An EU’s Fund Was Ended, but a New Project Starts

The Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries (MAFF) and the Delegation of the European Union to the Kingdom of Cambodia organised here this morning a closing Ceremony of the Programme Promotion of Inclusive and Sustainable Growth in the Agricultural Sector: Fisheries and Livestock and the launching of the New EU-Funded Fisheries Programme�CAPFISH Capture at the MAFF.

H.E. George Edgar, European Union Ambassador to Cambodia, said as a long term development partner of the Royal Government of Cambodia, the EU is delighted to see that its assistance has contributed to the progress of the fisheries and livestock sectors in Cambodia, benefiting so many smallholders all around the country.

"I am also glad that the challenges and the lessons learned have provided important recommendations for the implementation of the future fisheries CAPFISH programme, he said.

According to H.E. George Edgar, EU believed that with additional financial support to the fisheries sector, it will enable MAFF, development partners and relevant actors including the fisheries communities to manage Cambodia's freshwater and marine fisheries more efficiently in the interest of the entire Cambodian population and future generations. The EU wants to see Cambodians benefit sustainably and equitably from the amazing resources of the Tonle Sap Lake and marine fisheries that are today at risk of being lost.

For his part H.E Veng Sakhon, Minister of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries said MAFF highly appreciates the EU's endeavour to invest in the fisheries and livestock sectors in the past years in support of the RGC to reduce poverty and promote economic development for the Cambodian people.

Continued cooperation between the MAFF and the EU under the new fisheries programme over the next five years will produce more satisfactory short-term and long-term results for farmers, the private sector and consumers. The RGC recognises the role of the fisheries sector in contributing to Cambodia's national development, and works hard to ensure that all Cambodian people enjoy better livelihood and lasting unique taste of fish, squid, shrimps and crabs from our freshwater and marine fisheries, concludes H.E Veng Sakhon.

From 2013 to 2018, the EU invested Euro 20 million of grants in the Programme Promotion of Inclusive and Sustainable Growth in the Agricultural Sector: Fisheries and Livestockmanaged by MAFF, with three components under direct implementation of the Department of Planning and Statistics (DPS), the Fisheries Administration (FiA) and the General Directorate of Animal Health and Production (GDAHP).

The objective of this Programme was to ensure equitable, inclusive, environmentally responsible and sustainable growth of both fisheries and livestock sub-sectors for the benefit of the entire rural population of Cambodia. The activities of the programme helped improve sustainability of fisheries and livestock resources through enhanced partnerships between national and local authorities, communities, civil society organisations, and the private sector.

The programme supported the formulation of the national agricultural policy and improved the capacity of the MAFF administration and thousands of its staff at all levels, and helped to develop better relations and networking between farmers, traders and MAFF officers on the one hand but also using research and development to fight illegal fishing and better manage and control livestock. The EU-supported efforts have seen essential skills and knowledge passed down from MAFF, at national level, to individual fishery communities and individual farmers raising livestock or engaging in aquaculture, enhancing their practices and improving their livelihood.

During the time of implementation of the EU-funded programme, aquaculture production increased significantly from 90,000 tons in 2013 to 250,000 tons in 2018 and capture fisheries stood at around 600,000 tons (2018). An important result has been the strengthening of Community Fisheries (CFis), including through the conservation of critical habitats and the establishment of community fish refuges. In parallel the Fisheries Law has been amended and a sector action plan has been developed, including to better fight Illegal Unregulated and Unreported (IUU) fishing. Stakeholders from the Fisheries Administration (FiA) staff, students, community and other stakeholders in aquaculture have benefited from trainings.

The livestock component of the programme was implemented in 25 provinces and cities. 6,647 national and provincial staff of the General Directorate of Animal Health and Production and local Offices received training in a range of subjects from strategic planning and monitoring, to animal disease control, slaughterhouse management, and cattle and pig artificial insemination (AI) skills. The Programme also supported the curriculum development on veterinary science and the draft royal decree of the National Veterinary Statutory Body. Some 3,805 Village Animal Health Workers (VAHWs) and 18,834 smallholder livestock producers benefited directly from the programme. In parallel livestock in Cambodia is estimated to have grown from 37.9 million heads in 2014 to 44.3 million heads in 2018.

For the New EU-Funded Fisheries Programme�The CAPFISH Programme; EU has approved a new Cambodia Programme for Sustainable and Inclusive Growth in the Fisheries Sector (CAPFISH) worth a total of Euro 112 million grant funding to be implemented from 2019 to 2023 that will continue and considerably expand the activities initiated under the fisheries component of the previous action to address the challenges the sector is facing. The objective is to increase food security, improve nutrition and foster further economic development. The programme � which altogether represents the largest funded action by the European Union in Cambodia - consists of two complementary actions: one on Aquaculture and one on Capture (wild) Fisheries:

The Euro 87 million CAPFISH-Capture Fisheries programme aims to ensure a more sustainable, climate-resilient and inclusive development of Cambodia's freshwater and marine fisheries. It focuses particularly on the sustainable management of the fisheries sector along the Tonle Sap and of marine resources. This programme is launched today. Beyond the Royal Government of Cambodia (MAFF and FiA), the action will be implemented by FAO, UNESCO and UNIDO as well as several Non-Governmental Organisations (to be selected through a call for proposals).

The Euro 25 million CAPFISH-Aquaculture aims to increase fish output in parallel with the capture fisheries sector with operational implementation over 72 months, from 2019 to 2023. The programme is implemented with the Agence Francaise de Developpement (AFD).

Source: Agency Kampuchea Press