Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Grow Asia to focus on value chain projects

Grow Asia to focus on value chain projects

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
A person waters a vegetable crop at a farm in Phnom Penh's Chroy Changvar district. Pha Lina

Grow Asia to focus on value chain projects

Cambodia's agricultural sector must improve post-harvest processing to increase the value of its products, while increased knowledge sharing could help farmers better understand the different value chains and identify opportunities, agricultural experts participating in the Grow Asia Forum said yesterday.

Panellists at the event, hosted by Grow Asia and held on the sidelines of the World Economic Forum (WEF) in Phnom Penh, also said improving farmers’ access to better seeds and inputs, as well as training, would help them to be more productive.

Grow Asia, a WEF initiative that facilitates multi-stakeholder collaboration for the benefit of smallholder farmers in five Asean countries, aims to reach 10 million smallholder farmers and enable them to increase their yield and profits by 20 percent by 2020, while at the same time reducing greenhouse gas emissions and water usage.

Its Cambodia Partnership for Sustainable Agriculture (CPSA), a collaborative effort with the Ministry of Agriculture launched in May 2016, has used the past year to consult with stakeholders, align priorities and establish value chain projects that will address the urgent needs of smallholder farmers.

To date, the CPSA and its 57 partners in government, civil society and the private sector have developed projects across six priority crops: rice, sugar, pepper, cassava, coconut and vegetables.“These projects aim to tackle the challenges through capacity building, knowledge transfer and market creation,” according to Grahame Dixie, executive director of Grow Asia.

He said such efforts require a multi-stakeholder collaborative approach, and CPSA provides a suitable platform to facilitate it and engender meaningful and effective partnerships.According to Dixie, Grow Asia plans to focus over the next year on implementing value chain projects and exploring opportunities to scale up.

Agriculture accounts for about a third of Cambodia’s GDP and provides employment for more than half of the country’s workforce.

Addressing the forum, Agriculture Minister Veng Sokhon said Cambodia has the potential to increase agricultural production, but the sector still faces many challenges. Among these are low productivity, lack of irrigation systems, high infrastructure costs, limited agricultural technologies and techniques, and poor access to finance by farmers.

“On the path to agricultural development we are still meeting some challenges,” he said. “The main issue is the cost and market [access] for farmers. However, our government is taking measures to solve these challenges step by step.”

Sokhon said the government was working to reduce the high costs of production, electricity and transport. He added that the government has a plan to develop a new deepsea port for agricultural products, and will inaugurate the Sesan dam next February, which will lower the cost of electricity.

MOST VIEWED

  • Angkor lifetime pass, special Siem Reap travel offers planned

    The Ministry of Tourism plans to introduce a convenient, single lifetime pass for foreign travellers to visit Angkor Archaeological Park and potentially other areas. The move is designed to stimulate tourism to the culturally rich province of Siem Reap as the start of the “Visit

  • Ice cream, noodles flagged over carcinogen

    The General Department of Customs and Excise of Cambodia (GDCE) has identified three types of instant noodles and ice cream trademarks originating from Thailand, Vietnam and France that are suspected to contain ethylene oxide, which poses a cancer risk to consumers. The general department has

  • Exclusive interview with Josep Borrell Fontelles, High Representative of the EU

    CAMBODIA is hosting the 55th ASEAN Foreign Ministers’ Meeting (AMM) and Related Meetings this week with top officials from the US, China, and Russia and other countries in the region slated to attend and to meet with face-to-face with their counterparts on the sidelines. In

  • Rise in Thai air routes to Siem Reap fuels travel hopes

    Local tourism industry players are eager for regional airline Bangkok Airways Pcl’s resumption of direct flight services between the Thai capital and Siem Reap town on August 1 – home of Cambodia’s awe-inspiring Angkor Archaeological Park – which is expected to boost the growth rate of

  • ASEAN Foreign Ministers’ meet commences, Taiwan issue possibly on table

    The 55th ASEAN Foreign Ministers’ Meeting (AMM) and related meetings hosted by Cambodia kicks off in Phnom Penh on August 3, with progress, challenges, and the way forward for the ASEAN Community-building on the table. Issues on Taiwan, sparked by the visit of US House Speaker

  • Recap of this year’s ASEAN FM meet and look ahead

    This year’s edition of the ASEAN Foreign Ministers’ Meeting (AMM) hosted by Cambodia comes against the backdrop of heightened global tensions and increasing rivalry between major powers that have been compared to the animosity of the Cold War era. The following is The Post’