South Korea has earmarked $8 million in financial aid to build a quality and safety control laboratory and manage associated tasks to ensure that animal and livestock products meet the required standards.

The project aims to promote national wellbeing and potentially ratchet up exports down the road, according to the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries on November 11.

Agriculture minister Veng Sakhon on November 11 met with Korea International Cooperation Agency (Koica) country director Rho Hyun-jun and Cho Jae-jin, an executive from the Korea Agency of HACCP Accreditation and Services (Kahas), to discuss the undertaking, the ministry said.

Three major components of the project are strengthening human resources, and livestock and meat management; improving sanitary and phytosanitary measures and legal standards for food safety; and building a national livestock institute in the Kingdom, it added.

During the meeting, Cho affirmed that the Korean government would provide the aid for the project, which he noted is scheduled to be implemented from 2023-2027, with a connected study slated to start soon.

This ministry said the project will lead to safer foods for human consumption and improve national wellbeing, and added that safe animal products for export were also in the horizon.

The minister thanked Seoul for its fruitful cooperation with Phnom Penh, especially in agriculture, in the 24 years since the two countries established diplomatic ties in 1997.

Sakhon also asked the Korean delegation to look into helping Cambodia on the technical aspects and infrastructure necessary to produce vaccines and medications in the Kingdom for animals, to prevent future zoonotic disease outbreaks.

“The Korean delegation accepted the minister’s request and committed to conduct a joint study on this project for the sake of wellbeing in Cambodia and for future animal product exports,” the ministry said.