Income

These are the sources income for the villagers:  

US & Canadian currency as of 2021-02-24.  "K" = 1,000; "M" = 1,000,000 Lao currency is the kip. Animal prices vary with size.

 

Rice: 100K kip ($13.50 CAD, $10.70 USD) for 43kg or 53 kg (buyers pay by the bag – not the mass – so that villagers became “clever” and only use 43 kg bags).

 

Buffalo bulls: 4M to 15 M kip. ($540 CAD, 425 USD) to ($2,000 CAD  $1,600 USD). In Fall 2020 Bounchan bought 3 bulls for 19.3M ($2,060 USD, $2,600 CAD). After 3 years of fattening up he expects to sell them for just over 30M ($3,200 USD, $4,040 CAD  

Buffalo cows: 1M to 7M kip ($135 CAD, $107 USD) to ($945 CAD, $750 USD) Bounchan wants to invest in cows; 2 year-olds can be bought for 3.5M ($470 CAD,$375 USD). After 2 years they can be sold for about 8 to 10M  ($1,080 CAD, $855 USD) to ($1,350 CAD, $1,070 USD)  . However, he intends to keep them to produce calves.

Chickens: 30K to 100K kip ($4 CAD, $3.20 USD) to ($13.50 CAD, $10.70 USD). Note that a large chicken is equivalent to a bag of rice, and nowhere near as much effort to produce!!

 

Pigs: 2 months old 180K to 200K. ($24.25 CAD, $19.25 USD) to ($27 CAD, $21.40 USD). Older pigs sell for more.

 

Goats: 35K to 40K kip ($5.25 to $6) per kg, ($4.70 CAD, $3.75 USD) to (5.40 CAD, $4.30 USD). Selling a 25 kg goat would net 875K to 1M kip. (($118 CAD, $93.60 USD) to ($135 CAD, $107 USD). Based on the prolific breeding of his goats, 6 goats to 16 in 3 years, they represent a good source of revenue.  But they need to be kept away from the vegetable gardens.

Mushrooms: For the Chinese market: dried 400K kip/kg ($54 CAD, $42.80 USD). Can only be harvested in the jungle for 2 or 3 months during the rainy season. Leech & snake problem in the jungle.

Cardamom seeds: Gathered in the jungle during the rainy season; “easy to get and very profitable”. In 1 or 2 days it’s possible to earn 100K kip ($13.50 CAD, $10.70 USD).  Leech & snake problem.

Trees: There are no mature rosewood trees left; the last one was sold jointly by 7 families for 15 M kip ($2,023 CAD, $1,604 USD). In 2020 Bounchan planted 30 trees that were 20 cm tall (unknown variety, see photos below. Bounchan took the some off the web). Harvested after 8 years they are sold for 500 Thai Baht per kg ($20.80 CAD, $16.65 USD) to make jewellery and furniture. Because of the drought he had to water them every day, and is concerned that the soil is too poor.  

Field mice & squirrels: Mice: 3,000 to 5,000 kip depending on size; retail in the Luang Prabang morning market for 10,000 to 15,000 kip – grilled. Some mice are sold dried because they keep longer – no refrigerators. Squirrels: 10,000 to 15,000 kip; retail for 25,000 to 30,000 kip in the LP morning market..

Trapped by boys who sell to itinerant middle men. Older boys can earn 10,000 kip in an afternoon, though sometimes it takes all week. If they earn 5,000 kip they get to spend it on candy; 10,000 kip or more goes to the family.