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

  • Phnom Penh placed in two-week lockdown

    The government has decided to place Phnom Penh in lockdown for two weeks, effective April 14 midnight through April 28, as Cambodia continues to grapple with the ongoing community outbreak of Covid-19, which has seen no sign of subsiding. According to a directive signed by Prime Minister

  • Cambodia on the verge of national tragedy, WHO warns

    The World Health Organisation (WHO) in Cambodia warned that the country had reached another critical point amid a sudden, huge surge in community transmission cases and deaths. “We stand on the brink of a national tragedy because of Covid-19. Despite our best efforts, we are

  • Hun Sen: Stay where you are, or else

    Prime Minister Hun Sen warned that the two-week lockdown of Phnom Penh and adjacent Kandal provincial town Takmao could be extended if people are not cooperative by staying home. “Now let me make this clear: stay in your home, village, and district and remain where

  • Businesses in capital told to get travel permit amid lockdown through One Window Service

    The Phnom Penh Municipal Administration has issued guidelines on how to get travel permission for priority groups during the lockdown of Phnom Penh, directing private institutions to apply through the municipality's One Window Service and limit their staff to a mere two per cent. In

  • Ministry names types of business permitted amid lockdown

    The Ministry of Labour and Vocational Training singled out 11 types of business that are permitted to operate during the lockdown of Phnom Penh and Takmao town, which run through April 28. Those include (1) food-processing enterprises and slaughterhouses; (2) providers of public services such as firefighting, utility and

  • Culture ministry: Take Tuol Sleng photos down, or else

    The Ministry of Culture and Fine Arts has told Irish photographer Matt Loughrey to take down the photos of Khmer Rouge victims at Tuol Sleng Genocidal Museum which he allegedly colourised and altered to show them smiling. The ministry said Loughrey's work is unacceptable, affecting