The French Agency for Development will provide $26 million in loans to the Cambodian government to rehabilitate irrigation systems across three provinces in the northwest.
Speaking at the signing ceremony for the deal yesterday, Aun Pornmoniroth, the Minister of Economy and Finance, said the new systems will help boost rice exports.
The loan will cover irrigation networks covering 11,000 hectares of land in Kampong Thom, Siem Reap and Banteay Meanchey provinces, and 5,000 hectares in Kandal.
Khem Sophannara, program advisor at agricultural nonprofit CEDAC, said farmers still depend mainly on rainfall for cultivation.
“The rehabilitation of the irrigation system will help increase farmers’ productivity,” he said.
He welcomed the news, but added that the loan should be used effectively: “We have seen more irrigation systems being built, but the main challenge is maintenance for long-term use.”