Monday, July 01, 2024

Selected Comments Samdech Moha Bovor Thipadei Hun Manet, at the celebration of the 19th July-1 National Fish Day [Unofficial and translations]



(1) Agriculture ensures food security and livelihood

[…] Cambodia was and still is considered an agricultural country. By 2023, agriculture accounted for about 22% of the country’s gross domestic product. That is why the Royal Government of all terms since 1979, after the liberation (from the Pol Pot regime), has always given priority to assist the agricultural sector, which is an important basis for ensuring food security and livelihood of the people […] as long as the people vote giving us the chance of leading the country, the Cambodian People’s Party continues to implement the policy of exempting tax on agricultural land for the people, especially family farmland […] we have issued tax exemptions on imports of agricultural equipment, machinery, agricultural equipment, agricultural products, consumer goods, and also postpone excise until 2028 to ensure reasonable prices for the people. Excise duties on the import and supply of certain commodities such as fertilizers, seeds, animal feed and animal species are also exempted – to reduce cost of inputs to the farmers’ production […]

(2) Additional excise waived on the enterprises involved in the productions for domestic supply and exports

In between 2019 and 2023, we waived the additional excise on the supply of goods and services to enterprises involved in the production, both for domestic supply and export of rice, cashew nuts, cassava, corn, beans, pepper and rubber […] in the state-private sector forum, I added five more items – Pailin longan, mango, aquacultural produces, animal husbandry and palm oil, with a two-year extension of the above favor to 2024 and 2025 to reduce (difficulties) and encourage enterprises involved in the export and domestic supply of goods and production to ensure export competitiveness […] the recent effort is to open ports to ensure export products whereby the state provides tax exemptions to reduce export prices to make the products (competitive) outside. Why do we have to compete outside? We need to take more market. Who benefits? It is for the farmers who are the producers in the country […]

(3) ‘Consumption and selling’ or ‘food security and trade’ – the present-day agriculture goals

[…] Agricultural policies and measures of the Royal Government, which include tax incentives, the deployment of agricultural technical officers, as well as price guarantees, incentives for modernization, import tax incentives for various machinery serving the agricultural sector, tax exemptions for imports issued for various enterprises related to the agricultural sector, is to meet the needs of the people in accordance with the current situation. The main goal of the agricultural sector is to focus on two simple goals – “consumption and selling” […] where eating refers to food security and selling refers to trade […] some 30 or 40 years ago, there were small number of people, whereas lakes and rivers were not yet shallow (with plenty of fish), […] and as of present, we have more people, they need to eat, and the number of producers is declining. This is the current situation. If the state does not help, and the people do not change the way they grow/raise (in agriculture), we will not be able to (be food adequate) […]

(4) Encourage modernization and use of machinery in agriculture

[…] We lack labor in agriculture. This is the reason we have put in place policies to encourage modernization in the agricultural sector […] in which some 99% of farmland are tilted and managed by machineries […] for instance in the district of Choeung Prey of Kompong Cham, people are opting to drones in place of human labor. We also have to think about making use of technology in cultivation. External market demand fluctuations require cultivation coordination. At present, the people have access to many different rice seeds and aquatic species […] through the fifth policy that we deploy agricultural officials, as initiated in the previous term by Samdech Techo and implemented in this term […] agricultural extension will help (1) strengthen and connect with the people. Some aquaculture research and development centers assist in breeding, especially endangered fish species, rehabilitating, and releasing into the river and/or distributing to the people; (2) organize the production capacity to be more effective, set policies, prepare methods to organize modern agricultural/farming communities […]

(5) Modern farming communities help farmers receive training, financial intervention, marketing and standards setting

The organization of this modern farming community is to ensure and increase the production and productivity of our farmers. Firstly, gather them for training, financial intervention or marketing or standard assistance from the Ministry of Agriculture (Forestry and Fisheries). If our farmers are in isolation, it will be difficult for the Ministry to provide help […] Secondly, (being organized) is also easy to find a market, not to mention the market outside the country, but also in the country […] in the process, we continue to adjust […] further, the number of people who work in agriculture can be smaller in number in the future as the country will have more and more people and they all need to eat. Land for agricultural purpose can be reduced as most of them will be converted into housing, villages/communes, and cities, which eventually lead to the development of industry and for tourism. This is a problem, but it is a subject matter that we have to deal with as it is no different in every country […]

(6) Reducing costs, more markets and more money left for farmers after spending cuts

The Royal Government has set out policies to help in the agricultural sector, including the construction of physical infrastructure such irrigation systems, reservoirs, roads for transportation or electricity consumption […] (for farmers to benefit from) agriculture, (action must be taken) not only (to reduce the cost) of the product, but for one to ensure they have access to markets, and for the other farmers have more money left over after spending. The Royal Government in the seventh legislative term, following the previous government, is committed to setting out a series of policies to help farmers across the country, as well as other investments in agriculture. The major agro-industrial strategy is to attract capital investment in processing cashew, rice, rubber, and use raw materials in the country, such as the tire factory, which is using rubber in the country, which will in turn help our farmers […]

(7) Inspire fish farming, ensure food security in response to population growth, and release fish as often as we can

The natural system cannot guarantee the supply of fish for consumption as it used to 30 or 40 years ago due to population growth, shallow rivers and lakes. This has required supplementation through rearing. The July-1 National Fish Day inspires a large fish farming movement across the country to ensure food security and consumption for the growing population. This culture and motivation must continue to encourage all citizens to participate in aquaculture, which includes raising fish, turtles, frogs and other aquatic animals in both saltwater and freshwater to ensure in the provision of protein plus livelihoods for the people. I urge the Ministry of Agriculture (Forestry and Fisheries) to continue to focus on researching on fish species, linking conservation with the subsequent distribution and release of fish (either into the natural system or for distribution to the people). Let us not release fingerlings once a year, but as often as we can […]

(8) Where there is no water, the relevant ministries consider taking measures

The Ministry of Water Resources (Ministry) of Rural Development, the Capital and Provincial authorities have taken active measures to help our people during the drought (phase). We have had some rain since April now […] but we must not underestimate the weather condition […] in Kampong Chhnang, we are still checking. In some places, there has not been any water. It is a challenge. I urge the Ministry of Water Resources and Meteorology and the Ministry of Rural Development help check with (the Ministry of) Agriculture to figure out way to intervene […]

The Ministry of Agriculture and the office of agriculture (in provinces) have introduced measures to control the problem of swarms of worm – the consequence of the El No system […] more than 20,000 hectares of farmed land across the country (were affected) by this swarm of worms […] authorities and the department of agriculture have joined together to rescue in a timely manner […] please continue to encourage farmers to participate in the community as well as in the cultivation and seizing of the opportunities we create […]

(9) Bring overseas markets to our country; rebalance local supply with imports

Regarding domestic and foreign trade, we must find markets for farmers. Of course, agricultural products fluctuate from year to year […] local businesses need to supply the needs of the local people, connecting the local market chain through various incentives […] we are studying the setup of a wholesale market focusing on connecting farmers’ agricultural products to overseas markets. In the past, we sought to bring our products to the gates of each country. Now we find a formula to bring overseas markets to our country […] the Ministry of Commerce signed contracts with some online retailers, such as China’s Alibaba, which has a network of hundreds of millions of customers worldwide […]

In 2023, Cambodia exported 8.82 million tons of agricultural products to 78 countries with a total value of $ 4.8 billion. The 78 countries are the result of more than 10 months efforts by the Royal Government, the Ministry of Commerce, the Ministry of Agriculture, the Ministry of Industry (to work with them) […] I agree with the request of our farmers, who rear pigs to temporarily close import of frozen meat […] since April. Now we are inspecting the measure […] as we close import, we have been able to help some farmers but the size (of production) is too small. As a result, prices have risen due to insufficient domestic supply. We will have to think about how to rebalance it. Once we help our farmers raise prices and earn more, consumers asked please do whatever you needed not to let the price of my food goes up […]

(10) Real estate/tourism recovers slightly, agricultural products have good prices

Each sector has different risks. In 2024, our real estate and tourism sectors are recovering, but not enough. Looking at the agricultural sector, many agricultural products are worth more than they were last year. We have a good harvest of cashew, rice and some other crop. This year, farmers are cultivating more dry season rice than planned, so much so that in terms of water resources, the Ministry of Water Resource warned our farmers of possible shortage of water to prepare for the rainy season cultivation […] we are looking to investments in finished products rather than exporting raw materials […] the Royal Government of the 7th legislative term will continue to serve the people all over the country, particularly the people of Prey Chhor […] as you can see that it has accomplished 20%, […] the enlargement of the National Road 7 will get to the Kizuna Bridge soon, and continue to the Tbong Khmum province and Kratie province […]

(11) August 5 – 2024, the groundbreaking ceremony for “the historic canal by the Cambodian children and for the future of the Cambodian children”

The Funan Techo canal project will benefit our people all over the country, not only in the southwest, but also in Prey Chhor, Kampong Siem, Kampong Cham, which are adjacent to the Mekong River. It is a nationalism […] even different political parties across the country with different tendencies support this canal project because it is known to be beneficial for all Cambodians […] we will launch the construction site on the 5th (of August) […] the birthday of Samdech Techo […] who initiated and scored special achievements, especially peace through win-win politics with the participation of the people throughout the country […] (on the CPP foundation day,) Samdech Techo said that people in the capitals, provinces, provincial halls, district halls, communes must make sound with gong, drum, or anything they can […] and at night (of August 5), make firework to celebrate this event. It is not a project of Samdech Techo or me. I just attended. Samdech Techo took the initiative. I continue to lead with officials, especially the people, to promote this project as a “historic project by Cambodian children, for Cambodian children in the future.”


(12) Thwarting the violation of ecosystems and freshwater fish from some people to protect the national interest

[…] Deputy Prime Minister, His Excellency Say Sam Al, continues to lead the registration of land parcels and install the border posts in the area around the Tonle Sap Lake. In the past, there have been some incursions. We had taken a series of actions […] even some legal actions. This work is not over yet. We will continue to call on local authorities, officials and residents to work together to prevent large-scale deforestation, clearing, overuse of chemical fertilizers that harm ecosystems and freshwater fish systems. We must dare to take action on a small number of people to protect the common interests of our nation. Together, we are working for the ecosystem around the Tonle Sap Lake, the spawning grounds and replanting trees […] the Royal Government has an absolute obligation to protect this area […] do not think that the new government, the young people in it dare not act […] holding positions in the state, young and old, have a duty to protect and develop the nation sustainably for all […]./.

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