WORKING WITH THE ROYAL GOVERNMENT OF
CAMBODIA TO BOOST RICE PRODUCTION
AND FUEL CAMBODIA'S GROWTH

 

…“ my ambition (is) to turn Cambodia into a key ‘rice-white gold’ exporting country in the international market,” Hun Sen, Prime Minister
Opening remarks launching the Policy Paper on the Promotion of Paddy Production and Rice Export

DFAT HELPS ACHIEVE KEY GOVERNMENT GOALS

Rice is vital for Cambodia’s prosperity and to its people’s food security. Australia is helping the Royal Government of Cambodia (RGC) achieve its vision to boost rice production and export and deliver on its Rectangular Strategy for Growth, Employment, Equity and Efficiency.

Through DFAT programs like Agriculture Quality Improvement Project (AQIP), the Cambodia-IRRI-Australia Project (CIAP), CARDI Assistance Project (CARDI-AP) and Cambodia-Australia Agricultural Extension Program (CAAEP) Australia has been supporting the RGC to achieve its development goals for more than 20 years. The Cambodia Agricultural Value Chain Program (CAVAC), a program jointly implemented by the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries (MAFF) and the Ministry of Water Resources and Meteorology (MOWRAM), is a major part of this support.

The current phase of CAVAC started in early 2010 coinciding with the RGC’s launch of its signature Policy Paper on the Promotion of Paddy Production and Rice Export which aimsto build up the rice market and capitalise on export opportunities.

The relations between the National and Provincial Government and CAVAC are wide-ranging. Support from the Government to the partnership includes:

  • Steering and oversight;
  • Technical support and guidance at the national level;
  • Close activity coordination and collaboration at the provincial level;
  • Capacity building for Cambodian civil servants;
  • Financial support to national and provincial priority activities under the rice export strategy;
  • An active role in public/private dialogue activities. 

STEERING AND OVERSIGHT

As a modern development program CAVAC does not operate in a vacuum. All CAVAC activities are in line with government rules, regulations and practices and all activities support government priorities. Focal points within the two ministries work with the Program whenever needed to ensure the partnership is sound and activities are aligned.

At least once a year, both ministries meet with DFAT and representatives from the Provincial Government to assess progress, discuss issues and to guide the direction of and approve the annual work plan. CAVAC also organises Provincial Coordination Committee (PCC) meetings to keep stakeholders in the three target provinces in which CAVAC works up to date and to ensure activities align with local priorities. The provincial Coordination meetings are chaired by a Deputy Governor.

TECHNICAL SUPPORT AND GUIDANCE AT THE NATIONAL LEVEL

The General Directorate of Agriculture (GDA) is the main focal point for CAVAC within MAFF. GDA staff are in regular contact with the Program to assure that all activities that CAVAC undertakes are aligned and where needed GDA offers advice and support. MoWRAM staff also work with CAVAC on a regular basis to provide technical and management support on irrigation related activities.

CLOSE ACTIVITY COORDINATION AND COLLABORATION AT THE PROVINCIAL LEVEL

All activities in the provinces are coordinated with the Provincial Department for Agriculture (PDA) or the Provincial Department of Water Resources and Meteorology (PDWRAM). On an annual basis PDAs in the three target provinces and CAVAC meet to discuss achievements, challenges and priority activities under the program scope and discuss who will take the lead in which activity. The website section on irrigation provides further information on the partnership between the PDWRAMs and CAVAC.

CAPACITY BUILDING FOR CAMBODIAN CIVIL SERVANTS

Since the beginning of the program CAVAC has offered opportunities for capacity building to RGC officials. A number of exchange visits have been undertaken within Cambodia and to other countries in the region including Thailand, the Philippines and Vietnam. Specific technical trainings have been organised for both PDA and PDWRAM staff.

FINANCIAL SUPPORT TO NATIONAL AND PROVINCIAL PRIORITY ACTIVITIES UNDER THE RICE EXPORT STRATEGY

The PDA has well educated and experienced staff but often limited funds to utilize these resources. In all three provinces that CAVAC works in, the PDAs and CAVAC have agreed on a number of priority activities that the PDAs execute with CAVAC’s financial support. The Activities are all priority activities under the Policy Paper on the Promotion of Paddy Production and Rice Export and generally are contributing to the aims of the CAVAC program. This element of the Australian-Cambodian partnership increased in scope and level of support in 2012, 2013 and 2014. A similar agreement has been reached with the GDA in which CAVAC funds priority activities under the same policy.