He praised the local agriculture sector for its swift development in recent years, and added that Sierra Leone can learn from what Cambodia has achieved.
“The success that Cambodia enjoys today, especially in rice production, is widely recognized. Its rice is considered to be of very high quality and is very delicious, which is why it is being exported to markets all over the world,” he said, adding that Cambodian rice is ranked number one in the world.
Mr. Ndanema was referring to this year’s World Best Rice competition in Hanoi, Vietnam, where local brand Malys Angkor took home the award for Best Rice.
“Sierra Leone has been building and developing gradually, however, rice production is facing problems that affect food security,” the minister said.
“This is the main reason my delegation is visiting the Kingdom of Cambodia to study and sign a Memorandum of Understanding on the importation of milled rice from Cambodia,” Mr. Ndanema said.
Mr. Sakhon replied that it is not the only area where Cambodia has seen impressive achievements. The Kingdom he added has also been praised for its excellent cassava, mango, and cashew nuts, adding that these crops offer tempting investment opportunities in processing and export.
“We exchanged experiences regarding training and skills development, organizing and managing farmer communities, applying agricultural extension services, as well as collecting market information such as the price of agricultural products, especially vegetables and we have agreed to strengthen and expand agriculture cooperation between the two countries in the near future,” Mr. Sakhon said.
“Meanwhile, the government has set out strategic plans and policies on the development of major supporting infrastructure such as roads, ports, and the power supply. In particular, the ministry has been promoting human resource development, diversifying agricultural commercialization by modernizing agriculture and promoting packaging and processing to increase Cambodia’s agricultural exports in the future,” he added.
According to figures from the Ministry of Agriculture, Cambodia exported 389,264 tonnes of rice in the first nine months of 2018, a drop of 8.4 percent. China continues to be Cambodia’s top export market.