Cambodia is committed to work hand in hand with other countries to strengthen its food systems, especially as the Kingdom assumes the ASEAN chairmanship in 2022, according to Prime Minister Hun Sen.

The prime minister made the remark in a letter issued on November 6 to commemorate the 8th National Nutrition Day, held under the theme “Strengthening Food System for Sustainable Development”.

Cambodia managed to not only avoid a food crisis during Covid, but to turn the conditions caused by the pandemic into advantages, Hun Sen said.

As an example, he said the Kingdom put targeted measures in place to reinforce domestic food systems, with emphasis on improving quality and safety in the production of agricultural and food products, as well as their supply to regional and world markets.

“The government maintains a high level of commitment that rests on the premise of peace and political stability, which enable a solid environment towards achieving the 2030 Food Systems Vision,” he said. “The government has been actively engaged within the regional and global cooperation framework.”

As the 2022 ASEAN chair, Cambodia will push forward ASEAN Community building efforts and preserve the role of the bloc in the global investment, trade and supply-chain architectures, he added.

“The government will continue to strengthen cooperation with all countries to transform food systems to be stronger and more resilient against vulnerabilities caused by crises or other pressures, to protect the environment, and to mitigate the impacts of climate change by pushing food systems towards green development,” Hun Sen said.

Hun Sen stressed Cambodia’s commitment to continue this facilitating dialogue with relevant stakeholders at all levels in order to make the country’s food system more inclusive and responsive to those it serves, especially to vulnerable peoples and ethnic minority groups.

He said the government will also continue cooperative efforts between itself and development partners, civil society organisations, the private sector, farming communities and educational institutions.

“The government is going to set up an expanded working group to facilitate food security and adequate nutrition at the capital and provincial level. The government will also organise National Nutrition Day and establish an award for Youth Nutrition Champion,” he said.

The prime minister also urged all relevant ministries and institutions to strengthen the enforcement of legal standards already in place regarding food safety and quality. He suggested that legislators pass an additional law on food safety if necessary in order to promote good food system governance.