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Cambodia – new high-tech move in farming

Sorn Sarath / Khmer Times Thu,  August 27, 2020

Modern machinery on a farm in Takeo province. More is needed, say experts. KT/Khem Sovannara

PHNOM PENH – The Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries (MAFF) is promoting the use of an information technology and digital suite designed to establish the country’s Agricultural Big Data Platform (ABDP).

The Ministry is also examining opportunities for the establishment of an agricultural product monitoring system through information technology and an agricultural product traceability system for the future as well.

Sor Chetra, deputy secretary-general of MAFF, said in a workshop on achievements in information technology in agriculture that the purpose of it was to promote the importance and benefits of information technology systems in agriculture in Cambodia through mobile apps, the Ministry’s website and social networks.

“We know about the contribution of technology in agricultural development, such as supporting the creation of strategies for the development of agriculture, promoting innovation in agriculture, sustainable farming, promoting the market for agricultural products and increasing capacity,” he said.

He added that being on the edge of technology innovation, information technology and digital platforms are playing an important role in business and industry performance. “Using information technology also helps to ensure food safety and production chain monitoring, disaster management and assistance in finding insurance and finance,” he said.

More than 100 officials and development partners from 25 provinces and the capital attended the workshop.

Chetra said that in the new context of the popularity of smartphones in the era of Industry 4.0 and the digital economy, MAFF has also developed a number of smartphone applications to facilitate and share information about the entire agricultural sector available to the public and farmers, such as the mobile app of the General Department of Animal Health and Animal Production and Agri-library mobile app.

The International Fund for Agricultural Development and Ministry of Agriculture have also just launched an app for farmers called Chamka to help with technical assistance related to farming, crops and finding a market for farmers.

Amru Rice (Cambodia), one of the country’s leading rice exporters, has scaled up its BlocRice technology project to ensure farmers can sell their products at a higher price and it also enables the source of food to be identified.

BlocRice project phase I had 50 household farmers in one agricultural community in Preah Vihear province and has now scaled up to 500 households in two communities.

The ministry currently also has other digital platforms to provide support for farmers and the sector’s development such as a market information service system, agricultural web portal, agricultural library and shared agricultural technical documents for the public.

Cambodia’s agriculture remains far behind its neighbours, Vietnam and Thailand. The country’s Agriculture Minister Veng Sakhon has put the blame on a lack of support for it including infrastructure investment and funding.

Source: Khmer Times, Cambodia Thu, August 27, 2020

 

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