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Thursday, May 3, 2012

Australia To Provide AUD1 Million to Agricultural Sector in Cambodia

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AKP Phnom Penh, May 02, 2012 –

Australia planned to provide AUD1 million in aid for the first agricultural census and agricultural sector in Cambodia, essential to reach a rice export promotion strategy designed to raise rice exports to at least1 million tons by 2015.

In her remarks delivered at the Cambodia Rice Research Forum held here on April 30, Australian Ambassador to Cambodia Ms. Penny Richards indicated that the census will help to give a data for the country’s agricultural sector in improving the policy and other programs being needed for meeting the Cambodian farmers’ requirements, as well as poverty reduction.

The project will show the national and international resources available to support the agricultural sector and the rural development in Cambodia, notably implementing the royal government’s rice export promotion goal as well, she said.

Cambodia’s Minister of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries H.E. Chan Sarun, who presided over the forum, expressed thanks to the Australian government and European scientists for assisting a process of the research and the development of the rice production in Cambodia in the past.

The royal government prioritized agricultural sector in all circumstances for a process of the country’s development, he said, adding that in 2011, the agricultural sector contributed more than 28.4 per cent of GDP and increased roughly 3.3 percent, including agricultural products (54 percent), production and veterinary (15 percent), fisheries (25 percent) and forestry (5 percent).

Cambodia’s economy depended on agriculture with about 80 percent of population making their lives on the field, he said.

To cope with such a situation, Cambodia was considered by the development partners and stakeholders as the one with a potential and top priority for rice production, aimed at contributing to strengthening the food security in the country and the world as well, he stressed.

The forum was organized by International Rice Research Institute (IRRI) and Cambodia’s Agriculture Ministry with the support of the Australian government.

The event also provided an opportunity for participants to exchange insights on attaining the country’s goal of exporting one million tons of milled rice by 2015.

By THOU Peou

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