The International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) yesterday unveiled a $52 million plan to help Cambodia’s government develop policies to assist poor farmers to improve agricultural productivity.
Benoit Thierry, IFAD’s Southeast Asia country program manager, confirmed the new investment as well as the establishment of an in-country office in Phnom Penh yesterday.
“We operate firstly to ensure food stability and nutrition for Cambodia’s poor farmers, but then hope to encourage them to establish agricultural businesses of their own,” Thierry said.
“We are also now working to establish a new office here and hope to sign this agreement for the new office with the government very soon.”
The new $52 million Agriculture Services Programme for Innovation, Resilience and Extension (ASPIRE) will assist the Ministry of Agriculture, Forests and Fisheries (MAFF) to strengthen training and services available to small rural farmers, an IFAD statement said.
ASPIRE will run for six years until 2020 and is expected to benefit 100,000 farming households, according to yesterday’s release.
Ros Seilava, under secretary of state for the Ministry of Economy and Finance, welcomed IFAD’s announcement.
“We need to ensure that Cambodia’s poorer farmers are provided with the knowledge and capacity to access the market and supply chains,” he said.