Jyosna Puri, vice-president of the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), told Prime Minister Hun Sen that IFAD supports Cambodia and recognises the premier’s efforts to maintain peace, stability, and development, especially in the agriculture sector.
Puri met with Hun Sen on February 2.
“On behalf of IFAD, she [Jyosna Puri] thanked the government for increasing funding from $600K to $1 million across 2025-2028 and expressed her commitment to continuing to support the development of the Kingdom’s agriculture,” said Hun Sen’s personal assistant Eang Sophalleth.
According to Sophalleth, Puri also praised the government for its success in combating Covid-19, especially its vaccination programme, which prevented the spread of the disease.
“She also commended Hun Sen for leading Cambodia out of poverty though social protection and nutrition programmes, and policies to develop the rural agriculture sector. She was particularly supportive of the plan to place agriculture experts in each commune, and updated irrigation systems,” he said.
Hun Sen regarded IFAD as an excellent agriculture partner over the past 30 years, and one which shared the government’s vision.
“In this regard, we need to continue our partnership further,” Hun Sen said, as quoted by Sophalleth.
Hun Sen stressed that the government pays close attention to the agriculture sector and rural development, as it looks to boost farmers’ incomes and prevent people from slipping back into poverty. The Kingdom is working on transforming the agriculture sector into agribusiness or agri industry.
On the same day, Puri also met with Minister of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries Dith Tina. Tina placed a high value on the cooperation between IFAD and the agriculture ministry, through Agriculture Services Programme for Innovation, Resilience and Extension (ASPIRE).
He said ASPIRE had improved the livelihoods of tens of thousands of Cambodian farmers through their supply of tangible infrastructure and through training in modern agriculture techniques.
To implement the ASPIRE project, IFAD has provided loans and worked closely with the ministry since 2014.
The ministry said after the project came to an end in 2022, IFAD decided to launch the ASPIRE and Agriculture Trade (ASPIRE-AT) project, which increases farmers’ incomes through sustainable, inclusive growth in the agriculture sector. It is based on a mix of exports and supplying local demand.
It is expected that ASPIRE-AT will benefit 125,000 families which are close to the poverty line.