 percent, accounting for 28 percent of total income, and the service sector grew by 16.7 percent to account for 38 percent of tota l income.
Mr Khamphet said investors had ploughed more than 190 billion kip into 30 development projects, equal to 43.84 percent of the amount targeted.
The state had invested more than 150 billion kip in 14 projects.
Grant aid and loans had financed nine projects at a cost of 3.08 billion kip, while Lao and foreign investors had spent more than 36 billion kip on eight projects.
The district harvested rice on 2,486 hectares yielding 9,321 tonnes, which averaged out at 325 kilogrammes for everyone in the community.
Cultivation of beans, onions, garlic, cucumber, watermelon and other crops took place on 962 hectares with a total yield of 3,990 tonnes.
Local farmers were being encouraged to grow more commercial crops such as sweetcorn, Job's tears and cardamom, which could be exported, with the last harvest earning more than 6 billion kip.
Meanwhile, encouraging animal husbandry is an important factor in providing meat for the local community.
Some 4,538 families have access to electricity which enables villagers to run a business.
Basic infrastructure is being improved, especially roads, which facilitates the transport of goods and the provision of services, overall helping to alleviate poverty. Road 4B is under construction.
Mr Khamphet said the focus now is building development villages, and enlarging villages so that they become small towns in remote areas.
There are now 26 so-called cultural villages which are home to 4,600 ‘development' families, while one village is officially designated as poor and 116 families are classified as poor.
There are 32 village development funds with 4,293 members and savings of more than 11 billion kip.
Another focus is carrying out an education development plan in order to eradicate illiteracy.
Mr Khamphet said they are aiming for economic growth of not less than 12 percent a year with total income in excess of 572 billion kip and average annual per capita income of at least 19 million kip.
Agriculture and forestry are set to grow by 5.3 percent, industry by 15.9 percent, and the service sector by 16.8 percent.
Rice will be grown on an area of 2,569 hectares with a targeted yield of 9,645 tonnes, meaning each person will receive 350 kilogrammes a year.
Officials also plan to help villagers grow crops for supply to local markets and limit the amount bought from other districts.
Road construction in particular is seen as key to boosting development so that villagers have access to a wider variety of facilities and services.
By Times Reporters
(Latest Update February 11, 2017 )