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Thailand pledges stronger agricultural assistance

May Kunmakara / Khmer Times Share:
Thailand is providing key assistance to modernise the Cambodian agriculture sector. KT/Chor Sokunthea

Thailand on Thursday pledged to assist Cambodia in identifying and delimiting high potential agricultural land in the Kingdom, further strengthening cooperation in the sector between the two Asean neighbours.

The vow was made by Panyarak Poolthup, the Thai Ambassador to Cambodia, during a meeting with Veng Sakhon, Cambodia’s Minister of Agriculture.

Cambodia and Thailand will work together to identify the best areas to cultivate certain crops, a press release from the Ministry of Agriculture said.

According to the release, the Thai Ambassador said that agricultural cooperation between Thailand and Cambodia is now at a high point.

“With our countries having a very close relationship, and with trade across our mutual border increasing rapidly, there is a need to continue to increase cooperation, particularly in the agriculture sector. Determining the exact location of high-yield farming areas will boost the sector,” the ambassador said.

Both countries also pledged to advance cooperation in the fishing industry, and will soon sign a new memorandum of understanding on controlling and preventing illegal fishing activity, according to the statement.

Minister Veng Sakhon said with the technical support of Thailand, Cambodia can take full advantage of its excellent soil and crops to increase agricultural output and raise the quality of produce.

“We hope that Thailand will continue to support us, especially when it comes to the commercialisation of our agricultural products,” he said.

Authorities announced in mid-May that the government’s programme to boost yields through the use of spatial information technology will be extended to the whole country, an endeavour that will take at least three years to complete.

In 2016, market demand for vegetables reached 930,000 tonnes per year, with local producers able to supply only 420,000 tonnes. To fill the gap, Cambodia had to import 50 percent of the vegetables it consumed during that year.

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