The Council for Agricultural and Rural Development (CARD) has provided food security and nutrition training courses to the commune councils in Kratie province’s Prek Prasap district.
It considers the councils effective agents in promoting the Kingdom’s strategies in these fields.
The training was held at the district administration offices on October 24, with the coordination of Kratie food security and nutrition officials, the district administration and representatives of development partners including MUSEFO/GIZ, UNICEF and SUN-CSAs.
CARD deputy secretary-general Soy Ing said the government recognises food security and nutrition as fundamental rights for all individuals, and noted that they were enshrined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and various international economic, social and cultural treaties that Cambodia has ratified.
He said that based on this spirit, the government has given high priority to the two ideas, and considered them important inter-sectoral issues which contributed to the development of human resources, the economy, and social equity.
“Solutions related to food security and nutrition are not just enacted as theoretical responses to the government’s priorities. They have made a significant contribution to reducing poverty by resisting vulnerabilities. They also protect the environment, reduce the impact of climate change and encourage sustainability by all Cambodians,” he added.
Ing asserted that food security and nutrition are issues that require investment in agriculture, health, education, water and sanitation, water resource management and social protections.
As a result, he considered cooperation from all stakeholders, including state institutions, development partners, civil society organisations, and the private sector to be crucial to implementing the policies and strategies which are necessary to address the root causes of food insecurity and all forms of nutritional deficiencies.
“Understanding the importance of food security and nutrition is fundamental to the development of our people, and therefore our society. We are training commune councils so they understand the importance of this sector and will promote it. We encourage them to prioritise food security and nutrition, and integrate them into their commune development plans and investment programmes,” he said.
“Fundraising and human resources, both inside and outside the community, to promote food security and nutrition – especially for breastfeeding children and pregnant women – are of the utmost importance,” he added.
According to CARD, the consumption of and access to adequate food is the number one determinant of an individual’s nutritional status. An adequate diet, clean water, latrines and good hygiene habits, along with access to quality health care, are essential to achieving nutritional well-being.
Malnourished children are not only at high risk of death, illness and disease, but also to mental retardation, stunted growth and poor schooling, it added.
“This training will enhance the capacity of commune councilors to take part in implementing the Second National Food Security and Nutrition Strategy 2019-2023. If we want it to be introduced in an effective, efficient way, it is imperative that it is actively pursued at the sub-national level,” said CARD.
In October 2020, the Council of Ministers recommended that all capital-provincial administrations integrate food security and nutrition into their three-year commune development plans and investment programmes to improve food security and nutrition at the sub-national level.