Engaging in more knowledge-sharing activities in logistics services to identify business opportunities, inspire innovative solutions for the modern era, and relieve some of the challenges plaguing the logistics landscape is essential to ensuring that the Cambodian horticulture sector can stand shoulder-to-shoulder with economic rivals, insiders have said.

This was the general consensus that emerged during an online workshop on August 24, promoting “Logistics Investment Opportunities in Cambodian Horticulture”.

Horticulture is a branch of agriculture that generally deals with the intensive commercial cultivation of high-value plants for food, medicinal ingredients or ornamental purposes. Horticulture farming as a rule sits between domestic gardening and field agriculture, in terms of scale.

The workshop was hosted by Feed the Future Cambodia Harvest II (Harvest II), in collaboration with the Cambodia Logistics Association (CLA), according to a joint statement.

“The special event brought together 200 participants from various sectors in the industry, including logistics firms, investors, agri-businesses, project developers, government officials and industry associations, to discuss logistics challenges in the agricultural sector, potential solutions, investment opportunities and to learn about Harvest II’s new grant programme,” it said.

According to its Facebook page, the five-year Harvest II is funded by the US Agency for International Development (USAID), and primarily aims to fuel growth in the provincial horticulture sectors of Pursat, Battambang, Siem Reap and Kampong Thom.

“The project uses a ‘buyer-led approach’ to help buyers and sellers compete more effectively in domestic and international markets and thus will expand sales, create employment, and stimulate investment,” it says.

The statement went on to say: “During the workshop, Harvest II presented its new grants programme that promotes targeted development for Cambodia’s agri-logistics, facilitating international exports.

“Harvest II’s new grants programme supports local companies address challenges regarding post-harvest handling, transportation and logistics, export services, and other supply chain management services to meet market requirements.”

Harvest II chief of party Nimish Jhaveri said in the statement: “Modern logistics services are critical for Cambodian horticulture to gain competitive parity with neighbouring countries, and we were very pleased this workshop was able to convene business partners around investment opportunities in this important area.”

According to the statement, CLA is a national representative of the Federation of Regional and Global Associations, and centres on developing the Cambodian logistics sector.

CLA president Sin Chanthy lauded the workshop for highlighting the challenges and investment opportunities in Cambodian logistics and horticulture.

“This workshop shows our collaboration with Harvest II, and we will continue our partnership in terms of sharing information and investment opportunities in the horticulture sector,” he said.

Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries deputy director-general for Agriculture Kuy Huot, who chaired the workshop, said the event “is very important as participants can share experiences and discuss challenges to improve the logistics sector in Cambodia”.

The statement added that the workshop spotlighted logistics challenges, solutions and investment opportunities pinpointed by a recent research study done by Harvest II and put forward the real-world challenges and needs reported by Cambodian agribusiness AgriOn (Cambodia) Co Ltd and logistics firm Puzzle Solution Co Ltd.