CURRENT SUPPLY CHAINS OF CABBAGE IN LAO PDR
Domestic and export supply chains for cabbages produced in Pakxong District, Champasak Province, the leading production area in Lao PDR, were mapped through on-site visits and key informant interviews. The domestic supply chain route from Pakxong to the capital city of Vientiane (750 km distance or 14 hours travel) involved farmers and collectors in Pakxong and wholesalers and retailers in Vientiane. Farmers transported unpacked cabbages to the collectors house using tractor-driven cart. Cabbages were then trimmed, packed in 20 kg plastic bags, and transported to Vientiane by public bus. The wholesalers brought the cabbages to Nongteng Vegetable Wholesale Market for disposal to retailers. On the other hand, the export supply chain route from Pakxong to Ubon Lathsathani Province, Thailand (about 190 km distance or 4 hours travel) involved farmers and collectors in Pakxong and Thai collectors who were also wholesalers and retailers. Untrimmed and unpacked cabbages were loaded to collectors trucks at six tons per load for transport to Songmaek Market, a border trading center at the Lao side of the Lao-Thai border. The Thai collectors bought the cabbages, which were then trimmed, packed in 10-kg plastic bags, and transported in 10-wheeler trucks or pick-up cars to their shops at Chaleansy Market in Ubon Lathsathani. Upon arrival, cabbages were re-trimmed before retail or re-packed in 7-kg plastic bags for disposal to other wholesalers and retailers in the market and other provinces. Asymmetry in product price along the chain was very pronounced; in the domestic supply chain, the collectors selling price to wholesalers was almost three times higher than farmgate price (0.08 USD/kg) due to the high transport cost while in the export supply chain, the Thai collectors selling price (0.32 USD/kg) was more than three-fold higher than the farmgate price (0.072 USD/kg) and collectors selling price (0.09 USD/kg) due to the added value of trimming, packing and transport. Product losses also contributed to price changes along the chain, except for losses incurred by farmers (30-34% in both chains). In the domestic supply chain, wholesalers incurred much higher loss (9.6%) than collectors (3%) and retailers (3-5%). In the export supply chain, Thai collectors had higher loss (14%) than the Lao collectors (8%). Major causes of loss in both chains were physical damage and bacterial soft rot, which could be effectively addressed through appropriate technical interventions.
Chanthasombath, T., Srilaong, V., Wasusri, T., Acedo Jr., A. and Kanlayanarat, S. (2012). CURRENT SUPPLY CHAINS OF CABBAGE IN LAO PDR. Acta Hortic. 943, 265-270
Brassica oleracea L. var. capitata, quality, postharvest handling, domestic, export supply chains