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This report follows a qualitative and quantitative value chain approach combined with a detailed regulatory assessment. It is based on about 100 interviews with key experts and stakeholders. It studies the value chain for rice from Khammouane to Vientiane Capital and for vegetables from Vientiane Province to Vientiane Capital.1 The results are not country representative; they should be read as a snapshot of the selected value chains in selected areas in 2017. Yet this work is unique for Lao PDR, among the first to generate detailed estimates of cost build-up at each stage of the value chain using primary data and applying a consistent methodology. It is also unique in generating knowledge on the vegetables value chain, which is less studied than those of rice and other agricultural commodities in Lao PDR.

The study finds that Lao farmers receive a relatively high farm-gate price, yet high production costs “eat” their profits (rather than low farm-gate prices, as often perceived in the country). However, the share of farm-gate prices in wholesale and retail prices in Lao PDR is the lowest among its peers.

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