The opening of a quality-inspection centre for agricultural products in Kandal province, originally scheduled for the end of 2017, has been delayed, with authorities now saying it will open during the first months of 2018.
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The new centre is set to play a crucial role in the province’s agriculture sector. Producers will have to send their products to the upcoming facility to pass a quality exam before they can be sent off to the local markets and made available to consumers.
As part of the project, farmers will receive training and guidance on organic and contract farming, Bun Tounsimona, the director of Kandal’s agriculture department, said on Friday, adding that the initiative is being carried out jointly with the Japanese embassy and the Cambodia Chamber of Commerce (CCC).
“The centre is not ready yet, and I cannot not give you a specific date for the opening” Mr Tounsimona said. “I hope it will come online soon.”
The centre will be managed by Kandal’s agriculture department.
The project was originally proposed by the provincial agriculture department to the Japanese embassy. Hayashida Japan Agriculture Co, Ltd is providing the funds.
CCC director-general Ngoun Meng Tech said in September that more centres will be established in other provinces to help farmers improve the quality of their products.
“We choose Takhmao for the first centre because Kandal province is well-known as a hub for the production of agricultural goods,” Mr Meng Tech said.
“All products from the centre will go to local markets, with exports being considered under the next phase of the project.”
Han Vanhan, the director-general of General Directorate of Agriculture, told Khmer Times previously that establishing centres to control the quality of agricultural products was important to help reduce cases of chemical contamination and to help build consumer trust on locally-grown products.