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Cambodia's Statement to 39th Session of IFAD's Governing Council H.E. Mam Amnot, Secretary of State, Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry, and Fisheries

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Excellency Chairman, Ministers, Distinguished Delegates, Ladies and Gentlemen:  
It is my great pleasure and honor on behalf of the Royal Government of Cambodia and H.E. Dr. Ouk Rabun, Minister of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries of Cambodia to join with other eminent speakers in conveying our best wishes on the occasion of the thirty-nine session of the IFAD’s Governing Council. May I also take this opportunity to pay tribute to President Kanayo F. Nwanze and his productive team who have succeeded in guiding IFAD to contribute to helping lift farmers in Cambodia out of poverty and hunger.

Cambodia has made an early achievement of overall poverty reduction stated in its Millennium Development Goals. Strong economic growth has benefited not only the urban areas but also the rural poor. Agriculture has played and continues to play an important role in supporting inclusive growth, food security, and rural poverty reduction. However, at the same time, we are also faced with new challenges such as the rapid transformation of rural areas, the rapidly growing impact of climate change, and the regional integration. In this connection, the Royal Government of Cambodia recommends IFAD to continue joining force with the Government to address these issues and help farmers access to productive services, finance and markets. Therefore and accordingly, investment to be made should follow sustainable value chains and inclusive business models, to leverage growing private investments and reduce transaction costs through innovative public and private partnership approaches.

To enable rural people to improve their livelihoods, the public investments should support a sustainable shift from subsistence agriculture to a productive agricultural industry that allows smallholder farmers to take part in the market economy. Such a shift will involve far-reaching structural changes to boost production, productivity and, eventually, incomes for small farmers and others small and medium sized enterprises alike.

In this context, the Royal Government of Cambodia has used result-based COSOP as collaborative platform to move beyond the project approach. We trust and value IFAD’s competence and contribution in increasing smallholder farmers’ productivity. We particularly appreciate the Fund’s collaborative approach given strong ownership of the Royal Government of Cambodia in the process which we consider a model of development cooperation.

Together with other member countries, the Royal Government of Cambodia does hope that IFAD will continue to play a vital role in supporting governments to help smallholders deal with the many challenges they face, most notably in the area of productivity, profitability, market, farmer organization, and climate change.  

Finally, I would like to wish Excellency Chairman, Ministers, Distinguished Delegates, Ladies and Gentlemen good health and great success.

Thank you very much!