Phnom Penh (FN), Nov. 14 – Outgoing US Ambassador to Cambodia William A. Heidt hoped that US-Cambodia agriculture cooperation will be expanded and strengthened, speaking in a courtesy call on Veng Sakhon, Minister of Agriculture, Forestry, and Fisheries on Wednesday at the Ministry in Phnom Penh.

Ambassador Heidt informed the Minister that Pest Risk Analysis Group will soon visit Cambodia to learn about technical works and legal procedures to export mangoes and cashew nuts to the American market.
On behalf of the Ministry of Agriculture, the Minister highly commended the mission of William A. Heidt, who has contributed significantly to socio-economic development in Cambodia, particularly the cooperation provided during the Minister-Ambassador field visits to provinces to evaluate projects and funds supported by USAID.

According to the Ministry, USAID has financially and technically aided Cambodia’s agricultural projects as follows: (1) US$17.5 million Horticulture Project that aims to improve the connection between horticulture product buyers and suppliers in Cambodia, helping horticulture farmers improve how they grow and market their produce. The project also connects farmers and suppliers with buyers and the markets to which they will sell their products. It also improves market governance and helps create an environment that enables the horticulture market to thrive; (2) US$1 million scholarship and research grant to Royal University of Agriculture; (3) US$25 million Center of Excellence for Sustainable Agriculture Intensification and Nutrition, CESAIN; (4) US$6 million on fisheries project (2016-2021) for Siem Reap, Battambang, Kampong Thom, and Pursat province to support sustainable food security sectors in the four provinces surrounding the Tonlé Sap Lake.

Minister Veng Sakhon underlined that Cambodian agricultural sector has been developed tremendously, which contributes to better living standard, income, productivity, environment, food security, nutrition, and less migration and dependence on natural resources.

The Minister hopes that American private sectors will invest more on Cambodian agriculture sector so that she will graduate in 2030 as a higher middle income country.