Improving Trade in Large Ruminants and Products by Transboundary Animal Disease Control in Lao PDR

J.R. Young ., S. Nampanya ., S. Khounsy ., R.D. Bush ., P.A Windsor .


Within the Greater Mekong Subregion (GMS) the nation of Lao PDR has a small population of ~6.3 million people and a relatively large population of large ruminants (cattle and buffalo) at ~2.7 million head. With the growing demand for red meat in South-East Asia driven by a rising middle class and the associated changes in dietary intake, Lao smallholder farmers have the opportunity to satisfy this demand provided key constraints are addressed. Recent research has highlighted a series of best practice interventions directed at the smallholder level to improve animal health and production. Animal movement and trade have been identified as a major risk factor involved in transboundary animal disease (TAD) transmission including foot and mouth disease. Hence, understanding the supply chain is important for effective TAD control. The results of a survey of 32 large ruminant traders in northern Laos in 2011 were matched to a longitudinal production survey from 6 villages in northern Laos to develop a value chain analysis. The 32 traders provided details on 8,796 large ruminant trades, operating locations, large ruminant purchase prices, transport methods, major costs, livestock destinations and trader views on major constraints to development of the large ruminant market. The 2011 farm gate value of the national large ruminant herd was estimated as USD 835.8 million based on trader purchase price and village herd production data. As improvement of large ruminant production has been linked to reducing regional rural poverty and food insecurity in smallholder communities through opportunities for business development and rural employment, addressing both TADs and the underdeveloped market in the GMS is important. Whilst control of TADs will need to remain a medium term priority, further research is needed to ensure that market development remains aligned with disease control efforts.


cattle, buffalo, FMD, livelihoods, rural poverty, and food security

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