The World Bank will provide about $60 million in continued funding for the third phase of a project by the Agriculture Ministry to improve poor farmers’ livelihoods, a representative said.
Nathan M. Belete, the practice manager for the World Bank’s Agriculture Global Practice for the East Asia and the Pacific Region, yesterday said that the funding would be made available after the current phase of the project ends in 2022.
Mr Belete made the announcement during a meeting with Agriculture Minister Veng Sakhon at his office in the ministry.
He said that WB is currently cooperating with the Agriculture Ministry in the implementation of phase two of the bank’s Land Allocation for Social and Economic Development (LASED II) project from 2017-2022.
“This project is being carried out in Tboung Khmum, Kratie, Kampong Chhnang, Kampong Speu and Kampong Thom provinces, and is benefitting 4,441 families through the establishment of small irrigation systems and basic agriculture technical support services to improve the living condition to the farmers,” Mr Belete said.
He noted that the five-year LASED II project cost $25 million.
Mr Belete said that WB has budgeted $60 million and will seek $30 million more from other partners to implement the LASED III project after 2022.
“I hope the Minister will continue to cooperate with WB to implement the current and future projects for the benefit of the farmers, especially poor farmers,” he said. “This will also help boost the country’s economic growth.”
During their meeting, Mr Sakhon expressed the government’s gratitude to the World Bank for its continued support for the Kingdom’s economic development, including in the agriculture sector.
“The project helps to improve the farmers’ livelihood and plays a role in Cambodia’s efforts to become a high income country in 2030,” he said. “It also helps the poor farmers to get land concessions and teaches them modern farming techniques.”
Mr Sakhon added that he hoped the WB will continue to support Cambodia as a development partner and provide funding for the agriculture sector to reduce poverty among farmers.