U.S. Ambassador W. Patrick Murphy’s Participation in the Feed the Future Cambodia Harvest III Launch Event

Speeches Shim

Tuesday, August 9, 2022
U.S. Ambassador W. Patrick Murphy’s Participation in the Feed the Future Cambodia Harvest III Launch Event
U.S. Ambassador W. Patrick Murphy’s Participation in the Feed the Future Cambodia Harvest III Launch Event

(as prepared for delivery)

  • Your Excellency Veng Sakhon, Minister of Agriculture Forestry and Fisheries.
  • Distinguished ladies and gentlemen.

Last week Secretary of State Tony Blinken announced our new 5-year $25 million food security program - Feed the Future Cambodia Harvest III.  It is my pleasure to formally launch that program today.

This is the latest contribution to Cambodia’s agricultural sector and food security that the United States is making under the Feed the Future initiative, which was launched in 2010 to address global hunger and food insecurity. Under this program, the United States has invested nearly $100 million in Cambodia’s agriculture sector to improve nutrition in Cambodia and strengthen livelihoods.

Agriculture is the backbone of Cambodia’s economy. Nearly 61 percent of Cambodians live in rural areas, and 77 percent of rural households rely on agriculture, fisheries, and forestry for their livelihoods.  

The sector accounts for more than 20 percent of GDP, employs about 3 million people, and has been a source of economic resilience throughout the pandemic. 

Cambodia exported nearly eight million tons of agricultural products last year. Those products were shipped to 68 countries and earned a gross revenue of $4.96 billion in 2021. Building back from COVID will need investments in climate smart agriculture which will ensure inclusive and sustainable economic growth.

USAID’s flagship agriculture projects to date in Cambodia, HARVEST I and HARVEST II, have become household names among the private sector, donors, and government officials. Over the past decade, those programs have benefited approximately 193,000 farmers improving the lives of almost 210,000 rural households.

We launch today Harvest III, which aims to promote sustainable, broad-based economic growth through increased diversification, and competitiveness in Cambodia’s agriculture sector.

Harvest III will build on earlier achievements and investments that USAID/Cambodia has made promoting sustainable economic opportunities and climate-smart agriculture technologies through more than a decade of Feed the Future programming.

Harvest III will work with producers, agribusinesses, service providers, technology suppliers, financial institutions, investors, and other stakeholders in Cambodia to take advantage of business opportunities.

Through private sector engagement in key agriculture market systems, Harvest III will create better jobs and improve livelihoods, diets, and overall well-being for Cambodians, especially women, youth, and marginalized populations.

Over the five-year period, we anticipate generating $38 million of new private sector investments, creating 3,200 jobs, helping agriculture businesses and producers access $15 million in agriculture-related financing, and generating $100 million of sales at farms and firms.

Today's event is not only an opportunity to launch Harvest III, but also to announce a grant fund and encourage the networking that could lead to increased investments and enhanced private sector partnerships.  You will get more details in the moment.

Thank you all for being here.  Through USAID, the United States Government is committed to working with you and supporting your efforts to strengthen agriculture, food security, and nutrition.  I am proud of what we have accomplished together in the past, and I look forward to accomplishing much more in the future.

Thank you.

Issuing Country 

Last updated: September 02, 2022

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