The government of Laos has approved a Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry plan to plant rubber trees on 300 thousand-hectares of land in nine provinces, said a recent report by the Ministry. The defined provinces include Bokeo, Luangnamtha, Oudomsay, Bolikhamsay, Khammouane, Savannakhet, Saravan, Champassak and Attapue.
the Ministry has already granted concession to a Vietnamese private company to
plant rubber trees on 120 thousand hectares of land in three provinces of southern
Laos - Saravan, Champasak and Attapue.
Nevertheless, the Vietnamese firm has plans to build a factory to process rubber production for exports within the year 2010 in Attapue. This plan is under the Lao government's project to promote Laos to become a leader of rubber exporters in the world market within the year 2020.
However, the concessions of land to foreign investors have become big problems in Laos because many parts of the lands under concession overlap lands belonged to the people and national conservation forests. This issue was one of the big topics of discussion in the recently-ended session of the Lao National Assembly.
Songrit reported in Lao from Bangkok and summarized in English.