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Agri policy to yield 3.1% annual industry growth

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Crop production accounted for the largest share of the agriculture sector’s contribution. Heng Chivoan

Agri policy to yield 3.1% annual industry growth

Cambodia's total agricultural value-added growth is estimated to increase at an average annual rate of around 3.09 per cent between 2019 and 2030, with the imminent introduction of the Agricultural Development Policy 2021-2030, the agriculture ministry announced.

Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries spokesman Srey Vuthy said that with the introduction of the policy, which is currently in its final drafting stage, the total value-added of the agricultural sector will be expected to increase from the 22.790 trillion riel ($5.6 billion) recorded in 2019 to 31.852 trillion riel by 2030.

The policy is also set to boost the value-added growth of total crop and livestock production by 3.1 per cent and 2.7 per cent per year, respectively, while the annual increase in exports of processed agricultural products is projected to increase from the seven per cent seen in 2019 to 15 per cent in 2030.

Vuthy added that total productivity is projected to increase from the $1,986 per unit of agricultural labour achieved in 2019 to $4,625 by 2030, representing an annual growth rate of nearly 8.0 per cent.

The draft Agricultural Development Policy 2021-2030 purports to bolster competitive and inclusive agricultural growth. It seeks to achieve that through sustainable land, water, forestry and fisheries resource management, to produce high quality, safe and nutritious products.

The strategic goals of the draft policy are fourfold: to enhance the competitiveness of the agricultural production chain; generate support for agricultural infrastructure and trade facilitation; improve the sustainability of agriculture, forestry and fisheries resource management; and strengthen governance and human resource development in the agriculture sector.

Hun Lak, a Cambodian agricultural business owner who has invested heavily in horticulture, told The Post that policies to encourage and incentivise agriculture sector investment will entice more private sector companies to become involved in the industry.

He added that such companies have begun participating in discussions about the draft policy, but have yet to for the final draft document.

“Stakeholders must work together to see if the content of this policy [Agricultural Development Policy 2021-2030] has any key points that will help the agricultural sector. We will wait to see the final draft, at which time we will be able to know where and how this policy will be useful in helping investors and farmers,” he said.

In the last decade, the contribution of the agriculture sector to the national economy has decreased from 33.9 per cent in 2011 to 24.4 per cent in 2021.

Crop production accounted for the largest share of the agriculture sector’s contribution, at 57-59 per cent of gross domestic product (GDP), while fishery products accounted for 22-24 per cent. Animal and forestry products, meanwhile, respectively encompassed 11 per cent and 6.7-to-seven per cent, according to the draft policy document.

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