Japan donates 4 mln USD for Cambodia's agriculture

19:57, August 18, 2010      

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Cambodia's Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries on Wednesday inked a memorandum of understanding (MoU) the Japanese International Cooperation Agency (JICA) to Cambodia to expand the agricultural products for communes around Tonle Sap Lake.

The fund of 4.4 million U.S. dollars from Japan will work on the projects of enlarging the agricultural products for 36 communes in Pusart, Battambang, and Kompong Cham provinces respectively, according to DAP News in its website on Wednesday.

Sean Vuthy, under-secretary of state for Ministry of Agriculture, was quoted as saying that the fund will help local communities and people to reduce poverty and provide the better livelihood.

"The fund will assist to strengthen the bilateral cooperation and friendship between the two countries," the representative of JICA to Phnom Penh said after the signing ceremony of the MoU at the ministry.

Last week, Prime Minister Hun Sen ordered local authorities to devastate the illegal reservoirs built on the lake and also release directives to prevent the flooded forests from illegal cutting. Illegal land grabbing at the lake is a big concern for the government.

Tonle Sap is the largest freshwater lake in the Southeast Asia and the natural reservoir of Cambodia which four million Cambodians depend on directly for their livelihoods.

The lake covers about 250,000 hectares during the dry season and expands to about 1.25 million hectares during the rainy season.

It is the habitat for more than 200 species of fish, 42 types of reptiles, 225 species of birds and 46 kinds of mammals.

Tonle Sap Lake also is a hub of rare flocks of birds that attracts the foreign tourists to see.



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