Food Security Key to Cambodia’s Development
Friday, 28 November 2014; News by Khmer Times/Nou Sotheavy
PHNOM PENH, Nov. 28, (Khmer Times) – Food security will be vital to Cambodia’s economic growth, according to a new report issued today by the World Food Program (WFP) and the Cambodian government.
Representatives from the WFP and the government were at Raffles hotel for the release of the report. They stated that nutrition security is crucial if Cambodia is to develop into a middle income country.
The report states that, in the last twenty years, the average per capita income in Cambodia has increased, while the number of people living in poverty has dropped from 63 percent in 2004, to below 19 percent in 2013.
But despite a rise in annual rice production to around 9.3 million tons, with exports of 5.6 million tons in 2012, the report stresses that Cambodia still needs to address food security.
“Nutrition is key to economic growth,” said Ngy Chanphal, the secretary of state of the Interior Ministry.
Dr. Srinivasa Madhur, director of research at the Cambodia Development Resource Institute, said that not many countries can match the same average income growth as Cambodia, but the kingdom still has much to do to improve food security, sanitation and education.
“Cambodia needs to maintain long term growth, coming from the people, and which is targeted by the government’s ‘1,000 Days’ program,” said Mr. Chanphal. The ‘1,000 Days’ program concentrates on improving food nutrition among young mothers.
The program is a joint effort by the WFP and the government to change the eating habits of Cambodians. Other projects will concentrate on supporting local agricultural businesses.