Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - PM: Farm more to offset crisis consequences

PM: Farm more to offset crisis consequences

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
Prime Minister Hun Sen is speaking in a press conference at the Peace Palace in Phnom Penh on Tuesday. He calls on farmers to increase production as domestic demand continues to rise. Hong Menea

PM: Farm more to offset crisis consequences

Prime Minister Hun Sen on Tuesday called on farmers to increase production as domestic demand continues to rise.

Speaking at a press conference on Covid-19 held at the Peace Palace, Hun Sen said the pandemic has caused a global economic slowdown and impacted regional economies, including Cambodia.

Noting that the ongoing pandemic has mainly affected the service and industrial sectors, he said agriculture has the opportunity to increase production.

The call comes after the government announced bans on the exports of paddy and white rice, as well fish and fishery products to ensure the Kingdom’s supply during the health crisis.

“I call on the people to boost farming. Grow vegetables and other crops – raise animals and fish to supply the domestic market during these tough times. I think our people are capable of the additional production.

“Of course, the tourism and garment sectors have been impacted, but that shouldn’t affect the agricultural sector.

“On the contrary, this is an opportunity for the agricultural sector to boost production – it requires our people to farm and raise food, vegetables and meat to meet market demand,” Hun Sen said.

The prime minister called on the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries and relevant stakeholders to guide farmers on raising animals and growing vegetables where there is a market need.

“We have to transform these trying times into an opportunity to enhance productivity in the agricultural sector, which had previously been slow.

“In the past, growth in the service and industrial sectors had been very high while very low in agriculture. In the near future, the agricultural sector will enjoy a sharp increase and the opportunity is at hand,” he said.

In December, ministry secretary-general Khy Kosal said financial institutions invest less in agriculture because there are still many challenges related to irrigation.

He said with Cambodia’s agricultural sector, the water system is important so there is a need to have higher investments.

“If in the future the government, through the Ministry of Economy and Finance, considers adjusting public investment and broadens it to water resources, farmers will get greater access to finance,” he said.

At the same time, Kosal also suggested that all farmers and investors should study market demands and comply with it.

Ministry data shows that 78 per cent of Cambodia lives in the countryside and depends on the agricultural sector, which generates one-third of the Kingdom’s gross domestic product (GDP) and employs 40 per cent of the workforce.

The agricultural sector accounted for 23.5 per cent of the Kingdom’s GDP in 2018, 1.4 percentage points lower than in 2017, the data shows. Of the sector’s GDP that year, the crop subsector accounted for 58.1 per cent, animal production 11.1 per cent, fisheries 24.1 per cent and forestry 6.7 per cent.

The Asian Development Bank (ADB) last week downgraded its economic projection for the Kingdom to 2.3 per cent this year despite a strong growth of around seven per cent annually over the past two decades.

Its Asian Development Outlook 2020 report highlighted that Cambodia’s services sector is expected to contract by 1.7 per cent this year, as tourism drops and growth in real estate slows.

Industry growth would slow to 6.5 per cent because of a deceleration in garment production for exports and slower growth in construction. Meanwhile, agricultural growth would fall to around 0.5 per cent.

MOST VIEWED

  • Public warned of dengue risks amid rainy season

    Minister of Health Mam Bun Heng has issued an eight-point plan to destroy mosquitoes carrying dengue fever amid the rainy season. In a four-page directive, Bun Heng warned that while the number of dengue cases has dropped sharply compared to last year, it could increase

  • Thirteen charged in UK migrant lorry tragedy

    Thirteen suspects arrested by French police over the deaths of 39 Vietnamese migrants in a refrigerated lorry in Britain have been charged with people trafficking, a judicial source said on Saturday. Six of the group – mainly Vietnamese and French nationals – were held on Tuesday in the

  • Cambodian Blue Helmet dies of virus

    The last rites for Cambodian Blue Helmet peacekeeper Sar Savy, who died on Friday at 63 from Covid-19 while on a mission in the Republic of Mali, will be held on Wednesday and Thursday at the UN base there. Cambodia’s National Centre for Peacekeeping Forces

  • World Bank donates $15 million in aid

    The World Bank on Friday approved $15 million for a medical training system to help Cambodia equip doctors with more skills before they start work. The budget, which was granted by the International Development Association (IDA), is intended to improve health care services. The World Bank

  • Ministry signs MoU to develop ICT training

    The Ministry of Education, Youth and Sport on Friday signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with IT Academy STEP Cambodia (STEP) to further develop the Sisters of Code project. The project trains female students in computer programming, and enhances information and communication technology (ICT) textbooks

  • Masseuse caught planting fake bills

    Four suspects were sent to Phnom Penh Municipal Court on Sunday for allegedly stealing money from a customer who had visited their massage parlour for a cupping session last Friday in Anlong Kgnan village, in Sen Sok district’s Khmuonh commune. District police chief Hour