Japan's Yamato Green Co Ltd wants to further invest in Cambodia’s agro-tourism sector to do its part in revitalising the Covid-19-wracked tourism industry.

The plan was unveiled at a meeting between CEO Katsuhito Nabeshima and Minister of Tourism Thong Khon at the ministry on Monday.

Khon said the company had sought the ministry’s support for its agro-tourism investment plans in the Kingdom via the government’s ongoing “Green Belt” project, as reported by the ministry.

The Green Belt initiative aims to promote eco-tourism in rural villages across the Kingdom away from the tumult of major attractions.

Khon advised the company to explore investment opportunities in Siem Reap and Kampong Thom provinces, which he highlighted as prime areas for agro-tourism and ecotourism.

As the pandemic lingers, the ministry is shifting more attention to the private sector and encouraging it to invest more in the two sub-sectors, he noted.

“We have agreed to sign a Memorandum of Understanding [MoU] in the near future so that the cooperation can be successful and tailored to benefit both parties,” Khon said.

Nabeshima said the Green Belt project will reinforce tourism and socio-economic development in the Kingdom.

He said: “The company will turn Cambodia’s agricultural products into agro-tourism, where national and international tourists can safely consume the existing foods offered at each tourist destination and can experience the cultivation techniques and witness vegetable crop maintenance.”

Cambodia Association of Travel Agents president Chhay Sivlin told The Post on Tuesday that the Kingdom’s tourism sector remains a contender for foreign investment notwithstanding the lasting effects of Covid-19.

She said the project and the company’s additional investment will help accelerate the development of new products to serve the Kingdom’s tourism sector.

“The appeal of these investment plans is that our country has a wealth of untapped potential in the tourism and agricultural sectors, coupled with a rising trend of tourists who would rather visit agro-tourism destinations than cultural tourism sites,” Sivlin said.

In July, Yamato Green signed an MoU with the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries on the cooperation, investment and development of the Kingdom’s ‘safe vegetable’ sub-sector for the domestic market and export.

The agreement aims to promote the production of vegetables with reduced dependence on chemicals and free of microbiological hazards.

Following the signing, 10 Japanese companies will provide full technical support to farmers at all stages of vegetable production.

Having registered with the Ministry of Commerce on April 22, Yamato Green currently grows safe vegetables in Battambang and Mondulkiri provinces.