VIENTIANE, Feb. 27 (Xinhua) -- Bananas resume a top earner among all agricultural products, earning revenue for local development in Laos.
The export value of bananas to neighboring countries, mainly China and Thailand, increased to about 198 million U.S. dollars in 2019, which is higher than in previous years, according to the Lao Ministry of Industry and Commerce.
In 2017, Laos earned 167.9 million U.S. dollars from banana exports which dipped to 112 million U.S. dollars in 2018, ranking fourth in terms of revenue among all agricultural exports after wood pulp and waste paper, buffalo and cattle, and rubber goods, local daily Vientiane Times reported on Thursday.
Other major agricultural export earners include cassava, raw coffee, rubber, maize and rice.
The export value of bananas increased as various plantations operating under the contract farming system became ready for harvesting.
During 2016-17, a total of 117 companies invested in banana plantations covering 26,177 hectares across Laos, although this subsequently dropped to 90 companies and 20,408 hectares.
The agriculture strategy until 2025 says that bananas are a top agricultural export earner, which can create job opportunities and generate income for local people for rising above poverty, the report said.