The Ministry of Agriculture will focus on diversifying agricultural production across the country to meet rising demand for vegetables and fruits from locals and visitors.
The goal of diversifying and expanding agricultural output was announced yesterday by Agriculture Minister Veng Sakhon during a meeting with Jiangfeng Zhang, director of the Asian Development Bank’s environment, natural resources and agriculture division.
Mr Sakhon stressed the need to focus on products other than rice, a crop that has been prioritised in the last few years.
“Over the past three years we focused mainly on rice. But the increasing number of tourists and rising demand from locals require that we update our goals and focus on different products that also have a lot of potential like cassava, corn for animal feed, mango and cashew nuts.
“Horticulture in particular can boost farmers’ incomes and lift their livelihoods,” he said.
Mr Sakhon requested ADB’s assistance to increase the value of local agricultural products, expand processing and packaging facilities, improve roads, and build more warehouses and dryers.
Um Uon, president of the Sambo Prey Kub Cashew Nut Association, said local authorities have already provided some technical assistance to his association to enhance yields but said more needs to be done.
“We need more assistance to increase our production. Local agricultural authorities have worked with us recently, but we still need their help to become more competitive.
“We hope that the ministry’s new strategy will target cashew nut production to help us strengthen our business,” he said.