The Fisheries Administration (FiA) and the French National Research Institute for Sustainable Development (IRD) signed a contract worth $4.2 million for the development of fish hatcheries in local fish farms and research on ecological intensification.

The contract is part of the CaPFish Aquaculture project funded by the EU through the French Agency for Development (AFD).

The contract was signed on November 15 at the French embassy in Phnom Penh between FiA director-general Poum Sotha and IRD CEO Valerie Verdier.

Verdier is visiting Cambodia on her first trip to Asia since her appointment as CEO of the IRD to strengthen partnerships between IRD and Cambodian institutions such as academic, scientific and economic organisations in order to address major regional issues, such as the impacts of climate change as well as the health and food security of populations.

A joint press release between the embassy and IRD said on November 16 that the expertise provided to the FiA and the joint actions programmes would be aimed at responding to major local issues such as food security and the sustainability of aquaculture production systems.

It noted that because the Cambodian population relies on fish and fishery products to provide them with 73 per cent of their animal protein intake, aquaculture represents a growing opportunity for improved food security and better nutrition.

“The overall objective of the CaPFish Aquaculture project is thus to contribute to food security and socioeconomic development in Cambodia by ensuring a more sustainable, climate resilient and inclusive growth of the aquaculture sector.

“The project aims at scaling up successful aquaculture experiences by developing and diffusing sustainable and efficient practices,” the press release said.

IRD is a multidisciplinary French public research organisation that claims its priorities are in line with the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), with the ambition to support development policies and the design of solutions adapted to the local challenges faced by populations in the southern hemisphere.