The General Department of Agriculture under the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries – in collaboration with the Cambodia-Australia Agricultural Value Chain Program – on May 11 launched the Quality Declared Seed (QDS) standard for rice products.
The launch was presided over by agriculture minister Veng Sakhon and attended by Kampong Thom provincial governor Nguon Ratanak, Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) representative Miyahary AI, and officials from the Australian embassy.
Kampong Thom provincial Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries said that the QDS was established through guidelines released by the Food and Agriculture Organisation in 2006.
Representatives from JICA and the Australian Embassy said that they expected the QDS to play an important role in ensuring the quality of Cambodian rice, in order to contribute to the quality and quantity of rice production and render it competitive, and responsive to market demands. They also hoped that the QDS would promote the living conditions of farmers, through the production and selling of quality rice seeds.
Sakhon said that the QDS is in line with the government’s policy of deep agriculture sector reform, including modernising the agricultural sector, adding value, and improving production chains, in order to respond to competitive regional and global markets.
He said the government has a policy to ensure socio-economic growth, poverty reduction, job creation, reduced migration – and to ensure food security – in a sustainable and inclusive way which linked to Cambodia’s Sustainable Development Goals 2030.
He told authorities from the ministry and at sub-national levels, development partners, and the private sector to support the QDS and ensure its success, in order to promote Cambodian seeds.