The area around Boeung Tamouk Lake, in the outskirts of Phnom Penh, will be built into a massive market to centralise the supply of locally grown and imported vegetables, according to recently revealed government plans.
The project, which will see 20 hectares around the lake developed to host the market, has already been endorsed by Prime Minister Hun Sen, according to a letter that the Office of the Council of Ministers sent yesterday to the Ministry of Land Management to request a construction permit for the project.
“The Office of the Council of Ministers would like to inform that the Royal Government already approved in principle the development of 20 hectares of land in Boeung Tamouk Lake to build a market for the supply of vegetables and fruits complete with parking space.
“We will relocate the vegetable market at Psar Deumkor (in central Phnom Penh) to the new location in Boeung Tamouk Lake,” the letter read.
Keap Sophea, director of Boosting Food Production Project, a $20-million initiative to curb vegetable imports, applauded the plan.
“It won’t just serve as a place to buy and sell vegetable. It will put all products, imported and locally grown, in one place. This will allow authorities to control the supply and collect important data for the public and for farmers,” he added.
Chan Sophal, director of the Centre for Policy Studies, said, “I think is necessary to have a wholesale market in town because we can control the local supply as well as what we import.
“With this new market, we will be able to test all imported products in one place to ensure that they are safe for consumption.
“As you know, now we just have one place, Psar Deumkor, located in the centre, where there is always a lot of traffic, so it is not so convenient.”
Boeung Tamouk Lake, also called Tumnup Srov, is about 15 kilometres away from the city center. It is one of the last lakes in Phnom Penh relatively unaffected by development, according to Sahmakum Teang Tnaut (STT), a Cambodian Urban NGO.
On Feb 3, 2016, the government issued a sub-decree classifying 3,239 hectares around Boeung Tamouk Lake as state public property. According to the Land Law, state public land cannot be owned by anyone other than the State.