The Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries and the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI) have partnered to strengthen the cooperation in modernising and enhancing the rice sector.

The agreement on a four-year Collaborative Work Plan for 2020-2023 was signed by Cambodian Minister of Agriculture, Forestry, and Fisheries Veng Sakhon and Dr. Yurdi Yasmi, IRRI’s Regional Representative for Southeast Asia.

According to a press release issued at the signing ceremony, with the signing of the Collaborative Work Plan, IRRI seeks to boost its collaboration with MAFF and other national partners to enhance the commercialisation of the rice sector through value chain assessment and strengthening and enhance productivity and resiliency through and utilisation, crop improvement, and seed system development.

IRRI also work to enhance sustainable management of agricultural land through climate-smart production techniques, optimisation of diversified land management options and landscape monitoring, modeling, and planning and to promote agricultural modernisation through on-farm mechanisation, post-harvest, by-product management.

Under the MAFF, other partners include the Cambodian Agricultural Research and Development Institute Council (CARDI), the General Directorate of Agriculture (GDA), the Development of Agricultural Extension (DAE), as well as other government agencies and non-government organisations, agriculture universities, and the private sector.

The agreement also has provisions to work with organisations within CGIAR, the world’s largest global agriculture network, of which IRRI is a founding institution.

“Cambodia is pleased to enter into increased collaboration with IRRI, our long-time partner and ally in the development of our rice sector,” said Mr Sakhon. “The Royal Government places strategic importance in strengthening the role of the agricultural sector, with rice-based farming systems central in generating jobs, ensuring food security, reducing poverty, and development rural areas.”

“The new Work Plan will be key to achieving our national policy goals and contribute to the country’s economic transformation,” he added.

Dr. Yurdi Yasmi of IRRI recalled the partnership between IRRI and Cambodia’s MAFF on the rice sector, underlining the new collaboration will contribute to enhance the sustainable rice development in Cambodia.

“As the country prioritises the modernisation of its rice sector, IRRI is excited to work more closely with our partners to achieve their R&D objectives, and contribute to the nation’s advancement of the Sustainable Development Goals,” Dr Yurdi said.

IRRI’s supports for Cambodia’s rice sector began in 1960’s, and through IRRI’s continued support, Cambodia was able to significantly increase its rice production from 2.4 million tons in 1993 to 10.8 million tons in 2019.

Source: Khmer Times