Phnom Penh (FN), Mar. 4 – On 3 March 2022, newly appointed representative of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) in Cambodia, Rebekah Bell, has become the third woman to lead the organization since FAO opened its office in Cambodia in 1994.

Bell presented her letters of credence to Veng Sakhon, minister of the agriculture, forestry and fisheries (MAFF) of the Royal Government of Cambodia (RGC) and to Luy David, secretary of state, Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation.

During the courtesy call, Bell announced her strong commitment in assisting Cambodia to ensure better food production systems for economic growth and better nutrition for all, while protecting Cambodia’s environment, as well as generating more jobs and better livelihoods for Cambodians.

She emphasized that, “FAO has a large programme of work under its new strategic framework, which is closely aligned with the strategic priorities of the government and that by working closely with and through the MAFF much could be achieved.”

Bell further highlighted that, a strong collaboration between FAO and the RGC is already moving beyond food and nutrition security and will focus more on economic and environmental opportunities for small holder producers in the agriculture, forestry and fisheries sectors. This will also include food control and food safety systems as these key systems will help to protect health, and improve the nutrition of Cambodians, while at the same time improving food processing businesses and facilitating growth in exports, she added.

Veng Sakhon warmly welcomed Bell and thanked FAO for its continued support and strong cooperation with the MAFF in implementing various priority projects, achieving remarkable results through its technical assistance to the Ministry and its dissemination of modern agricultural techniques, which help famers access and utilise agricultural technologies. He noted that these are key for farmers to increase productivity, ensuring both quality and quantity of produce, improving competitiveness, while enabling farmers to adapt to climate change and improving their resilience to and recovery from the COVID19 pandemic.

The minister also stated that MAFF will continue to guarantee strong partnership with FAO to ensure the successful implementation of FAO’s country programme.

The first meeting between Bell and minister Veng Sakhon went on to discuss areas which are key to further boosting development of agricultural, forestry and fisheries sectors in the country. Agreed prioritized areas include, improving agricultural infrastructure (transportation, processing facility), strengthening processing capacity by expanding partnerships with private sector, providing support to small and medium enterprises, agricultural market system development, food system planning for cities, as well as cold chain system expansion
“These priority areas are key to a sustainable future. While Cambodia’s aspiration is to become a middle-income country, our inspiration is to strategically work with the MAFF and other partners to help Cambodia realizes this goal,” said Bell.

For further information, please contact:
Tet Chann, communication officer, FAO in Cambodia
Email: [email protected]
Tell: 011 276 775