KINGDOM OF CAMBODIA
Nation Religion King

 
Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries   Ministry of Water Resources and Meteorology

 

 

PREPARED BY
TECHNICAL WORKING GROUP ON AGRICULTURE AND WATER

  

MARCH 2007, PHNOM PENH

 

 

Executive Summary

STRATEGY FOR AGRICULTURE AND WATER

1          Introduction
The Strategy for Agriculture and Water (A&W) is required by the National Strategic Development Plan 2006-2010 (NSDP). After adoption of the Strategy, the next step is to prepare detailed programs for implementation.

The NSDP sets national priorities of alleviating poverty and enhancing economic growth. A major emphasis is Enhancement of the agricultural sector. A second major emphasis is Rehabilitation and construction of physical infrastructure, which includes "management of water resources and irrigation" as one of its four components1.

2          Policy and institutional environment
The overall policy environment for A&W is set by, in particular, the National Poverty Reduction Strategy and the National Strategic Development Plan. The NSDP requires ministries to plan in a sectoral and coordinated manner. Further, the RGC's Strategic Framework for Decentralization and Deconcentration Reform promotes a transfer of responsibilities and resources to sub-national and local levels. Other elements are support to agriculture and water sector development including the commitment from all partners, adequate policy and legislation, strengthening of institutional frameworks of agricultural and water sector, enabling environment for implementation and empowerment of farmers and rural communities, and strengthening partnership and ownership.

The lead RGC agencies in agriculture and water resources are MAFF and MOWRAM respectively. The Strategy will enable the RGC to mobilize and guide support to A&W from External Development Partners (EDPs, or "donors"). A&W are especially important for "grassroots" rural affairs, so important stakeholders are provincial and sub-provincial administrations, community-based organizations, NGOs, and the rural households.

3          Strategic analysis
The Strategy for A&W is based on thorough analysis of strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats. Cambodia's strategic advantages lie principally in the availability of natural resources and manpower, which at present are under-utilised. Principal opportunities relate to domestic and export markets for agricultural products.

4          Vision and goals for Agriculture and Water Resources
The MAFF and MOWRAM Strategic Development Plans for Agriculture and Water Resources provide the following long term Vision for A& W:

to ensure enough, safe and accessible food and water for all people, reduce poverty, and contribute to economic growth (GDP per capita), while ensuring the sustainability of natural resources.

The Goal for A&W during 2006-2010 is:

to contribute to poverty reduction, food security and economic growth through (a) enhancing agricultural productivity and diversification and (b) improving water resources development and management.

The Goal will be achieved principally by (1) more efficient use and management of water and land, (2) increased agricultural productivity, and (3) enhanced agri-business processes. Also needed will be (4) institutional capacity building and (5) improved access to knowledge and technology. These five areas of work are defined as programs (see Section 6).

5          The Strategy
There are eight key components of the Strategy. 

1. Ensure favourable pre-conditions and build on Strengths/Opportunities
This requires, above all, a strong commitment by the policy makers, relevant ministries and institutions, as well as by EDPs/donors, to support the Strategy for A&W. Other aspects of the national environment as examples, the RGC's plans to improve governance, strengthen law and order, strengthening partnership and ownership, integrate Cambodia into international trade, promote private sector investment are essential to a successful Strategy for A&W.

2. Strengthen the enabling environment
The enabling environment for A&W includes relevant policies, laws/regulations, institutional capacity, etc. Good progress has been made as examples, the National Water Resources Policy, several recently approved laws and sub-decrees in the agriculture and water sector, capacity building in MAFF and MOWRAM. However, ongoing strengthening is required as examples, develop mechanisms to implement policies related to management of land, water, forest and other resources, enact the draft Law on Water Resources Management, and develop MAFF and MOWRAM capacities to enforce Laws and associated sub-decrees that are related to water use, watershed management, land and other natural resources.

3. Mobilize natural resources: water, land, soil
One of Cambodia's key strengths is the availability of land, soil and water that at present are not used or are used inefficiently. The Strategy will include, as examples, promoting improved farm water management through water harvesting/storage, gravity-fed irrigation systems, and technology such as drip irrigation of crops; promoting soil fertility management; protecting water resources from pollution and degradation so that they continue to be available for fisheries, ecosystem maintenance, etc.; promoting rice-field fisheries and aquaculture; promoting settlement of cultivable land and securing land ownership against land theft.

4. Mobilize human and financial resources
Human resources include both RGC officials (at all levels), as well as farmers and other members of the rural households. Cambodia has a large workforce which is growing rapidly, but many people are not fully employed and have limited education or training in useful skills. In addition, many people have limited access to the money needed to purchase inputs (e.g. fertilizer or agricultural machinery), maintain facilities (e.g. pumps), or invest in a business (e.g. a rice mill). Hence, the Strategy must mobilize and make better use of people and money, including as examples promoting education, training and extension in A&W, the development of appropriate technology, more efficient use of skilled people such as extension workers and engineers, better access to money needed for investment in the agriculture and water sector, in O&M of irrigation systems, greater engagement of the private sector in agriculture, water management & development, and agri-business.

5. Empower people and communities
In addition to mobilizing the workforce (4 above), the Strategy will seek to empower communities to work together and be more self-reliant. This includes, as examples, establishing and supporting farmer development , Farmer Water User Communities, assisting farmers to establish agricultural cooperatives and other organizations to market agricultural products and purchase inputs, promoting the availability of micro-credit and other funding sources to allow people to invest in agricultural production and agri-business development, and encouraging community organizations (Commune Councils, Village Development Committees, etc., with access to Commune-Development Funds) to participate in planning and operation of community projects for water supply, water management infrastructure, communal rice drying facilities, etc.

6. Apply a River Basin approach to water and land
Components 3, 4, and 5 must be implemented in an integrated way to obtain full value. Water resources in most countries are managed within river basins, and river basins provide a better basis for managing water resources than administrative boundaries. Hence, the Strategy will promote a river basin approach to integrated water and land management, to complement administrative arrangements based on provinces, districts etc.

7. Increase productivity of agriculture
This element of the Strategy aims to increase production, reduce production costs per unit of output and help to assure product quality. It will help to achieve increased production of high quality products, thus achieving both food security and commercial goals. In addition to actions already mentioned in (4) and (5), elements of the Strategy will include, as examples, improve the quality of inputs such as seeds and fertilizers; reduce harvesting and post-harvest losses; introduce innovative agricultural and water management practices.

8. Extend commercial agriculture
Commercialised agriculture provides the means for rural households and communities to generate cash income, as well as providing a basis for agri-businesses. The Strategy will assist farmers to engage in commercial production by, as examples, providing information and forecasts regarding market demand; promoting new product opportunities; establishing value-added processing facilities; administering arrangements for product quality assurance and food safety; facilitating entry into profitable markets, particularly via improved transport and storage facilities, marketing infrastructure, bulking/wholesaling arrangements, etc

The eight components can be arranged in a series of four steps which reflects their sequence in time, and the dependence between them (Figure I.1/4. 1). The diagram can be thought of as like a house: Step 1 is like the foundations, Step 2 is like the pillars and floor, Step 3 is like the walls, and Step 4 is like the roof all leading to the GOAL of (for the house) good shelter and health for the family and (for A&W) poverty reduction and economic growth for Cambodia.

The Strategy components already are to varying degrees being implemented. The sequence of components therefore reflects changes in the relative effort that should be allocated. At the beginning, more resources should be allocated to the components earlier in the sequence. This will assure successful implementation of components that are later in the sequence. As time passes, resources should be re-allocated towards the later components.

6          Programs
The Strategy will be implemented in five Programs, each with its Development Goal and several objectives (Figure I.2/4.2). One Program mainly addresses the enabling environment, two Programs address the "mobilization and empowering" elements of the Strategy, and two more Programs mainly address the productivity and commercialization of agriculture. They are:

  1. Institutional capacity building and management support program for agriculture and water resources program

  2. Food security support program

  3. Agricultural and agri-business (value-chain) support program

  4. Water resources, irrigation and land management program

  5. Agricultural and water resources research, education and extension program

The five programs will contain a set of integrated actions designed to achieve the development goal and objectives. As a starting point, the programs have been described as preliminary Terms of Reference for design teams, who will develop the actions during late 2006. Several EPAs have indicated willingness to provide the resources for these design teams, and two have started work.

7          Resource requirements
The amount of money that will be required is estimated to be approximately US$350 million for the five-year period. Other RGC agencies also are engaged in A&W-related activities, notably rural infrastructure (roads etc.) and land management. Their budgets for such activity will help to implement the Strategy for A&W, but at this stage they should not formally be included in the Strategy's budget. It is likely that this will become more practicable as the Strategy progressively is implemented, particularly when planning investments beyond 2010.

8          Monitoring and evaluation
A critical component of strategy and program implementation is to monitor the results against the targets or indicators. MAFF and MOWRAM will, as lead agencies, play the principal role in monitoring Strategy implementation for RGC. "Lessons learned" will help to revise the Strategy for the 2011-2015 period, and to direct resources towards priority areas.


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