Million dollar orchard as Chinese firm makes fruit foray in Hinheup
Commercial fruit production capacity in Vientiane province for domestic markets and export is set to get a welcome boost with a Chinese trading company investing US$1 million in an orchard in Hinheup district.
A contract on the fruit tree plantation project was signed recently in the province between the provincial Planning and Investment Department and the company.
Mango, lychee and longan trees are to be planted on a total of 150 hectares of land in Khonekeo village, Hinheup district under the terms of the concession agreement.
Provincial authorities granted the company the land concession for 30 years and will return the land use rights to the province after concluding the project.
The contract also says the project will not negatively impact the environment and the company will use high technology in planting, harvesting and packaging in Laos before export abroad.
The project will not plant bananas nor use hazardous chemicals, according to a source from the company.
Planting is set to commence in the rainy season of 2018.
Mango trees will be planted on 75 hectares of land and other fruit trees on the remaining 75.
The company expects to harvest fruit within five years, exporting 70 percent of the yield to markets in China and the remaining 30 percent to supply domestic markets.
The project plans to encourage residents of Khonekeo village and other surrounding communities to contribute labour for mutual benefit in return for appropriate remuneration and technical support.
The company believes that this project will help to create jobs for local communities within the province and in the district in particular.
The project is one example of the several proposed by foreign investors who have expressed interest in orchards in Laos.
The country still has significant land, and the climate remains suitable for many species.
In Savannakhet province’s Nong district, a Vietnamese company has invested US$30 million to plant fruit trees for export.
Planting will begin this year after provincial authorities granted the company a concession over 150 hectares.
Initially, plans are to plant three kinds of fruit namely banana, dragon fruit and passion fruit from seeds and cuttings sourced from Taiwan, the company confirmed.