Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - New policy to boost farming

New policy to boost farming

Farmers work in a field to plant rice crops in Kampong Cham in 2013
Farmers work in a field to plant rice crops in Kampong Cham in 2013. A policy aimed at providing access to technology and knowledge to farmers was rolled out yesterday by the Agriculture Ministry. Hong Menea

New policy to boost farming

The long-awaited Agricultural Extension Policy, rolled out yesterday by the Agriculture Ministry, will focus on making up-to-date knowledge and technology accessible to farming communities and increase efficiency and productivity in the sector.

The policy will be implemented by an advisory committee, with commune- and provincial-level offices communicating technical know-how and supplying raw materials to farmers, said Mak Soeun, director of the Department of Agricultural Extension.

“One agricultural extension agent will be placed in every commune to coordinate with other agricultural extension agents from the private sector and development partners. They will be the ones who will transfer and provide the right and updated knowledge and technology to everyone involved,” he said.

“The purpose of having this policy is to have a clear roadmap for everyone to follow.”

Soeun said the policy will be implemented using five steps: strengthening of the regulatory framework on agricultural extension; increasing the capacity of officers and agents; incorporating affordable and practical farming techniques; improved information and messaging; and better delivery systems for this information.

At least 2,000 additional agricultural-extension specialists will be needed to fill the gaps in human capital. Currently, there are only 70 agricultural-extension officers at the national level and less than 1,000 at the provincial level, Soeun said.

The funding will come from the government, donor organisations, private sector and fees from services on big farms. The policy also puts in place monitoring and evaluation systems, which will be implemented by local authorities and provincial departments of agriculture.

Prior to the release of the new policy, the ministry used agricultural research dating back to 1998 and guidelines first established in 2000, both of which lacked proper mechanisms, regulations and tools to facilitate agricultural services.

Sean Callahan, acting mission director at USAID Cambodia, said apart from a lack of coordination in services and inadequate funding, poor communication between farmers and extension agents needed to be addressed.

“Smallholder farmers do not have access to appropriate technologies. The crucial link between farmers and markets or the connection between agricultural research and farmers are weak,” Callahan said.

He added that training sessions with the use of technology would help farmers make effective use of new seed varieties, fertilisers and pesticides.

“It provides farmers with the knowledge and information that they need to increase their yields,” he added.

Chan Sophal, director for the Centre for Policy Studies, said success of the new policy will hinge on the effectiveness of the services provided and funding that can be collected.

“This is Cambodia’s first agricultural-extension policy and is expected to improve farmers’ access to improved technologies and raise their productivity. In addition, the policy will hopefully enhance the quality and efficiency of government and non-government extension services.”

MOST VIEWED

  • Municipal hall releases map detailing colour coded Covid risks by commune

    Phnom Penh municipal governor Khuong Sreng released an official map detailing the red, yellow and dark yellow zones within the city under the new lockdown orders for Phnom Penh announced on April 26. The designation of red, dark yellow and yellow corresponds to areas with high,

  • Phnom Penh unveils rules for post-lockdown transition

    The Phnom Penh Municipal Administration issued a set of detailed guidelines for the seven days to May 12 after the capital emerges from lockdown at the onset of May 6. In the 14-page document signed by municipal governor Khuong Sreng released on the evening of May 5, the

  • SBI LY HOUR Bank Launches Cross Border Money Transfer Service between Cambodia and Vietnam on RippleNet, utilizing DLT

    SBI LY HOUR Bank Plc and Hanoi-based Tien Phong Commercial Joint Stock Bank (TPBank) on Friday launched the first Cambodia-Vietnam money transfer service in real currency via RippleNet, provided by SBI Ripple Asia Co Ltd to provide safe, fast and convenient services. SBI LY HOUR

  • Gov’t issues guidelines as lockdown nears end

    The government has issued a five-page set of instructions to be enforced when the three-week lockdown of Phnom Penh and adjacent Takmao town in Kandal province ends on May 6. According to an announcement signed by Prime Minister Hun Sen on May 4, the instructions cover a

  • Cambodia ready to exit LDC status

    Cambodia is well-prepared to minimise economic risks when it graduates from its Least Developed Countries status, according to a senior official at the Ministry of Commerce on May 7. Four LDCs – Cambodia, Laos, Bangladesh and Nepal – met at a virtual workshop last week to explore potential

  • Tottenham Hotspur to wear ISF Cambodia logo on jerseys in match against Sheffield United

    Last year, the Indochina Starfish Foundation (ISF) – an NGO providing education to underprivileged children in Cambodia – made global headlines with its “socially distanced” football initiative. This year, a world-class football club – Tottenham Hotspur FC – will wear special edition jerseys to show their support for ISF