Laos is currently enduring the lean season. Some 40,000 people affected by tropical storms Haima and Nockten in four districts of Khanmouaue province will receive assistance until mid-October, when they will be able to rely on this year’s harvest. These vulnerable communities have poor access to irrigated land, wage labor and markets were particularly affected.
According to the Lao Statistics Bureau, the price of rice has been consistently decreasing over the past year (-2.3 per cent), as the government limits rice exports in the aftermath of tropical storms Haima and Nockten. However, the prices of meat (beef, buffalo meat, and pork), fruits and vegetable are increasing. The inflation for the food component of the CPI stands at 3.6 per cent.
2011 was a rice surplus year, with rice per capita availability 490kg person, well exceeding estimated per capita needs of 350 kg. Conditions for the 2012 crop are favorable, with planting and transplanting occurring timely. However rice production may slightly decrease due to low prices.
According to the Mekong River Commission, the rise in the Mekong River in July was typical. Two localized episodes of flash flooding occurred in Nan district of the Laugprabang province. As the rainy season draws to a close, and with no large tropical storms projected, it is expected that shocks will not threaten household food security.