Cambodia’s fisheries sector that plays a vital role in food security and improving nutrition, generated a slightly improved income of more than $275,000 in the first half of the year, according to a report released by the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries yesterday.
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“In the first half of the year Cambodia exported around 5,300 tonnes of fish products, which was an increase of about 35.3 percent compared with the same period last year,” stated the ministry’s report.
“This generated an income of $275,504, which was a $37,384 year-on-year increase,” it added.
The report also stated that the processing of fishery products from river fish reached 27,500 tonnes in the first half of the year, which increased by 1,300 tonnes compared with the same period last year.
According to the report, the ministry’s target at the end of the year is for the kingdom to earn an income of $750,000 from the fisheries sector.
Cambodia’s inland fish catch is largely exported to Singapore, Malaysia and China while marine fish harvests are mostly exported to Thailand and Vietnam.
According to a report by World Fish, the fisheries sector in Cambodia helps rural communities diversify rural livelihood activities and insures against the risk of agricultural failures.
“Fisheries also provide access to income-generating activities with very little capital investment and no land,” added the NGO.
Fiona Ramsey, head of operations of the EU delegation in Cambodia, said that the fisheries sector played a very important role in food security and also in maintaining and improving nutrition.
“Fisheries contribute about 75 percent of the animal protein intake of Cambodian households most of which comes from freshwater fisheries,” said Ms Ramsey.
“The fisheries sector is also vital because it generates jobs and provides income to the poorest households. More exports from the sector will contribute greatly to the national economy,” she added.
Ms Ramsey said the EU is the leading development partner with the ministry in providing technical assistance to the sector.