Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Minister kicks off EU mission to bolster agribusiness co-op

Minister kicks off EU mission to bolster agribusiness co-op

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
Agriculture minister Veng Sakhon (third left, on screen) at the Vienna Food Safety Forum as part of his five-day official mission to the EU. VENG SAKHON VIA FB

Minister kicks off EU mission to bolster agribusiness co-op

Minister of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries Veng Sakhon began a five-day official mission to the EU on October 3, “to boost cooperation in agribusiness development, quality infrastructure and food safety capacity building in agri-food systems”, according to the UN Industrial Development Organisation (UNIDO).

During his October 3-5 visit to Austrian capital Vienna, Sakhon is due to meet UNIDO “to enhance the cooperation in agribusiness development and quality infrastructure, including the cold chain system, to enhance the country’s capacity to comply with sanitary and phytosanitary [SPS] measures, improve export performance and facilitate regional and international markets for agri-food trade”, the UN agency said in a statement.

In the Belgian capital of Brussels from October 6-7, the minister is scheduled to meet the EU Directorate-General for Health and Food Safety (DG SANTE) and Directorate-General for Maritime Affairs and Fisheries (DG-MARE) – departments under the European Commission, the EU’s executive arm.

There, Sakhon will “discuss the current implementation of food safety control system[s] in the fisheries sector and [the] action plan of [his ministry’s] Fisheries Administration [FiA], for the possibility of [including] Cambodia in the EU list of countries eligible to export fish and fishery products to the EU markets.

“[The minister will] also brief the DG MARE on the progress towards lifting [the] IUU red card,” the statement said, referring to a ban on fisheries exports to the EU imposed on a country due to failure to meet standards for illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing.

FiA director-general Poum Sotha and the UNIDO CAPFish-Capture team will also form part of Sakhon’s delegation, and are “to learn about the recent developments and the best practices of the EU in implementing food safety control system[s], and to exchange lessons learned on food safety”, it added.

The statement quoted Sakhon as saying: “I hope to strengthen and expand the cooperation in agribusiness development, since the sector is largely underdeveloped and therefore, Cambodia needs more investment in post-harvest handling and processing to capture economic opportunities arising from value addition to its agricultural products.”

The minister said talks with the EU-based agencies would go over major technical barriers and other challenges confronting the fisheries trade, in pursuit of solutions designed to improve market access for Cambodian fish and fisheries products to the 27-nation European bloc, according to UNIDO.

“The FiA and UNIDO are currently implementing a five-year EU-funded project called CAPFish Capture – Post-harvest Fisheries Development. One of the expected outcomes of the project is to achieve compliance with EU food safety and market requirements.

“The project is developing an inclusive post-harvest fisheries value chain, by establishing the regulatory framework and food safety control system, as well as promoting the adoption of better practices and innovation by the private sector,” the statement said.

According to UNIDO, the project has a planned 58-month lifespan from September 1, 2019 to June 30, 2024, and a budget of €16.9 million ($16.6 million) – €16 million to be provided by the EU and €0.9 million to be co-financed by UNIDO “or other donor”.

MOST VIEWED

  • South Korea’s first lady brings hope to ill boy

    South Korea’s first lady Kim Keon-hee – wife of current president of the Republic of Korea, Yoon Suk Yeol – met with a 14-year-boy with congenital heart disease during her trip to the Kingdom for the ASEAN Summit. After their meeting it was announced that the

  • Hun Sen gets Covid, shuns G20, APEC summits

    Prime Minister Hun Sen said he has tested positive for Covid-19 in Indonesia, where he is slated to attend the G20 summit in his capacity of the ASEAN chair. In a social media post addressing the Cambodian public, he said: “Before leaving Cambodia, I always

  • Moody’s sets outlook rating to ‘negative’ for Cambodia

    US global rating agency Moody’s Investors Service Inc on November 15 announced that it downgraded Cambodia’s outlook from “stable” to “negative” and maintained its B2 local and foreign currency issuer ratings. “The negative outlook reflects a deteriorating external position as illustrated by the severe

  • Hun Sen’s Covid infection caused by ‘weakened antibody’ after summit

    Prime Minister Hun Sen said exhaustion from heavy workload before and during the recent ASEAN Summit may have led to him contracting Covid-19 due to his weakened immune system, while rejecting speculations that the infection was caused by leaders of some countries who did not

  • Korean first lady paves way for ill boy’s surgery

    A 14-year-old boy with congenital heart disease who was lucky enough to meet with South Korean first lady Kim Keon-hee may get the chance of a lifetime and receive surgery and treatment at Asan Medical Center in Seoul, South Korea. After seeing his plight, many

  • Kingdom’s rice crowned world’s No1

    Cambodia’s Phka Rumduol jasmine variety has been crowned the World’s Best Rice for the fifth time at the TRT (The Rice Trader) World Rice Conference in Phuket, Thailand on November 17, according to leaders of the Kingdom’s apex rice industry body. Phka Rumduol