Minister of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries Dith Tina advised students studying economics at CamEd Institute to keep an open mind about what to study and which expertise to acquire, encouraging them to consider agribusiness.
Addressing more than 200 students on the topic of agribusiness development vision at the institute on February 8, Tina noted that the Cambodian agricultural sector has shifted from subsistence to commercial production.
“Agribusiness” refers to the sum total of all economic activities related to the production, handling and distribution of agricultural goods to local and international markets for monetary consideration.
The minister’s remarks come amid an appreciable uptick in funds and resources committed to ensuring reliable buyers for local farmers and bumping up agricultural production, as well as building agro-processing facilities and facilitating agribusiness.
“Even if you are studying accounting, finance or business, you should open your mind and heart to other skills … Agriculture in Cambodia today has gone from subsistence to commercial production.”
The minister highlighted the need for food security and safety in a free market economy and encouraged the growing of safe and organic vegetables by avoiding the use of high levels of chemicals that could harm everyone’s health.
“Trade and investment are very important for the agriculture sector, and understanding the importance of human resources and developing them is the hope of our nation for the future,” he said.
The government has earmarked nearly $200 million to boost the Kingdom’s rural economies and the agro-business environment through ASPIRE-AT, a programme slated to run from 2023 to 2027 and is focused on developing value chains for organic vegetables, poultry and other meats, cassava, cashew nuts, and fruits, as well as products thereof..
Of the nearly $194 million budgeted to the project, $47.9 million came from the government and the rest from the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) – a UN rural development agency – as concessional loans.