Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Agribusiness shift a priority for farming sector, CPP says

Agribusiness shift a priority for farming sector, CPP says

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
A farmer uses a tractor to level a rice field in Peam Ro district of Prey Veng province early this month. Cambodia is pushing for the modernisation of agricultural practices towards an ‘agribusiness’ farming model. Hong Menea

Agribusiness shift a priority for farming sector, CPP says

The ruling Cambodian People’s Party (CPP) has, following its two-day extraordinary congress that concluded on January 29, outlined among other policies the priority of transforming the Kingdom from an agricultural country into one first rate in agribusiness – if it is re-elected.

Agribusiness refers to the sum total of all economic activities related to the production, handling and distribution of agricultural goods to local and international markets for monetary consideration, with its prioritising included in the five-year “Policy to Build and Protect the Motherland 2023-2038” made at the congress.

Addressing a press conference following the closing of the congress, party spokesman Suos Yara said the CPP-led government has clear policies for developing the economy.

“We have introduced this policy, which was initiated by Prime Minister Hun Sen, of building our motherland from an agricultural country into an agribusiness one. Whereas previously our produce was intended just for local consumption, it would now also be for export.

“The word ‘agribusiness’ refers to our ambitions – human resources will be employed according to their respective skills in their geographic location.

“These resources would also serve the people of each area in supplying the products needed to meet the actual needs of the market,” Yara said.

He also encouraged young people who had undergone training in agriculture to use their skills to benefit the farming sector.

According to Yara, a large portion of the national budget would be used to increase salaries and social protection, and to guarantee farmers’ prices at harvest.

“We would also have other options for workers and for benefiting the general population, including on lowering the prices of electricity, water and food,” he said.

Chhim Phal Vorun, another CPP spokesman, said at the press conference that while the agriculture sector had historically produced for family subsistence and supplying the surrounding area, the CPP sees great potential for agribusiness in the Cambodian economy.

“We can become an agribusiness country. This means that farmers are also producers, with them not only providing food, but also the products used in a range of other goods.

“We see that these commodities can also be linked with tourism. With an agribusiness model, we can produce agricultural products for supplying domestic tourism and also for overseas.

“With the CPP’s capacity for study and research, bringing together intellectuals who have skills in all sectors, this is a step forward. The CPP works with facts and does not rely on populism,” Phal Vorun said.

The CPP congress also earmarked addressing people’s needs, job creation, agricultural markets, stability in the price of essentials and the greater provision of healthcare, clean drinking water and electricity, as well as the construction of rural roads and canals.

The CPP promised that, if re-elected, agricultural experts would directly work with all communes in the Kingdom.

Yang Saing Koma, secretary of state at the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries, said Prime Minister Hun Sen had announced during the convention that agricultural experts would in the seventh mandate serve farmers in person across all communes.

“Agricultural expertise is currently only available at the provincial and district levels, and not directly in communes.

“The CPP president would prepare for agricultural officers, especially agriculture students who have just graduated, to work directly with farmers in every commune so they can improve their livelihoods,” Saing Koma said.

With Cambodia traditionally a farming country, a shortage of agricultural experts at the grassroots levels was a particular challenge, he noted, with it necessary to have at least one expert in each commune to help farmers.

Song Saran, CEO of Amru Rice Cambodia Co Ltd, said that as a member of the private sector, he fully supports the policy as it would prove beneficial in the bringing in of modern agricultural practices.

Agricultural experts are required to support rural communities in adopting the latest methods to become modern farmers capable of both producing and looking for markets.

Amru Rice has deployed more than 400 company experts to work in person with farming communities, which has resulted in remarkable success, he said.

The government introducing such a policy would reduce private sector spending on developing human resources, he added.

“A shortage of agricultural experts is a challenge, so it would be good if the government addressed this,” Saran said.

Kin Phea, director of International Relations Institute at the Royal Academy of Cambodia who saw the policies in full, said CPP strategy included diversifying export products, with a focus now on agriculture in addition to the garment sector.

“If we can increase agricultural sector exports, like the CPP has laid out with expanding into agribusiness, I think it represents good progress.

“If this policy is successfully implemented, it will become a backbone of the economy for Cambodia and improve the livelihoods of our people, especially farmers,” he said.


  • Joy as Koh Ker Temple registered by UNESCO

    Cambodia's Koh Ker Temple archaeological site has been officially added to UNESCO’s World Heritage List, during the 45th session of the World Heritage Committee held in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, on September 17. The ancient temple, also known as Lingapura or Chok Gargyar, is located in

  • Famed US collector family return artefacts to Cambodia

    In the latest repatriation of ancient artefacts from the US, a total of 33 pieces of Khmer cultural heritage will soon return home, according to the Ministry of Culture and Fine Arts. In a September 12 press statement, it said the US Attorney’s Office for the

  • Tina rebuffs ‘false claims’ over falling paddy price

    Agriculture minister Dith Tina has shed light on the trade of paddy rice in Battambang – Cambodia’s leading rice-producing province – in a bid to curb what he dubs a “social media fact distortion campaign” to destabilise the market. While acknowledging that the prices of paddy

  • Cambodia set to celebrate Koh Ker UNESCO listing

    To celebrate the inscription of the Koh Ker archaeological site on UNESCO’s World Heritage List, the Ministry of Cults and Religion has appealed to pagodas and places of worship to celebrate the achievement by ringing bells, shaking rattles and banging gongs on September 20. Venerable

  • Kampot curfew imposed to curb ‘gang’ violence

    Kampot provincial police have announced measures to contain a recent spike in antisocial behaviour by “unruly’ youth. Officials say the province has been plagued by recent violence among so-called “gang members”, who often fight with weapons such as knives and machetes. Several social observers have

  • PM outlines plans to discuss trade, policy during US visit

    Prime Minister Hun Manet is set to meet with senior US officials and business leaders during his upcoming visit to the US for the UN General Assembly (UNGA), scheduled for September 20. While addressing nearly 20,000 workers in Kampong Speu province, Manet said he aims to affirm