The Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) has given a $1.3 million grant to Cambodia to conduct an agricultural survey to identify potential agricultural products that investors can look into.
The Cambodia Inter-Censal Agricultural Survey for next year, supported by USAID and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, was signed yesterday between FAO and the Ministry of Planning to collect agricultural statistics to be used as a guideline for investors.
The year-long inter-censal programme will be completed at the end of next year.
FAO representative in Cambodia, Alexandre Huynh, said the Kingdom is the first country in the region to be chosen for this programme.
“Availability and accessibility to timely and reliable data are pivotal for the development of responsive policies and a progressive agricultural programme, It significantly contributes to the functionality of investment and market operations in the country,” he said.
It will provide a regular flow of agricultural statistics, Huynh said, and allow for a strong basis to improve policy and decision-making in the agricultural sector.
“This initiative is designed to inform policymakers and further develop the sector, improve food security and the livelihood of smallholders to reduce poverty,” he said.
The first Cambodian national agricultural census started in 2013. It cost more than $5.2 million and was funded by the government, AusAid, the Swedish International Development Agency, FAO and USAID.
The 33-page census findings said 2.2 million out of a possible 2.6 million or 85 per cent of all households were engaged in some form of agricultural-related activity, such as growing rice, raising livestock, fishing or extracting rubber.
The senior minister at the Ministry of Planning, Chhay Than, said the survey will work across the country in a randomly selected 800-village sample to collect the agricultural statistics.
The agricultural-related enterprises and agribusinesses will be included in the data as well, said Than.
“The outcome of the survey plays an important role in developing Agro policy in order to promote economic growth,” he said.