European Union representatives in Cambodia have approved a budget of about $98 million for a programme to help support the Kingdom’s fishery sector from 2019 to 2023.
On December 13, George Edgar, EU ambassador to Cambodia, visited the Dai fishery on the Tonle Sap river, along with Agriculture Ministry officials. Mr Edgar said the $98 million programme will focus on the Tonle Sap river and its marine resources.
“Fisheries are very important for the food security of the Cambodian people,” he said. “This new CAPFISH-Capture programme will start in 2019 [and finish] in 2023.”
Mr Edgar added that the EU intends to work closely with the ministry to manage fishery programmes as well as aquaculture.
“This programme is very important for nutrition as well as for food security of Cambodians,” he said. “[It will also] help fisheries and aquaculture development, and sustainable development.”
Agriculture Minister Veng Sokhon at the time of the visit said that the $98 million is an aid package aimed to boost conservation of fishery resources.
“While some are supporting fishing communities to maximise its income, others are helping to train community members to also help conserve resources,” Mr Sokhon said.
Sours Ngen, a fisherman from Kampong Chhnang, yesterday said fishing is his main source of income. Mr Ngen said his catch is often made into prahok.
“During this season – around December – there are lots of fish that we can use to make prahok,” he said. “Because of our tradition, we always make prahok for next year.”
In November, the government signed a financing agreement with the French Agency for Development, with a budget of about $28 million to boost conservation in both freshwater and the ocean.
Many fishing communities in Cambodia depend on seasonal fish to make prahok, which is a fermented fish paste.
Last year, the price of prahok was between $0.3 to $0.5 per kilogram.