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Cambodia hopes to boost 2010 crop yields

AUTHORITIES will spend US$21 million this year to boost rice crop yields in a move aimed at bolstering food security in the Kingdom, officials said.

The funds from the Ministry of Agriculture will go towards irrigation systems and developing drought- and flood-resistant hybrid rice seeds in an effort to boost production, Minister Chan Sarun said.

“We have prepared more than $21 million for new hybrid rice seeds that can endure drought and flood,” Chan Sarun said.

Officials are also aiming to expand cultivated land by 5 percent.

Cambodia’s rice production suffers from one of the lowest yields in the region, according to statistics compiled by the UN’s Food and Agriculture Organisation.

Ouk Saren, director of the Khmer Community for Agriculture Development, said farmers in lowland and coastal areas worry about unpredictable floods, while farmers in highland areas are more concerned with droughts.

“We need more modern techniques to help us resolve this problem,” he said.

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