Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Ministry to begin $20M plan for domestic vegetables

Ministry to begin $20M plan for domestic vegetables

An employee arranges produce in a display fridge last year at a shop in Phnom Penh.
An employee arranges produce in a display fridge last year at a shop in Phnom Penh. Hong Menea

Ministry to begin $20M plan for domestic vegetables

Implementation of a previously announced three-year $20 million programme to increase local vegetable and fragrant rice production will begin next month to help boost domestic supply and reduce imports, an agriculture official said yesterday.

The goal of the project is to increase local production of vegetables by 160 tonnes per day and production of 500,000 tonnes of paddy rice a year, Kean Sophea, deputy director of the Department of Horticulture and Subsidiary Crops at the Agricultural Ministry, said.

To date, 2,060 farmers and 260 rice cooperatives have been recruited to the programme and they will start planting next month.

“So far we have trained the farmers to better understand how to cultivate their crops and improve both their farming and technical skills,” he said. “The farmers will start to farm the vegetables in July and begin to supply the market a month later.”

Vegetable production will focus on 13 priority crops including lettuce, chili, bok choy, tomato, cucumber and green melon, Sophea said. While the rice crops from the programme will be solely meant for exports.

“We are targeting to supply our local market with at least 160 tonnes of vegetables a day so that we can ensure food safety and fair prices in the market, while also reducing imports from neighbouring countries,” he said.

“The three-year programme will reinvigorate vegetable farming following the Good Agriculture Practices standards created by the Ministry of Agriculture.”

Sophea estimated that between 500 to 600 tonnes of vegetables per day are imported to Cambodia.

Replacing imports
Mey Kalyan, senior adviser to the Supreme National Economic Council, said that the Kingdom spent vast amounts to import vegetables, which reduces labour opportunities and income for farmers.

The project is designed to increase crop diversification and help increase capacity building for farmers, he added.

“This plan can help replace imported vegetables with locally grown ones and help reduce the millions of dollars spent each year on imports,” he said.

“We need to replace imports step-by-step through our domestic production in a way that maintains the quality and standards of our supply chain for consumers.”

MOST VIEWED

  • Woman detained for murder of hairdresser over unpaid $1K debt

    A woman has been held in connection with the murder of a 40-year-old widow. The victim’s daughter claims the motive was the suspect’s unpaid four million riel ($1,000) debt to her mother. The 17-year-old girl, Pich Sievmey, said her mother, Koem Yaneang, a hairdresser

  • ‘Life goes on’ if Cambodia loses Everything But Arms

    Cambodia's business sector is exploring ways to mitigate any fallout from a possible loss of access to the EU’s Everything But Arms (EBA) agreement as talks continue before the 28-member bloc makes a final decision. The EU monitoring process is set to conclude in

  • Nesat beach: A magnet drawing tourists to the Kingdom’s coastline

    A white sandy beach lined by countless coconut trees awaits travellers off Cambodia’s southwest coast in Koh Kong province’s Srae Ambel district, about 170km from Phnom Penh. Over the past few years Nesat beach – a name inspired by a nearby fishing village – has

  • PM: Workers must train for Industry 4.0

    Prime Minister Hun Sen has urged the Kingdom’s workforce to seek more technical training and strengthen their skills if they are to avoid job losses resulting from the Fourth Industrial Revolution. Hun Sen said the fourth industrial revolution is like a double-edged sword that