Khammouane promulgates ruling to administer farmland sustainably

The aerial view of paddy field in Khammouane province. Photo by Vientiane Times.

Article from Vientiane Times*

Khammuan authorities have issued a governor’s decision, which aims to ensure effective administration of agricultural land amid the growing threat of rapid development in the central province.

The National Gazette, a government website designed to disseminate active legal documents in Laos, this week uploaded the Khammouane Governor’s Decision on the Administration of Agricultural Land.

The ultimate goal of this legal document, which the provincial governor, Mr Oday Soudaphone endorsed on March 3, is to protect agricultural land in line with the government’s sustainable green growth policy.

This legal document also provides guidelines for the development of farmland as well as converting the land for other development purposes to ensure that authorities are in a position to manage land use effectively.

Central Khammuan province has enormous potential for agriculture development covering around 132,000 hectares, with 87,000 ha conserved for food production and 44,000 ha designated for agribusiness.  

According to the governor’s decision, converting farming land for other development purposes is discouraged, and landowners must seek permission from provincial authorities to do so. In addition, the redeploying of farmland for other uses must be in line with provincial environmental protection objectives and the socio-economic development plan, the governor’s ruling highlights.  

The provincial agriculture and forestry department is in charge of overseeing the development and conversion of farmland. The organisation is also responsible for drawing up agriculture land development and transformation plans for the provincial people’s council to consider and approve.

To transform farmland for other development purposes, landowners must pay fees and file a request to the provincial agriculture and forestry department to consider and approve, according to the governor’s decision.

To convert farmland for the construction of business and commercial facilities, landowners must pay authorities 2,000 kip per square metre and 200 kip m2 to transform properties to residential land.

This governor’s ruling also bans the general public, private and public enterprises from converting their agricultural land to residential, industrial and other development purposes without permission from the agriculture and forestry division.

Note: The decision Khammouane Governor’s Decision on the Administration of Agricultural Land was endorsed on March 3rd 2020 and was published on Lao Official Gazette on 4th May 2020. It can be found there:  

This Lao translation based on article originally posted at Vientiane Times on May 8th 2020: