The Royal University of Agriculture (RUA) signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Develop Agriculture Value Chain Network for Economic and Environment (Davane), with a focus on food safety research and analysis of food insecurity in the Kingdom.

The signing ceremony was held on August 24 at the RUA with approximately 100 participants under the project title “Leveraging resources to promote food safety and the agriculture value chain in Cambodia”.

RUA rector Ngo Bunthan said the two sides would be working together on food safety research, share data research and analyse food insecurity in the country.

He added that it would also provide job opportunities, with outstanding graduates being offered internships at Davane.

“We think it will lead to joint activities which benefit both parties. It will also add value to the private sector and the university, both of which will contribute to the government’s goal of Cambodia becoming a high middle income country by 2030,” he said.

“Davane has dedicated itself to bringing food safety to every home and protecting the next generation from food borne illnesses. Since its inception, it has been moving slowly towards its goal,” he said.

Chheng Makara, CEO of Davane said Cambodia’s gross domestic product has reached $25 billion, with agriculture contributing about 22 per cent. He understood that improving supply and value chains in agriculture was likely to be a win-win for everyone.

“Agriculture is an important part of the national economy, but it is low profit and high risk. This makes it difficult to attract investors. We have had some very good years, but recently, our small-scale farmers have not been able to compete with the glut of imports that are flooding the market,” he said.