During project preparation, an unprecedented inflow of foreign direct investment (FDI) in cross-border contract farming and large land concessions marked the agriculture and natural resources (ANR) sector of the Lao People’s Democratic Republic (PDR). Investors included businesses from the People’s Republic of China, India, Republic of Korea, Thailand, and Viet Nam.
In 2006, Sanmenxia municipality in the Henan province of the People’s Republic of China (PRC) witnessed its highest economic growth rate since 1997. Gross domestic product (GDP) rose by 16.5% over 2005. Per capita GDP exceeded both the provincial and national averages. A key factor was the high domestic and export demand for fruits and fruit products.
During project appraisal in 2008, Odisha (formerly Orissa), in northeastern India, was one of the poorest states in the country. Agriculture employed 60% of its available labor and generated one-third of its gross domestic product.
Agriculture has always been an important sector of India’s economy. In 2009, it contributed 16% of the country’s gross domestic product, and in 2010, employed 53% of its workforce. Over a decade before project appraisal in 2010, however, sector performance had been below government targets due to lack of infrastructure, weak backward-forward linkages, and inadequate production capital.
Shanxi province is situated in the middle reaches of the Yellow River and the eastern part of the Loess Plateau in northern People’s Republic of China (PRC). At project appraisal, it had only about 3.8 million hectares of dependable arable land, of modest quality and productivity, for its 23 million rural population.