Vegetable Production Programme Bears Fruit

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A government initiative to reduce vegetable imports is bearing fruit, with Siem Reap province producing 1,432 tonnes of veggies last year, according to a public official.

Cambodian farmers working in a vegetable farm. KT/Chor Sokunthea

Tea Kimsoth, director of Siem Reap’s agricultural department, said that under the government-led Boosting Food Production programme, vegetable yields in the province have markedly increased in the last two years.

He said Siem Reap now produces 36 different types of vegetables over 221 hectares of land. Many of the farmers in the province now work under contract farming schemes.

“With the number of tourists to Siem Reap growing rapidly, it was important to increase the production of safe, quality vegetables,” he said.

Although he didn’t have data to support his claim, Srey Vuthy, spokesman at Ministry of Agriculture, said that due to the success of the programme, imports of vegetables in the province have already declined.

“We don’t have access to the data, but I can tell you that imports have been reduced thanks to the success of this programme,” Mr Vuthy said.

“Under the Ministry of Agriculture’s five-year strategy, we aim to increase vegetable production by 25 to 30 percent,” he said, adding that now the country can produce about half of the vegetables it consumes.

This article was originally published in the Khmer Times.