The Korea Rural Community Cooperation (KRC) aims to boost vegetable production in the Kingdom with the construction of a demonstrative vegetable production complex in Mondulkiri province.
The centre – designed to be a model for similar initiatives across the country that will reduce Cambodia’s reliance on imports – broke ground this week.
Speaking to Minister of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries Veng Sakhon on Monday, KRC director Park Kimwook said the complex will be completed this year.
“We want to grow tomatoes and some other vegetables that grow here,” he said, noting that Mondulkiri’s climate and soil conditions make it an ideal location to grow the crop.
“Cambodia has huge potential in agriculture that is not being met and this is leading to supply shortages that are forcing the country to import.
“This project aims to boost the production of tomato and other vegetables to feed local demand and reduce imports. The complex will create jobs and increase the income of locals, particularly ethnic minorities living here,” Park said.
Sakhon said he fully supported the initiative.
“KRC has done its homework and knows the potential of Mondulkiri as a hub of agricultural production. With this in mind, production could begin as early as this year,” he said.
Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries spokeswoman Srey Vuthy told The Post that the government is involved in other initiatives to boost vegetable production. One of them is to encourage farmers to follow good agricultural practices (GAP).
“The ministry is promoting the production of safe vegetables, training farmers to follow GAP and encouraging them to enter contract farming schemes. The ministry is also promoting local products to increase their demand within Cambodia,” he said.
Cambodia imports about 40 per cent of its fruits and vegetables at around $200 million a year and buys mostly from Vietnam, according to the Centre for Policy Studies.
KRC is a South Korea-based rural development company.