The Ministry of Commerce has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with KCCV Plantation Co Ltd to promote the development of a secure agri-food product value chain.

Ministry secretary of state Pao Hengdara said on Tuesday at the signing ceremony that the MoU will address challenges in Cambodia’s vegetable market.

“The MoU will promote markets for smallholder farmers and supermarkets, and improve the agri-food products value chain. In particular, it will facilitate vegetable production groups by supporting vegetable production schemes and market connectivity.”

He added that the signing of the agreement is focused on the Accelerating Inclusive Markets for Smallholders (AIMS) joint project between the government and the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD).

The ministry, which is leading the project, compiled a secure vegetable farmer network in 18 target provinces to connect the market and facilitate partnerships with the private sector to promote productivity and profitability in the vegetable sector.

“The project will focus on five commodity value chains – vegetables, chicken, fragrant milled rice, cassava and silk. In addition, the project will facilitate multilateral forums involving members of the vegetable value chain to address challenges in this sector such as farming techniques, financial and business planning, irrigation, credit and marketing.”

KCCV Plantation general manager Neth Angkea told The Post that the signing of the MoU will authorise his company to buy fish and meat products from small-scale farmers to sell in the company’s supermarket, Safe Food Market.

The market, which covers 3,700sqm in Phnom Penh’s Chroy Changvar district, is set to officially open on June 11, he said.

“We will buy vegetables, fish and meat from farmers of this project to sell at our market. We will buy 20kg of vegetables from farmers as a first step while we negotiate how many kilogrammes of meat we will need,” he added.

The project, which started in 2017, will expire in 2023. It has $45 million in capital, of which IFAD funded $36.25 million and the government funded $8.68 million.