Chinese tea plantation – better life for Laos villagers

Vientiane – Tea plantation in Paksong district in Champasak province is good news for the local population, because it gives them the opportunity to live better than they have ever lived, writes the Xinhua agency in a report on tea production in Laos.

The plantation, which is owned by the Sino-Lao joint venture Lao Manor, is one of the largest tea companies in Laos.

“In recent years, local people have built many new houses selling us tea,” Hu Xiaofeng said. The factory not only processes tea from the 36 Manor tea plantation, but also encourages the residents of nearby villages to plant their own tea, which the factory buys.

“I can gain as much as 10 kg every day. I earn 10,000 kips (about $ 0.8) per kilogram,” said Joy Keoduangta. The 24-year-old has been working on the 36 Manor plantation for four years. She can earn more than 100,000 statues (about eight US dollars) a day from picking tea, which is approximately twice the amount earned in nearby factories.

On the Bolaven plateau in southern Laos, 484 kilometers south of the capital Vientiane, many tea trees in the garden are over 100, even 1,000 years old, and were transplanted there by Manor. The combination of tropical climate and loamy volcanic soil gives the tea a unique delicate taste.

“Pesticides and fertilizers have never been used here,” Sai Buapaivan told Xinhua. Saij is thrilled to work with organic products and has been in charge of the garden for four years.

“I used to work in a coffee garden and earn about 7 to 8 million statues (about 601 to 687 US dollars) a year. Now I earn more than 20 million statues (about 1,700 US dollars),” he said. “And the tea tastes very good,” he added.

Paksong County Governor Fiifon Fananouwong told Xinhua that the company has made a great contribution to the local community. The Laotian government has chosen 36 Manor tea from Paxong as a national gift to be shared with the world.

“The company not only makes Paxong tea famous, but promotes advanced planting, care and processing of tea, creating jobs for local people, improving their living standards and raising the quality and value of Paksong tea,” said Fimfon.

Bouniadet Tongsavan, director of the Champasak industry and trade sector, said 36 Manor had created many jobs and boosted regional GDP growth. “I hope that the company will continue to improve, plant more and create more jobs,” he said.

There are only 800 people in the village where the plantation is located, and before the opening of the garden, more than half of them lived in poverty. Kamcan Petbuacan has been the head of the village since 1999.

“After the arrival of the 36 Manor company, the villagers switched to planting tea and working on the tea plantation. So we are now quite well off,” he said. There are very few, four or five, poor households left.

Paksong 36 Manor tea won the first prize in the black tea category at the 2021 World Tea Championship in the United States.

By Editor

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