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

  • US imposes sanctions on Oknha Pheap and Kun Kim

    The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation expressed strong dismay on Monday over the designation of Cambodian tycoon Oknha Try Pheap and General Kun Kim under the US’ Global Magnitsky Act. “It is very disturbing when the public figures of a country become the

  • Mother, daughter killed in hotel fire

    The bodies of a mother and daughter were found locked in an embrace after they were killed in a hotel fire in Phnom Penh at around 3:30am on Wednesday at the Phkar Chhouk Tep 2 Hotel and Restaurant in Phsar Doeum Kor commune, in the capital’

  • EBA withdrawal a destruction of EU achievements, PM says

    Prime Minister Hun Sen said the EU’s possible suspension of its Everything But Arms (EBA) agreement amounted to a destruction of its achievements in the Kingdom and the demise of the opposition group. Hun Sen made the remarks while addressing more than 6,700 students during

  • US told to refrain from interfering in Sokha case

    Senior Cambodian officials said on Thursday that the US can monitor Kem Sokha’s trial as it wishes but would not be allowed to interfere in court procedures. The point was made in response to US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s comments on Wednesday

  • Europe expected to consider EBA efforts, impact

    The government said it expects the European Commission to consider its efforts to comply with the “Everything But Arms” (EBA) regulations and the impact on one million workers should access to the agreement be suspended in February. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation

  • Sri Lanka’s LOLC Holdings plans to sell Cambodian unit

    LOLC Holdings Plc, Sri Lanka’s second-largest publicly traded company by revenue, plans to sell its 70 per cent stake in Prasac Microfinance Institution Ltd, which also counts Hong Kong’s Bank of East Asia Ltd. as a shareholder, LOLC deputy chairman Ishara Nanayakkara said. Nanayakkara