The aim of this study was to validate and further detail the design of a new project under the Trade Capacity Building Programme, supporting the coffee sector in Laos in which AFD has been involved in since 1997. Agricultural and forestry sector is the economic, social and cultural base of more than 65% of Lao PDR’s population and still represents around 30% of its GDP. Coffee is the first agricultural commodity exported by Lao PDR in value, and 75% of the coffee is produced by smallholders.
The Government of Lao PDR through its Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry and the Agence Française de Développement (AFD) have decided to launch the feasibility of a new project aiming at strengthening the whole Lao coffee sector’s commercial, organizational and institutional capacities. This project covered both the historical coffee production area of Bolaven Plateau and the emerging zone of the mountainous northern Lao PDR. The program dedicates its funding’s to capacity building actions (technical assistance, coaching and training, exchange of experience and good practices, studies, etc). Its approach is meant to be structuring: the PRCC has a qualitative vocation of increasing added-value. The Project consists in three components:
- Strengthen Lao coffee sector development through support to Lao Coffee Board
- Support to the Coffee Producer Cooperative (CPC)
- The major themes of intervention are as follow:
- The quality approach, which includes certifications, up to norms and standards, geographical indications;
- The development of collective structures (support to intermediary organizations, assembling clusters of companies, partnerships);
- Trade facilitation (supporting the development of exchange infrastructures (ports, etc), services (tourism, etc.).