Government Attaches Importance for Agricultural Development

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By Sok Lak
Under the support of Asia-link, a seminar on the theme of “Environmental Services, Sustainable Land Use and Natural Resource Management, Community Development and Certification of Agro-Products” was conducted at Royal University of Agriculture on March 23-25. About 230 people included experts; professors, speakers and students attended the seminar.
H.E. Chan Sarun speaks at a seminar on the theme of “Environment Services, Sustainable Land Use and National Resource Management, Community Development and Certification of Agro-Products”
 H.E. Chan Sarun, Minister of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries (MAFF), said that Cambodia is an agricultural country with over 80 percent of people living in rural areas and 70 percent of Cambodia’s labor force is in the agriculture sector. The agriculture sector accounts for one third of the economy.
He added that in 2010, Cambodia’s agriculture growth rate was 4.5 percent in which rice cultivation increased by 6 percent and other crop industry growth development increased by 8.4 percent. According to government estimate, the development of agriculture is growing rapidly this year. He mentioned that the government pays high attention to developing agriculture because agriculture sector takes account of 30 percent of gross domestic product (GDP) in which rice takes account of 20 percent, animals take account of 15.3 percent, fisheries take account of 25.2 percent and forestry take account of 6.6 percent. Adding to that, during global fi nancial crisis period, agriculture sector played an important role in Cambodia’s economic development.
The study of agriculture is also taking on an important role in developing the country while Cambodia needs human resources, which is the result of research on the agriculture sector. In this case, H.E. Chan Sarun suggested seven topics for a workshop to consider and discuss. First, land is the livelihood of farmers, so
that farmers do not sell their land. Second, farmers should pay attention to improving the quality of land cultivation, because land is the life of the farmer. Third, farmers need to set up an agricultural community to increase agricultural production.
Fourth are encouraging people to plant trees of forestation to reduce climate change. Fifth, the development of Cambodia’s forests, especially protected areas, needs to serve tourism sector in order to increase people’s income and environmental protection. Sixth is expanding forestry planting to improve the soil quality. The last, promote research and using technology system to manage natural resource.
H.E Ngo Bunthan, Rector of Royal University of Agriculture said that all speakers come from six countries will take all topics to discuss in the workshop.
According to research, Cambodian young accounts for 60 percent of the entire population. About 275,000 young people enter the job market. If the pattern of employment in the agriculture sector remains the same, which is approximately 59 percent of the total labor force, the agriculture sector will have to accommodate more than 21,1750 young people seeking for land in order to make farming their livelihood every year.
Source: The Southeast Asia Weekly, March 27-April 2, 2011/Vol.5, Issue 13, Page 6

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