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Ministry highlights EU’s impact on local agriculture sector

Chhut Bunthoeun / Khmer Times Share:
Cambodian farmers working in the field. The Ministry of Agriculture says EU aid has had a huge impact on the sector. KT/Chor Sokunthea

In a brief report released yesterday, the Ministry of Agriculture said that financial aid from the European Union has had a huge impact on the development of the Cambodian agriculture and fisheries sectors.

Following the Paris Peace Agreements of 1991, the EU became a major development partner that has supported the Kingdom in multiple sectors, the report said.

The agriculture sector alone will benefit from 258 million euros (about $285 million) in aid from 1995 to 2023, according to the report.

The report notes that financial assistance has targeted a myriad of areas, from smallholder livestock production to the economic and social re-launch of provinces in the country’s northwest.

Yesterday, the Delegation of the European Union to Cambodia issued a statement announcing the closing ceremony for the ‘Promotion of Inclusive and Sustainable Growth in the Agriculture Sector: Fisheries and Livestock’ programme.

The programme run from 2013 to 2018 with a budget of 20 million euros (about $22 million), the EU said.

It aimed to promote the equitable, inclusive, environmentally responsible and sustainable growth of the fisheries and livestock sectors, according to the EU statement.

During the programme’s six-year lifespan, yearly aquaculture production rose by 160,000 tonnes, with total fish production reaching 600,000 tonnes last year, the EU said.

In the same statement, the EU announced the launch of a new EU-funded project, the ‘Cambodia Program for Sustainable and Inclusive Growth in the Fisheries Sector’ or ‘Capfish’.

The launch will be held at the Ministry of Agriculture today.

The Capfish project has a budget of 112 million euros (about $124 million) and will run from 2019 to 2023.

“This new EU-funded fisheries programme aims to increase food security, improve nutrition and foster further economic development in the country.”

Minister of Agriculture Veng Sakhon said the Capfish programme is expected to produce satisfactory short-term and long-term results for farmers, the private sector and consumers.

“The government recognises the role of the fisheries sector in contributing to Cambodia’s national development, and works hard to ensure that all Cambodian people enjoy better livelihoods and can continue to enjoy the unique taste of fish, squid, shrimp, and crab from our water resources,” he was quoted as saying in the statement.

Minister Sakhon thanked the EU for its contribution to the fisheries and livestock sectors and praised the bloc’s role in reducing poverty and promoting economic development in the Kingdom.

George Edgar, EU Ambassador to Cambodia, said the EU is delighted to see that its assistance has contributed to the progress of the fisheries and livestock sectors in Cambodia, benefiting scores of people around the country.

“The EU believes that with additional financial support to the fisheries sector, it will enable the Ministry of Agriculture, development partners and relevant actors, including the fishing communities, to manage Cambodia’s freshwater and marine fisheries more efficiently in the interest of the entire Cambodian population and future generations,” the outgoing ambassador said.

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