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New inspectors pose together after receiving agricultural inspection cards.

New inspectors in Lao provinces trained in Good Agricultural Practices

Twenty-one new inspectors in five provinces of Laos have recently received registration cards for Good Agricultural Practices (GAP) from the Department of Agriculture, Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry.

Director General of the Department of Agriculture, Mr Bounchanh Kombounyasith, gives a GAP certification card to a new inspector.

The event, held in Vientiane last week, was attended by key officials including the Director General of the Department of Agriculture, Mr Bounchanh Kombounyasith, US Ambassador to Laos, Heather Variava, the Project Director of the CLEAN Project, Mr Alex Dahan, and the newly trained inspectors.
Mr Dahan expressed his satisfaction with the achievement, acknowledging the months of theoretical and on-the-job training undertaken nationwide with support from the USDA-funded CLEAN Project implemented by Winrock International.
Over the past five years, the CLEAN Project has been dedicated to promoting sustainable agriculture across the entire agriculture sector in Laos through collaborations with agricultural departments and providing farmers with training, grants, and business opportunities.
The project has supported cabbage farmers in obtaining GAP certification with assistance from the Standard and Certification Division and has participated in international events such as Thaifex in Bangkok and trade meetings in Cambodia. The aim is to position Laos as a safe producer of fresh produce for local and export markets.
Over the last few years, CLEAN Project supported cabbage farmers (5 groups) to obtain GAP certification with the support of the Standard and Certification Division, which doesn’t go without challenges, and held the first Cabbage Festival in Vangvieng.
With the graduation of these new inspectors at the provincial level, the certification process is expected to be decentralised, leading to faster GAP certification.
U.S. Ambassador to Laos, Heather Variava, said the goal of promoting sustainable and clean agriculture in Laos aims for 2 percent of Lao agriculture to be organic by 2025 and 3 percent of produce to be GAP-certified.
The United States remains committed to supporting the people and government of Laos in their efforts to develop agriculture and improve the livelihoods of the population.
Director General, Bounchanh Kombounyasith, highlighted the significance of GAP standards for the export of agricultural produce to countries in the European Union, the United States, Thailand, Australia, Vietnam, and China.
The plan includes training more skilled inspectors by 2025 to enable provincial and district levels to take responsibility for certification processes independently.

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 (Latest Update April 3, 2024)

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