VIENTIANE, March 4 (Xinhua) -- Livestock export from Laos to Vietnam, especially buffaloes and cattle, increased almost three times in 2019 compared to the figure for 2018, according to Lao Ministry of Industry and Commerce.
In 2018, Laos earned almost 80 million U.S. dollars from the export of buffalo and cattle, and this increased to 220 million U.S. dollars in 2019, local daily Vientiane Times reported on Wednesday.
Livestock is among Laos' top two export products to Vietnam. Each year, Vietnam requires 300,000 to 400,000 buffaloes and cattles from overseas to supply its domestic market.
Most animal exports from Laos to Vietnam are return exports, meaning that the governments of the two countries have cooperated to support cattle breeding in Laos through both sides' private sectors, for sale to Vietnam.
To increase the export of livestock, Prime Minister Thongloun Sisoulith advised the National Institute for Economic Research to focus on livestock farming to increase the number of animals raised.
He also recommended that the rearing of goats, sheep and other animals should be studied, saying fact-based knowledge will help develop the Lao economy in line with government guidelines.
Lao government will help the institute by finding more experienced researchers to carry out studies, and will consider establishing a science council unit that would consist of retired and experienced specialists.
Laos has suitable land and other natural resources to breed cattle for commercial purposes, but lacks financial support and expertize, said the report.
In addition, livestock breeding for commercial purposes requires a modern farming system to meet the growing demand for domestic consumption and export.
Laos currently has 326 cattle and nine buffalo farms, 370 cattle breeding groups and 75 buffalo groups, 217 households that raise cattle and 105 households that raise buffalo, according to the report.