Tuesday, February 10, 2009

FAO Provides US$ 2.25 M in Aid to Build Irrigation System

BY BUTH REAKSMEY KONGKEA

The Royal Government of Cambodia gratefully accepts financial assistance from the Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO) which has promised to offer a total of US $ 2.2 millions in aid to the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries (MoAFF).
Chan Tong Yves, Secretary of State at the Ministry of Agriculture Forestry and Fisheries, said that the FAO’s financial aid will help MoAFF to promote food security and increase agricultural activities in Cambodia.
To achieve these goals, he said his Ministry has been working very hard with its development partners and other involved ministries to construct irrigation systems and renovate dams throughout the country.
“I fully appreciate the FAO’s continued support and they have provided food supplies and financial assistance to Cambodia since 1993. With this additional grant, we will make further strides towards total food security by increasing agricultural output,” he said.

The Secretary of State continued that his Ministry is going to appeal to the FAO to continue providing more financial support and technical assistance to the government.

Since 2000 until 2008, under the direction of the MoAFF, rice production has increased every year. He also said that official data illustrates an increase in rice exports per year. In 2006, Cambodia exported a total of 2 million tones of rice; in 2007, 2.2 million tones were exported and in 2008, the figure stood at over 3 million tones.
“We promise that this financial aid will be used for the proper purpose. It will be controlled by the Ministry of Agriculture as it continues to build and renovate more irrigation systems and dams to increase rice yields,” he added.

Ajay Markanday is the FAO’s representative in Cambodia. He confirmed that his Organization - a UN Agency based in Cambodia - plans to provide a total of US $ 2.25 million in support to the Ministry of Agriculture Forestry and Fisheries in 2009.
In 2007, FAO donated a total of US$3.6 million to the MoAFF for development of natural resource zones around Tonle Sap Lake and related projects. This followed the US$ 3 million donated the previous year.
The Organization has also provided policy-makers and analysts with the most up to date information available on all aspects of food supply so that timely interventions can be planned and food security ensured, according to Markanday.

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