laosLao PDR is a landlocked Southeastern country. Its population is about 1.6 million (2012).  The name of its capital is Vientiane. The country is divided into 16 provinces (qwang), which are further divided into districts (muang) and then villages (baan). Tourism is a fast growing industry due to relaxed style of living. There is significant dependence on donors’ assistance for economic development. The infrastructure is inadequate. Power is partially available in rural areas. Brain drain is a serious problem. May to November is rainy season while the dry season lasts from December to April. The country is faced with environmental issues, in particular rapid deforestation. Agriculture sector contributes 51 percent to the GDP. About 80 percent of the population is involved in agriculture, and about 97 percent of the farmers are owners of their lands.

Under subsistence agriculture, about 80 percent of the arable area is used for growing sticky rice. Other farming activities include vegetable gardening, cash crops (mung-beans, soybeans, peanuts, tobacco, cotton, sugarcane, coffee and tea), rearing of animals (goats, chickens, ducks, turkeys, pigs, water buffaloes and cattle) and growing of mango, coconut, banana, jackfruit, tamarind trees, and some maize. Hunting and fishing are popular.



  • Authored by M. Kalim Qamar (June 2012)
  • Edited by Burton E. Swanson