Phnom Penh, 23 June 2021 – The General Directorate of Agriculture (GDA), Cambodia Rice Federation (CRF), Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS), CIRAD and Swisscontact have signed a Memorandum of Agreement (MoA) to support establishment of a Cambodia National Chapter of the Sustainable Rice Platform (SRP).
Through the National Chapter, the five core partner organizations and additional members in Cambodia will work with the stakeholder community to develop a National Interpretation Guideline based on the global SRP Standard for Sustainable Rice Cultivation (including decision making tools and quantitative sustainability impact indicators), and develop and promote outreach models that enable largescale adoption of climate-smart best practices with broad participation and leadership from all actors throughout the value chain, government agencies and non-profit organizations.
Cambodia has been well represented right from the early development of the SRP, with His Excellency Dr. Ngin Chhay attending SRP’s global plenaries since 2015 and many Cambodian rice millers and exporters, organizations and development partners attending since. The first coordination meetings of Cambodian stakeholders began back in 2016, as did some of the world’s first pilots of the SRP Standard and Performance Indicators in Kampong Thom and Battambang. In 2019 the Global Plenary and General Assembly was hosted in Siem Reap, and opened by His Excellency Veng Sakhon, Minister of Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries. At this meeting, the GDA, Cambodian businesses and development partners agreed to establish a National Chapter for SRP in Cambodia.
During the signing H.E. Dr. Ngin Chhay, Director General of GDA, expressed sincere thanks to all partners (private sectors and development partners) for working very hard together with GDA to establish the National SRP Chapter and enhancing SRP in Cambodia. The SRP definitely fits to Agriculture Sector Strategic Development Plan 2019-2023 on promoting agricultural productivity, diversification, competitiveness and commercialization “growing for the markets”. The SRP standard should be applied as much as possible in every rice production ecosystem in Cambodia for improving rice productivity, assuring food safety and increasing profitability in a sustainable manner for supplying in the competitive global markets.
Dr. Wyn Ellis, SRP Executive Director also chaired some of these early meetings. Commenting on the signing of the MOA, he said: “We congratulate GDA and all parties on this important milestone. Cambodia has significant opportunities to build its position as an important global player in sustainable rice. For example, Cambodia’s award-winning Pkha Rumduol rice offers an excellent fit for global brands and retailers; with SRP-Verified rice already on the market in Europe, we are seeing rapidly increasing demand from retailers and brand owners who are increasingly seeking high quality sustainable rice. The commitment of all parties to the Cambodia National Chapter will play a key role in delivering the benefits of sustainable rice to farmers, businesses and the environment.”
H.E. Dr. Ngin Chhay, Director General of GDA; Mr. Lun Yeng, Secretary General of CRF; Mr. Ken Serey Rotha, Country Director of WCS; Dr. Philippe Girard, Regional Representative of CIRAD; and Mr. Rajiv Pradhan, Country Director of Swisscontact singed the MoA on behalf of their respective organizations.