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Co-op law will bolster agriculture sector: PM

Co-op law will bolster agriculture sector: PM

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A farmer walks through a paddy rice field in Kong Pisei district, Kampong Speu province. Photograph: Heng Chivoan/Phnom Penh Post

WITH the passing of a law on farmers’ co-operatives, the government hopes to streng-then the country’s growing agricultural sector, Prime Minister Hun Sen said in a speech at the National Institute of Education yesterday.

“In time, I believe that economic growth will be tremendous in rural areas,” the Prime Minister said.  

He said the government’s approval last Friday of a law supporting agricultural co-operatives would enhance growth in farming, as farmers – who traditionally have remained independent of one another – will now have the power to negotiate collectively.

He said the law would allow farmers to work together through agricultural co-operatives and to set up factories for processing their collective yields.

“It will generate opportunity, strength, competitiveness and unity. The market power of our farmers is stronger when they are connected together,” he said.  

Yang Saing Koma, president of the Cambodian Centre for Study and Development in Agriculture (CEDAC), said the law would also grant farmers increased leverage to negotiate for capital.

“This law will . . . make it easier for them to communicate with business partners and banks to get financial credit,” he said.

“It is good, and it is better if the government helps to strengthen their capacity in the market.”

The Post reported earlier this month that a co-operative of longan farmers in Pailin had plans to build a processing factory to increase output and take advantage of rising demand. Four hundred members have joined the co-operative since it was founded last year.

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