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NZ Help for High Value Veggies

Khmer Times Share:
About 200 to 400 tons of vegetables are imported daily from neighboring countries. Supplied

Cambodia has received technical help to develop high-value vegetable crops through assistance provided by the New Zealand-based Plant and Food Research Institute. The research institute recently was awarded a $7 million grant from the New Zealand government to work with small-scale farmers in Cambodia in order to increase their income from planting vegetables, said a senior ministry of agriculture official.
 
Prum Somany, deputy director of international cooperation in the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries Agriculture, told Khmer Times that staff from the New Zealand research institute are involved in the identification of high value vegetable crops and training farmers for their production.
 
“The focus of this program is to develop commercial horticulture and increase the income of small farmers. They [research institute] are also training farmers and project staff in the health and safety aspects of agrochemical use,” said Mr. Somany.
 
“The ministry welcomes this project and it would help the country reduce its imports of vegetables from neighboring countries and diversify its crops for export,” he added.
 
According to Mey Kalyan, senior advisor to the Supreme National Economic Council, the government had already allocated about $6 million from the national budget to upgrade and expand vegetable farms, in order to reduce the country’s reliance on horticultural products from neighboring countries.
 
A report from the Center for Policy Studies’ Boosting Food Production Program (2016 – 2018) indicated that 200 to 400 tons of vegetables are imported daily from neighboring countries. The report added that vegetable imports could rise to as much as 500 tons a day during festive seasons.
 
The Boosting Food Production Program aims to increase local production of vegetables to 200 tons a day, or 70,000 tons a year, while at the same time cutting imports by half to 200 tons a day by 2018.

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