The University of Kratie intends to introduce brief agricultural technical training courses, ranging from one to three months and free of charge. The courses will focus on cashew cultivation and other crops, addressing the specific needs of local communities. 

Ky Visal, the university’s vice rector, revealed the plan during a press visit organised on December 1 by the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries and the EU, exploring the Cambodian cashew production chain. The comprehensive visit spanned four days, from November 29 to December 2, covering Phnom Penh, Kampong Thom, Kratie and Stung Treng provinces.

Visal said that since the university’s official inauguration in 2018, there has been a proactive approach to expanding cooperation with the surrounding community. The university consistently invites local farmers to participate in workshops or training sessions, especially in agriculture, providing them with valuable and useful knowledge.

“We regularly welcome both model farmers and other members of our community to attend workshops and acquire new skills. The aim is to empower them with benefits that, once obtained, can lead to the promotion and positive transformation of farming practices within their communities,” he said.

He said that the training aims to further contribute to the knowledge and skills essential for modernising the nation’s agricultural sector in alignment with the government’s vision.

He mentioned that the school presently comprises three faculties—Agriculture, Agro-Industry and Rural Talent—along with two institutes: the Institute of Language and Information Technology and the Institute of Ichthyology.

During his visit to the university, Bryan Fornari, head of the EU cooperation unit, stated his keen interest in exploring another facet of the nation’s education sector as it plays a crucial role in equipping the younger generation with abilities essential for enhancing employment opportunities and the national economy.

“We see that the education sector linked to the cashew production chain necessitates examination across production, processing and marketing. Therefore, imparting skills training contributes to the entire value chain, enhancing the competitiveness of cashews in the global market and the region,” he said.

Guenter Wessel, Programme Manager for the German Agency for International Cooperation (GIZ), noted that some project programmes have collaborated with the university, assisting students in conducting research to fulfil their bachelor’s degrees. 

Despite the challenges posed by Covid-19, which hindered some activities in the past, Wessel affirmed that the German development agency remains committed to ongoing collaboration. He noted the continuation of partnerships within new project frameworks, supported by the EU, encompassing various activities related to food processing and pertinent standards.