Contract Signing Event

Friday, July 26, 2019
Contract Signing Event

(as prepared for delivery)

  • Your Excellency, Tea Seiha, Siem Reap Provincial Governor
  • Distinguished guests, ladies and gentlemen.

I am very pleased to be here today. I would like to start by thanking his Excellency Tea Seiha for presiding over this contract signing event. I would also like to recognize the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries and its sub-national administration for their support to the improvement of contract farming in Cambodia.  I would also like to thank the International Rice Research Institute team for their effort and hard work promoting contract farming in rice seed production. Thank you, too, for AMRU RICE’s commitment to growing Cambodia’s sustainable rice industry.

Cambodian rice is produced mainly in a rain-fed ecosystem, with traditional photosensitive varieties still dominating the landscape. This production system is vulnerable to extreme climate events such as drought and flood. Of 1,220 Cambodian farmers surveyed by IRRI in the four target provinces of Battambang, Pursat, Siem Reap, and Kampong Thom in 2016, almost 50 percent have experienced drought and 14 percent have experienced submergence flooding at least once between 2011 and 2016. These events caused at least 40 percent yield loss. During the “stress” years, subsistence farmers in the surveyed area were self-sufficient for only eight months. Therefore, the abiotic stresses due to extreme climate events constitute a double threat: to the national rice sector’s productivity and to the livelihood of Cambodian farming communities.

With USAID support, IRRI has produced and disseminated high-yielding stress-tolerant rice varieties in collaboration with national governments in Asia and Africa.  This helps farmers be more resilient to climatic shocks.  USAID support has accelerated the dissemination of these varieties in Cambodia with a re-focus on strengthening the national seed system. This is achieved by nurturing the growth of private seed producers, facilitating a greater integration of the private sector in the rice seed value chain, and fostering a policy environment that enables coordination within the value chain. A strong and functional rice seed system will ensure an accelerated dissemination of these rice varieties across the country. 

Today’s event formalizes the partnership between 16 agricultural cooperatives and AMRU, demonstrating the important role of the private sector in building Cambodia’s agriculture industry and improving access to market for Cambodian farmers and their products.   It is the culmination of efforts across the public and private sectors to strengthen Cambodian’s rice seed system, implementing the Cambodian rice seed action plan, and proving need-based capacity building for seed producers.

We look forward to seeing Cambodia’s rice sector grow in strength while the producers and AMRU rice progress under this partnership.  

Thank you. 

Issuing Country 

Last updated: December 02, 2019

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