Agriculture

Agriculture is the backbone of the Greater Mekong Subregion’s economies. With over 60% of the subregion’s 340 million inhabitants engaged in small-scale agriculture, it directly supports the livelihoods of nearly 200 million people.

The Working Group on Agriculture (WGA) has been working toward the implementation of priority projects under the Core Agriculture Support Program.


While agriculture is the cornerstone of many families’ livelihoods, it is also exacting a toll on the environment, contributing to forest and biodiversity loss, water pollution and shortages, soil degradation, and greenhouse gas emissions.

People and governments in the Greater Mekong Subregion are working to develop agricultural practices that simultaneously conserve land and water resources, while at the same time increasing the productivity and profitability of agriculture, particularly for small-scale farmers.

Countries are pooling resources and expertise to increase the competitiveness of their agricultural products and encourage investment in agribusiness, while at the same time conserving the environment and natural resources. This involves research and technology that emphasizes climate-friendly agricultural development, including participation by the private sector with a focus on food security. This work is being guided by the Core Agriculture Support Program Phase II (CASP II) 2011-2020, supported by the Government of Sweden (Sida), Nordic Development Fund, Water Financing Partnership Facility, and Asian Development Bank.

At the 2nd GMS Agriculture Ministers' Meeting in Siem Reap, Cambodia on 6-8 September 2017, the ministers endorsed a strategy to promote safe and environment-friendly agriculture products, and a plan to strengthen value chain integration, involving smallholder farmers, rural women, as well as small and medium-sized agro-enterprises.

Related

Strategy for Promoting Safe and Environment-Friendly Agro-Based Value Chains and Siem Reap Action Plan, 2018-2022
Core Agriculture Support Program Phase II (2011-2015)
Core Agriculture Support Program Phase I (2006-2010)
Working Group on Agriculture (WGA)

Focal Persons at the Asian Development Bank

  • Srinivasan Ancha
    Environment, Natural Resources and Agriculture Division,
    Southeast Asia Department
  • Pavit Ramachandran
    Environment, Natural Resources and Agriculture Division,
    East Asia Department

Other Concerned Staff & Consultants

  • Rhodora Concepcion
    Thailand Resident Mission,
    Southeast Asia Department
  • Flordeliza Melendez
    Regional Cooperation and Operations Coordination Division,
    Southeast Asia Department/GMS Secretariat

Send inquiries to GMS Secretariat.

ADB is helping Lao PDR reduce economic losses resulting from floods and droughts. The project will pair upgrades in water management infrastructure with community-based disaster risk management and enhanced regional forecasting to improve disaster preparedness in the GMS. Photo by ADB. 

New Irrigation Systems and Information are Helping Revive Livelihoods in Lao PDR

Orlathai Ferchanthala dreams of turning her family’s subsistence farm into a commercial business growing rice and a range of cash crops, raising livestock, and outfitted with a modern irrigation system.

“The soil here is suitable for growing various crops, and the grass is perfect for raising cattle,” said Ferchanthala, a 35-year-old mother of three living in a rural community in southern Vientiane. “We need irrigation schemes to bring water into our farming areas in the dry season and proper dikes to protect us from floods in the rainy season.”

Projects

Asian Development Fund grant financing for a project in Lao PDR helped scale up efforts to improve food safety and ensure plant and animal health by improving sanitary and phytosanitary capacity in the country. Photo by Asian Development Bank. 

Together We Deliver Highlights Lives Improved through Asian Development Fund Grants 

Together We Deliver: Grants for a Brighter Future is a special edition of the Asian Development Bank’s (ADB) annual publication featuring stories of lives uplifted across Asia and the Pacific through grant financing by the Asian Development Fund (ADF). The ADF provides grants to support activities that reduce poverty and improve the quality of life in “ADF countries”—the poorest and most vulnerable countries in the region.

Publications

The development of night markets in three towns along the Mekong River aims to help revitalize the Greater Mekong Subregion and reduce poverty. Photo credit: Javier Coloma Brotons.

Increasing Economic Activities through Night Markets

A pilot project has developed night markets in selected border towns in the Greater Mekong Subregion (GMS) to take advantage of the economic opportunities opened by infrastructure projects in the area.

Articles

Lao People’s Democratic Republic: Agriculture, Natural Resources, and Rural Development Sector Assessment, Strategy, and Road Map

This publication provides an assessment of the agriculture, natural resources, and rural development sector in the Lao People's Democratic Republic and explains the country's and the Asian Development Bank's strategic investment priorities.


Lao PDR Deputy Minister of Finance Ms. Thipphakone Chanthavongsa (right) and ADB Country Director for Lao PDR Mr. Yasushi Negishi (left) after signing the grant agreement on 6 September 2018 in Vientiane. Senior officials from line ministries witnessed the signing.  

ADB, Lao PDR Sign Agreement to Promote Sustainable, Climate-Smart Agribusiness

VIENTIANE, LAO PEOPLE’S DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC (7 September 2018) — The Asian Development Bank and the Government of the Lao People’s Democratic Republic signed an agreement for a $40.5 million grant for the Climate-Friendly Agribusiness Value Chains Sector Project that will help farmers and agribusinesses develop sustainable and climate-smart agriculture value chains in the country.

News Releases

Farmers dry cassava on an open field. The Climate-Friendly Agribusiness Value Chains Sector Project will improve the productivity, efficiency, and climate-resilience of agriculture value chains of farmers along the Greater Mekong Subregion economic corridors. Photo: ADB.

Investing in Climate-Smart Agriculture Value Chains in the Greater Mekong Subregion

The Climate-Friendly Agribusiness Value Chains Sector Project is helping transform transport corridors in the Greater Mekong Subregion into economic corridors by developing upstream and downstream linkages in agribusiness supply chains in a climate-friendly manner.

Articles