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This study analysed the pattern of rice marketing and cross-border trade in Savannakhet Province. This province has the largest output of rice in Laos and is an important conduit for trade with Thailand and Vietnam. The survey interviewed actors along the rice value chain, including producers in Champhone District, traders, millers, exporters, and officials. Most rice farmers were market-oriented, regularly producing a surplus for the market. They used improved varieties and fertilizers and sold a substantial part of both their wet- and dry-season crops. Champhone District had already been opened to the regional market and reasonably efficient trading networks were in place. However, there were several constraints to the marketing and export of rice. Farmers often delivered rice of mixed grades and high moisture content. The rice mills in Savannakhet had poor processing equipment, making it difficult to meet international quality standards. The export ban in 2010–2011 caused a sudden drop in prices and created market uncertainty. These constraints could be alleviated through government policies to promote suitable varieties to ensure a homogeneous rice grade for export; enhance storage and drying to improve the rice moisture content; improve the processing infrastructure for sorting, milling, and polishing; and creating a more stable policy environment for the export sector.
The exceptions were gold and copper exports from Savannakhet, and vehicles, spare parts, petroleum, gas, diamonds, and other controlled goods that still required import licences from the Ministry of Commerce.
- Rice Marketing and Cross-Border Trade in Savannakhet
- Springer Singapore
- Chapter 9