The Ministry of Commerce has urged officials to help producers in the agriculture sector find markets for their products as part of the Weekend Market strategy, a component of the Accelerating Inclusive Markets for Smallholders (AIMS) project.
The call was made by Minister of Commerce Pan Sorasak during his visits to Pailin and Battambang provinces on Monday to view farmer produce available in the region.
“Weekend Market is a priority strategy of the Ministry of Commerce to enhance the prices of agro-commercial products in the market and to increase the income of smallholder farmers through agro-trade and internal and external market linkage,” he said.
The government efforts to boost the agriculture sector amid the COVID-19 pandemic have been well received, such as by encouraging people to plant crops and raise animals to sell, Sorasak said.
However, officials must also now implement the AIMS project – and specifically the Weekend Market drive as part of the project – more effectively to promote the sale of agro-commercial products grown and raised by farmers, he added.
“The sale of vegetables, chicken and meat at markets – in addition to providing additional income to farmers – also allows consumers to connect directly with producers, creating value chains within the sector,” Sorasak said.
“In the future, we want to see all farmers transform into successful traders. Connecting more farmers with markets means more profit and more security. That is the main purpose of the project.” he added.
According to the Commerce Ministry, the Weekend Market strategy is currently operational in 12 provinces across the country, with the first opened in Siem Reap province on March 9.
It said the Weekend Market strategy will be extended to other provinces and the capital in the near future.