Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - UNIDO and EU pour support for fisheries sector

UNIDO and EU pour support for fisheries sector

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
Total fisheries production totalled 32,040 tonnes in the first half of this year – 25,910 tonnes and 6,130 tonnes of freshwater and marine products, respectively. Yousos Apdoulrashim

UNIDO and EU pour support for fisheries sector

The UN Industrial Development Organisation (UNIDO) and the Fisheries Administration jointly launched the Value Chain Investment Support (VCIS) programme virtually on August 3 aiming to support Cambodian enterprises in post-harvest fisheries.

VCIS provides financial and non-financial support to Cambodian entrepreneurs – especially women and youths – as incentives to align business operations to food safety best practices and market trends, to enhance the competitiveness of products, and to improve access to national and international markets.

Jointly implemented by the Forestry Administration – a unit of the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries – and UNIDO, the VCIS scheme is under the EU-backed Capfish-Capture sub-programme, one of two components of the Cambodia Programme for Sustainable and Inclusive Growth in the Fisheries Sector (Capfish).

Covering a five-year period from July 2019-June 2023, the Capfish-Capture sub-programme is being carried out with an €87 million ($103 million) contribution from the EU and an €11 million counterpart fund from the Cambodian government and development partners, according to the ministry.

UNIDO country representative Sok Narin announced the launch at a seminar on August 3, saying the VCIS programme was expected to directly and indirectly benefit about 500 micro-, small- and medium-sized enterprises (MSME), including producers and cooperatives in the fisheries value chain.

“The value chain of fisheries products in Cambodia is complex and multi-functional. Most of the actors involved are informal [and unregistered] businesses, and most of them are small processors … the majority are run and owned by women,” he said.

He added that VCIS would provide equipment and technical support – including business planning and management consulting, financial literacy education, and marketing solutions – to MSMEs and enable them to restructure their businesses to better comply with recognised food safety standards, match market demand, and gain sustained competitiveness.

“This support will help businesses grow sustainably and can contribute to job creation, improving people’s daily lives and even lead to a decent profit,” Narin said.

On June 30, Minister of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries Veng Sakhon noted that Cambodia and the EU had reviewed Capfish’s early-stage results, identifying its strengths and weaknesses and outlining new action plans and measures to continue to drive the fisheries sector forward, in line with the programme’s objectives and other government targets.

Overall, both sub-programmes achieved “proud results”, even as the Kingdom grapples with an intensifying Covid-19 surge, according to the minister.

“We appreciate the cooperation and support of the EU and relevant state institutions that have contributed to the promotion of aquaculture production and growth in the sector,” Sakhon said.

According to Narin, the VCIS programme would offer support of up to $25,000 for smaller-sized enterprises, and as much as $100,000 for medium- and large sized ones. He said 20-40 eligible businesses would be selected in the first round of applications.

A new UNIDO study found that 89 per cent of fisheries processing businesses are unregistered and more than 60 per cent are run or owned by women. Women-owned businesses represent 42 per cent and 17 per cent of micro-sized and small-sized enterprises, respectively.


  • Hun Sen: Full country reopening to be decided in two weeks

    Prime Minister Hun Sen has announced that if the Covid-19 situation remains stable for 15 consecutive days from the end of the October 5-7 Pchum Ben public holiday, Cambodia will reopen fully, albeit in the context of Covid-19 whereby people have to adjust their lives to

  • Phnom Penh governor: Show Covid-19 vaccination cards, or else

    Phnom Penh municipal governor Khuong Sreng late on October 5 issued a directive requiring all people aged 18 and over and the parents of children aged 6-17 to produce Covid-19 vaccination cards when entering schools, markets, malls, marts, eateries and other business establishments that have been permitted

  • Cambodia seeks probe into 'false reports' on Hun Sen's alleged Cypriot passport

    Minister of Justice Koeut Rith on September 6 wrote a letter to his Cypriot counterpart Stephie Dracos requesting cooperation in investigating and providing the truth in relation to the "exaggerative and false allegations" that Prime Minister Hun Sen holds a Cypriot passport. In his letter, the

  • Will Evergrande change the way Chinese developers do business in Cambodia?

    China’s property sector policy has exposed the grim financial condition of real estate developers including those operating in Cambodia, which raises questions over the viability of their projects and business going forward The dark blue netting draping over one of Yuetai Group Co Ltd’

  • 'Pandora Papers' expose leaders' offshore millions

    More than a dozen heads of state and government, from Jordan to Azerbaijan, Kenya and the Czech Republic, have used offshore tax havens to hide assets worth hundreds of millions of dollars, according to a far-reaching new investigation by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (

  • Cambodia voted ‘world’s friendliest country’ in Rough Guides reader poll

    Cambodia ranked number one among the “World’s Friendliest Countries”, according to a reader poll conducted by London-based international website “Rough Guides”. Taking submissions through Twitter and Facebook, “Rough Guides”, a well-known travel agency and publisher of guidebooks, said the Kingdom “was by far the