Livestock Systems

Rapid transformation of the Lao beef sector: biosecurity, trade and smallholders

Cattle feeding on freshly cut forage in fattening pens in Kampong Cham province, Cambodia
Project code
AUD 250,000
Research program manager
Dr Anna Okello
Project leader
Dr Rodd Dyer
Commissioned organisation
FocusGroupGo Asia Pacific LTD
MAY 2023
JUN 2024
Project status
Legally committed/Active
Share this page


This project aims to identify the opportunities and research needed to increase the productivity, output, and integration of cattle and buffalo from smallholder and commercial livestock systems in Laos and Cambodia to rapidly developing formal export markets.

ACIAR has funded cattle research in Cambodia and Laos since the early 2000s. Despite this significant investment, the research outcomes have not been reflected in more significant development initiatives or government programs, which is a potential wasted opportunity for research impact. Furthermore, in the case of both countries, the Greater Mekong Subregion, beef sector and markets have changed dramatically in the last 5 years. These dramatic changes require an assessment of where existing research is relevant and what new research is needed.

The project will improve understanding about the rapidly evolving situation in northern Laos and regional beef markets, trade and investment, and the implications this has on smallholder farmers. The research activity will identify areas where previous ACIAR-supported research could be valuable and future research areas in broader livestock investments.

Expected outcomes

  1. Synthesizing key learnings, insights, and gaps from recent ACIAR cattle research in Cambodia, Laos, and surrounding Mekong countries.
  2. Identifying the challenges and opportunities for increasing smallholder competitiveness, production, and participation in more formal and commercially oriented cattle and buffalo value chains and markets.
  3. Identifying priority needs, opportunities, and approaches for future investment in beef cattle research, capability development and technical collaboration in Laos and Cambodia.
Key partners
FocusGroupGo Asia Pacific LTD
Griffith University