Yang Saing Koma, secretary of state for the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries, announced the deployment of 200 student volunteers to 200 paddy rice-rich communes.

Their mission is to contribute to the development of a high-quality seed system and enhance the economic viability of paddy rice farming among local families.

Saing Koma explained on September 29 that bolstering the workforce dedicated to the paddy rice sector is of paramount importance and a top priority for the ministry, especially considering Cambodia’s role as a global exporter of milled rice.

“Ensuring the presence of agricultural officers in every commune nationwide stands as the foremost mission for supporting both farming households and the overall national agricultural sector. In regard to these commune-level agricultural officials, the ministry will tailor their assignments to match their expertise. Paddy rice experts will be dispatched to regions focused on paddy rice cultivation, while crop specialists will be directed to areas primarily dedicated to other crops. We are currently prioritising the deployment of paddy rice experts,” he said.

“On September 29, I participated as an instructor, guiding young volunteers in the establishment of a high-quality pure seed system geared towards enhancing paddy rice production for export. This training programme was conducted under the auspices of the General Department of Agriculture at the Prey Pdao Agricultural Station, in Kampong Speu province,” he added.

The ministry’s commitment entails conducting research aimed at establishing responsive mechanisms to address new developments within the agricultural sector.

This includes the formation of farmers’ associations to prevent undue price depreciation by traders, thus promoting price stability, particularly through the advancement of contract farming agreements.

The initiative to deploy 1,600 officials to communes engaged in agricultural activities across the entire Kingdom stands as one of the government’s six key policies for the seventh term.

Prime Minister Hun Manet has expressly endorsed this policy, noting that he expects it to uphold the value of produce, provide numerous benefits to farmers and enhance the overall agricultural sector.