The government will ensure food security and sustainability in the Kingdom as it tackles the spread of Covid-19, Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries spokesman Srey Vuthy said on Wednesday.
He told The Post that the ministry had been preparing to stock around 130 tonnes of pork per day for the next three months.
“The government will sit down with importers and discuss buying pork for stock, granting them concessions to do so.
“The ministry will provide raisers with animals – particularly poultry which generate a quick return of profit – and feed to further expand their production capacities,” said Vuthy.
At the same time, Cambodia can supply 716,113 tonnes of vegetables per year, accounting for 68 per cent of total demand, he said. The remaining 32 per cent must be imported from neighbouring countries.
“The government has issued a number of measures to maintain food security during the coronavirus pandemic.
“These include locating potential sites to grow vegetables and enough water sources to carry out production throughout the year, as well as selecting potential communities with sufficient capacity to produce vegetables at a large-scale,” said Vuthy.
He said the ministry will provide farmers – especially poor ones – the necessary seeds, vegetables, equipment and modern technology and agricultural practices to increase the production of safe vegetables.
It will work on a farming calendar to best meet the market’s demand for vegetable farmers, he said.
On April 5, the Ministry of Economy and Finance set up an ad hoc working group to manage supply and strategic commodities prices during the fight against the Covid-19 disease.
The working group comprises officials from the ministries of Economy and Finance; Commerce; Industry, Science, Technology and Innovation; and Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries.
Cambodia Rice Federation vice-president Chan Sokheang said all members have stocked enough paddy and milled rice to maintain food security and sustainability amid the health crisis.
“We have enough rice prepared for the Covid-19 pandemic and have noted that there have been no significant changes in rice prices on the domestic market recently,” said Sokheang.
Vuthy said annual local demand for meat is 290,000 tonnes – 82,000 tonnes of beef, 153,000 tonnes of pork, 54,000 tonnes of poultry and 165 tonnes of other meat.
The Kingdom is able to produce around 239,000 tonnes of meat, or 82 per cent of demand.