|General Population||455,500 (2011)|
|Total Area||16,875 km2|
|No of Farm Families||55,700 (2011)|
|No of Villages||781 (2011)|
|Major Ethnic Groups||Thai-Lao, Khamu, Hmong|
|Prioritry Districts||Phonexay, Pakseng, Viengkham|
Luang Prabang Province covers an area of 16,875 square kilometres and is the second largest province in the country. The province borders Phongsali Province to the north, Vietnam to the northeast, Houaphanh Province to the east, Xiangkhouang Province to the southeast, Vientiane Province to the south, Xaignabouli Province to the southwest, and Oudomoxai Province to the west. The provincial capital and old seat of the kingdom, Luang Prabang city, is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Despite economic growth mainly generated by the tourism sector, most of the population of Luang Prabang province still lives in poverty and engages in subsistence agriculture. In 2008 the agricultural sector contributed 45% to GDP, followed by 36% by the services sector and 19% by the manufacturing sector. In general, tourism sector development and growth have contributed to many different sectors, such as infrastructure improvement, as well as the handicraft and processing sectors.
In Luang Prabang the most prevalent temporary crop is rice, which is grown by 89% of all land holders (59,300 land holdings). Other crops include maize (29%) or sesame (18%), while cassava, sugar cane, groundnuts and tobacco are grown by less than 10% of all land holders. Only 31% of all land holders grow permanent crops. Forty-seven percent of all permanent crop farmers grow mangos and less than 30% grow bananas, tamarind and rubber. Only 15% of all farm households have credit, mostly from public banks and village development funds.
• Poor families: 18% (13,237) in 2011 to 13% (9,543) in 2012
• Poor villages: 33% in 2011 to 28% in 2012
• Poor districts: 4 out of 12 in 2012
Target districts` specifics:
It is classified as a poor district in 2012. The amount of poor villages has stayed the same in 2011 and 2012 with 62%.
It is classified as a poor district in 2012. The amount of poor villages has stayed the same with 52%. This district will most likely graduate soon from its “poor district” status.
It is classified as a poor district in 2012. The amount of poor villages has slightly increased from 59% to 60% from 2011 to 2012.
• Primary school in village: 64%
• Year round motorable road from village to district capital: 52%
• Credit facilities in village: 49%
• Improved living standards in village: 83%
• Within the province migration flows towards rubber areas and domestic migration to Vientiane and Savanaketh to work in textiles, construction and farming
• (Illegal) migration to Thailand due to recent increase in daily minimum wage to 300 Baht
• 890 domestic small-scale investments (mostly into tourism sector) with a total value of 123 billion Kip in 2012
• 10 foreign investments in 2012, most from China into tourism sector followed by wildlife trade with a total value of 3.5 million US$ and 2 billion Kip
• Most concessions in mining area (56 with total area of 48,000 ha); followed by 21concessions in services and 19 in the trade sector; agricultural concessions cover a total area of 9,200 ha
• Tourism and Handicraft: main income source for the whole province, contributing to all different sectors
• Mining and Energy: 1 hydropower dam operating: Nam Dong (1 MW); several 120, 180 and 240 MW dams under construction; 56 concessions for mining sites
• Rubber: 9,200 ha of agricultural concessions
• Production of tea has increased recently, but not many buyers or markets as no Chinese traders; bad picking and processing quality is a challenge
• Livestock is more popular than cash crops in remote areas as prices are more stable and higher
• Bamboo is at a very early stage of commercialisation but secondary income potential for local population
• Total imports in 2010/11 had a value of 22 billion Kip and were mostly construction materials (from China) and electric appliances, utilities, agricultural inputs (from Thailand)
• Major exports in 2010/11 were agricultural products (rubber) with a value of 113 billion Kip and wooden products and NTFPs and had a total value of 140 billion Kip; major receivers are China (75 billion Kip), Thailand (38 billion Kip), Vietnam (18 billion Kip)
The tourism sector is regarded as one of the main opportunities in Luang Prabang Province, not only by generating income but also by building capacity in all related areas and supporting handicrafts in the whole region. According to authorities from the Province Department of Industry and Commerce, tourism also encourages other sectors to contribute, for example food processing, transportation, etc. Additionally, the mining, hydropower and agriculture (especially rubber) sectors enhance economic growth in the whole province. The local population in remote areas might be able to benefit the most from small-scale investments into the livestock sector and bamboo or tea production. However, for the latter the supply chains and receiving markets have to be improved in order to increase the potential price for the producer.
In spite of the past efforts and remarkable achievements one of the priorities for the remote areas of Luang Prabang province still is the creation of road infrastructure next to other basic village infrastructure needed. NUDP has so far supported a number of construction activities (e.g. feeder roads, gravity fed water supply systems, irrigation sites) and has, based on its programme approach, initiated cooperation with other stakeholders in the province supporting village infrastructure development.
Concerning investments in agriculture it is widely recognized that farmers are more likely to invest if they have secure access to land. Investments therefore are linked to rights to the land, clear demarcations of village limits and mutually agreed agro-ecological zones. NUDP therefore supports Participatory Land Use Planning and Land Registration (PLUP/LR) in all target villages. Delineation of livestock grazing areas during the PLUP process combined with training for village veterinary workers is just one example in response to the importance of livestock in Luang Prabang province and the other NUDP supported provinces.
Rice is the single most important crop and improving the yields is top priority for all farming families. NUDP therefore supports the District Agriculture and Forestry offices in providing farmer training in the use of the System of Rice Intensification (SRI) including effective triage of rice seed, transplantation and the production of organic fertilizer.
The natural environment is the basis for villager’s livelihoods and the NUDP responds by providing extensive support for conservation activities, sustainable forest management. Hereby a major focus lays on the importance of Non Timber Forest products (NTFP) for the local economy and as a major source of ingredients for the local cuisine and essential part of villagers nutrition.
Linking production to credit, processing and markets more effectively is the core activity for the NUDP in all provinces. One way to achieve this ambitious task is by providing support towards the organization of farmers and the linkage of farmer groups to markets following the value chain approach. Further the NUDP aims at strengthening the existing capacities of local institutions in the the provision of efficient and effective services to rural communities and supports both communities and the districts in development planning and coordination.