Cambodian Government Pushes For More Homegrown Vegetables

Research conducted by the Center for Policy Studies shows that between 200 to 400 metric tons of vegetables are imported daily from neighbouring countries and sold in Cambodian markets.

A move to stem the flow of an estimated $200 million per year on imports from neighbouring countries has been initiated by the Cambodian government with eight provinces earmarked to start boosting vegetable production, according to the Ministry of Economy and Finance.

Vongsey Vissoth, secretary of state at the Ministry, said the influx of chemically produced vegetables was potentially harmful to local people and required a new strategy, with emphasis on a move towards large-scale production and partnerships with wealthy farmers and the private sector.

“I get very upset once we start talking about importing vegetables. We have very rich soil and plenty of water resources but we import a lot and some complain the imported vegetables contain chemicals,” said Vissoth. “Frankly speaking, I initiated a new project on boosting food production – one of the main components of the project is boosting vegetable production.”

According to Vissoth, the Ministry is to establish a large area close to markets and water resources that will enable farmers to produce high quality vegetables that are able to compete with imported ones, which mainly come from Vietnam as well as Thailand and China. The project, entitled Boosting Food Projection 2017-2019, has a government budget of some $20 million, half of which is for crop production.

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