Agriculture minister Dith Tina and his telecoms counterpart Cha Vandeth on May 2 signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) tied to the integration of the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries into document verification platform verify.gov.kh.
The signing ceremony took place in the presence of about 250 leaders and officials from both ministries.
“This is a milestone in the modernisation process of the agriculture sector. The website will allow all documents to be scanned using a standard code, making it quick, easy and modern,” said Tina.
According to the MoU, the Ministry of Post and Telecommunications will roll out high speed internet connections to all of the agriculture ministry’s offices in the near future, making their work more efficient.
“The MoU’s content begins an agreement to examine various means of modernising the agriculture ministry. One important step will be to provide the ability to set up QR Codes to verify documents and ensure that fraudulent documents cannot be used,” said Tina.
“More and more Cambodians have access to modern technology, and it is important that farmers in particular can access information about modern techniques,” he said.
He explained how the agriculture ministry will digitise the sector, by linking farmers, wholesalers and exporters digitally to reduce the number of steps needed to bring goods to market.
“Farmers will be able to consult the digital system to instantly find details of current markets and the demand for products,” he said.
Vandeth said Cambodia is the second country in ASEAN after Singapore to launch a document verification system using blockchain technology to create QR codes. This is done through a set of secure computer operations that create a timestamp that cannot be edited or shared.
He said he is committed to working to support the agriculture industry by updating existing traditional markets and establishing new technology-based ones.
“Specialists from both ministries will begin work immediately, and we expect the system to be launched within a few months,” he said.
A May 2 press release from the telecoms ministry explained that the use of QR codes would eliminate the need to authenticate photocopied documents.