ASEAN KEY DESTINATIONS
‘ASEAN City of Culture a great opportunity to promote local products’
BRUNEI’s capital being named as the ASEAN City of Culture 2016-2017 will be a good platform to support and promote local Up to $85M earmarked to develop agriculture sectors
Representatives of Cambodia’s rice sector and the Ministry of Economy and Finance (MEF) met yesterday with the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) to discuss the implementation of a five-year program to promote the Kingdom’s agricultural products.
The Accelerating Inclusive Markets for Smallholders (AIMS) initiative will allocate $85 million toward the development of 10 different sectors of the country’s agriculture industry, according to Hun Lak, vice president of the Cambodia Rice Federation (CRF).
“The project will focus on promoting farming products first in local and then in international markets,” he said. “The budget will be used to improve Cambodia’s agricultural productivity as well as to provide the technical skills, production capacity, packaging facilities and the capital to bring these products to market.”
Starting next year and running until 2022, the AIMS project will support producers of meat, vegetable, fruits and rice products. IFAD has pledged to contribute $45 million to the project, while the MEF will provide $8 million. The remaining funds will be obtained through private sector investments, Lak explained.
“If the plan progresses well, we hope that it will help a lot of farmers and promote greater economic growth,” he said, adding that the project’s details would be finalised on September 8.
Cambodia’s agricultural sector already benefits from significant amounts of aid through IFAD programs. The NGO’s initiatives have a combined budget of $100 million.
Yang Phirom, business adviser for the Cambodian Center for Study and Development in Agriculture (CEDAC) and chief executive of Cambodia Farm Enterprise (COFE), welcomed news of the AIMS project, but warned that IFAD needs to work with the appropriate institutions to maximise its success.
“This is a really good project for developing the agricultural sector, but we need to make sure that those involved work with the organisations that have a good understanding of the market issues and the challenges facing farmers,” he said.
“The government should also guarantee retail prices for farmers otherwise they will give up their jobs in the farming industry.”--The Phnom Penh Post
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Indonesia to launch 13th economic package this month
Coordinating Economic Minister Darmin Nasution said on Wednesday that the government would release its 13th economic policy package in August, adding that the draft had been completed.
Darmin said the 13th package was largely an extension of the previous one, but would expand its focus beyond industry. The 12th package focused on small and medium enterprises.
"We are just waiting to schedule a meeting with the president," Darmin told reporters at his office. He refused to give the exact date the new policy package would come into effect.
The ministry team must meet with President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo one more time to finalize the details, Darmin said.