The Cambodian government is set to sign a MoU with a Japanese company on the cooperation, investment and development of the Kingdom’s ‘safe vegetable’ sub-sector. The agreement would aim to promote the production of vegetables with reduced dependence on chemicals and free of microbiological hazards, and increased supply to international markets.
Plans for the MoU were unveiled during the meeting at the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries between Minister Veng Sakhon and a Japanese business delegation led by Yamato Green Co Ltd founder and CEO Katsuhito Nabeshima.
Through the MoU, the company will provide technical support to farmers, from growing, processing, packaging to exporting, and will buy vegetables from local farmers in Battambang and Mondulkiri provinces for market supply, said Sakhon.
He said the agreement dovetails with Prime Minister Hun Sen’s demand for “our farmers to change their habits and methods of production from merely meeting their needs and position themselves to fulfil commercial interests.
“To respond to the demands of the new era, we must cooperate closely with all relevant stakeholders – the state, the private sector, development partners and the overall community,” said Sakhon.
The proposed investment project comes as more people change their eating habits, seeking out higher standards of quality and safety, he said. “I recommend that the General Directorate of Agriculture set up an MoU planning team as soon as possible. The Battambang and Mondulkiri provincial Departments of Agriculture must be adequately prepared to fully cooperate with the company and ensure that the project runs smoothly and successfully.”
At the meeting, Nabeshima noted that Cambodia’s agricultural sector has great potential but is not being used to the fullest, through state-of-the-art approaches to growing, preservation, harvesting, cleaning, packing, storage and transport.