Minister of Interior Sar Kheng distributed another 350 tonnes of rice seeds to 3,500 families affected by floods in Prey Veng province on November 12, according to Keo Vy, a senior adviser at the National Committee for Disaster Management (NCDM).
Vy said that as the floods began to recede at the end of October, more than 6,000 tonnes of rice seeds and vegetable seeds were distributed to farmers in 10 provinces including Pursat, Battambang, Banteay Meanchey, Kratie, Kampot, Kampong Thom, Tbong Khmum, Prey Veng, Kampong Cham and Stung Treng.
“The distribution of rice seeds and vegetable seeds to flood-affected farmers is one of the government’s most important post-flood response programmes. This programme facilitates the economic recovery for farmers in rural areas and helps ensure sustainable food security in Cambodia,” he said.
Vy added this programme was not yet finished.
During his visit to distribute the seeds in Prey Veng on the morning of November 12, Sar Kheng said giving aid to farmers was an urgent measure.
“People already know that the government, through local authorities and the participation from generous people, have provided a series of emergency assistance [programmes] to the people during this difficult time,” he said.
Sar Kheng said Prey Vang produces more rice than any other provinces in the country, partly because of modern techniques and harvesting two to three times per year.
He said the switch from traditional farming to modern farming decreased the demand for farmers and many have gone on to find work in the textile, construction and tourism industries.
“The provision of rice seeds and vegetable seeds is still important because it will help farmers cultivate [crops] and restore family life. The government is trying to improve the living conditions for people,” Kheng said.
According to a report by acting governor Suon Malin, floods affected the livelihoods of 3,500 families and damaged more than 77km of roads built with commune funds, 150m of canals, 65 drainage systems and 3,500ha of rice.
As per government policy, poor farmers affected by the floods will receive 100kg of rice seeds and 25kg of rice per family as well as six types of vegetable seeds dependent on their actual situation. Extra materials and groceries are also available in certain circumstances.