In a visionary move aimed at bolstering Cambodia’s agricultural sector and ensuring the well-being of its farmers, Minister Dith Tina has set in motion plans for the construction of a cutting-edge national agricultural laboratory in Kandal province. This ambitious project, estimated to cost $30 million, is scheduled for completion by 2026 and holds the promise of transforming Cambodia’s agricultural landscape.
During a productive meeting with Jyotsana Varma, the country director of the Asian Development Bank (ADB), Minister Tina expressed his enthusiasm for projects that not only enhance the lives of farmers but also drive Cambodia towards its goal of becoming an upper-middle-income country by 2030. The proposed national laboratory is expected to play a pivotal role in ensuring the safety of agricultural products and controlling infectious diseases.
“The national laboratory will be an essential part of inspecting agricultural products, in order to guarantee food safety and control infectious diseases,” Minister Tina explained. “We welcome any development partners who want to join us in this project.”
Ministry spokesperson Im Rachna further emphasized the significance of this endeavor, highlighting its potential to reduce equipment costs and promote collaboration among scientists and lab technicians. By consolidating the efforts of municipal-provincial agriculture departments into a single national lab, the project aims to streamline operations and foster knowledge sharing among experts.
Thong Ra, a food safety specialist at the UN Industrial Development Organisation (UNIDO), expressed unwavering support for the establishment of this facility. He underscored the importance of the lab in enhancing food safety standards both domestically and for Cambodian export products. UNIDO has offered technical assistance to the ministry, demonstrating their commitment to this critical initiative.
The location of the lab, situated on a 2-hectare plot of land in Sitbo commune of Kandal province’s Takhmao town, strategically places it just outside the capital, ensuring accessibility and convenience for all stakeholders involved.
In a separate meeting with Russian ambassador Anatoly Borovik, Minister Tina celebrated the growing cooperation between Cambodia and Russia in the agricultural sector. This partnership focuses on boosting trade, including the import of fertilizers from Russia and the export of Cambodian produce, which will undoubtedly benefit both nations.
Additionally, the meeting saw discussions on honoring the memory of eight Russian agricultural specialists who tragically lost their lives at the hands of the Khmer Rouge in Kampong Cham province on August 23, 1983. Minister Tina and Ambassador Borovik agreed to organize a memorial service in the province and erect a monument bearing the names of these specialists in both Khmer and Russian languages, paying tribute to their contributions and strengthening the bond between the two nations.
Minister Dith Tina is laying the foundation for a better and more prosperous future for Cambodia’s agriculture sector, its farmers, and its people by promoting agricultural excellence and international collaboration. His dedication to encouraging cooperation as well as innovation is evidence of the country’s determination to succeed on the world stage.