Agriculture Minister Veng Sakhon has called for greater oversight on food production in the country in order to safeguard consumers.
Speaking at the International Conference on Food safety and Food Security in Siem Reap province on Friday, Mr Sakhon called on relevant authorities, NGOs and the public to pay attention to food safety in the Kingdom and help ensure food security in Asia and the world.
“I appeal for continued support from all stakeholders to ensure that food is produced using hygienic standards,” he said. “This includes using clean water to cut the risk of diseases and also using the right chemicals in the proper way.”
He said that everyone should continue to promote agricultural development in all forms to ensure food and nutrition security at both the national and international level to help reduce poverty.
“I hope that the recommendations made in this conference will help strengthen cooperation in research, policy formulation and find solutions toward achieving sustainable food security in Asia and the world,” he said.
Som Vitou, executive director of the Cambodian Centre for Study and Development in Agriculture, welcomed Mr Sakhon’s call and said food safety is crucial.
“I see many problems regarding food safety such as the use of chemicals and poor sanitation,” he said. “I fully support the development of safety standards because it is really important to protect people’s health.”
He noted that there is still a need to monitor the food production process at every stage because people are still using banned chemicals and the government should take stern action to prevent this.
“I think that we should stop using unnecessary chemicals and the laws against this must be strengthened,” he said.
Experts from 18 countries, including more than 260 professors, scientists and researchers, took part in the conference that ended yesterday and was organised by the Asia Food Safety and Security Association.
In May, a food safety laboratory was set up in Phnom Penh to look into safety and quality standards of Cambodian products.
The new facility will issue quality and safety certifications, and is equipped to analyse agricultural products at every stage of processing.