Selected Comments Samdech Techo Hun Sen, conferring diplomas to three higher agricultural education institutions – Royal Agriculture University, Prek Leap Agriculture College, Agriculture College of Kampong Cham [Unofficial Translation]


(1) Agriculture is the core of economic growth and food security

Today we distribute diplomas to 3,279 students as agricultural technicians […] we see that the number of female students is not large in the agricultural sector. I think that in the future, there will be a large number of female students to participate in agriculture or the agricultural sector […] (such as) agro-industry, agribusiness or agro-tourism or whatever […] the scope of it is really huge. Nevertheless, we have a few female graduates today and will become specialists for agriculture in the Kingdom of Cambodia, which remains the core sector supporting economic growth and/or, in other words, supporting Cambodia’s food security […]

(2) Agriculture evolved from lack of rice to export food abroad

The share of the agricultural sector (in GDP) to date is just under 30%. In addition, the service and industrial sectors contributed to higher GDP. In this world, the richer the country is, the smaller share of the agricultural sector would be […] previously, our agricultural sector covered more than 80% (of GDP) […] but our people were still short of food […] (we have changed) agriculture from before when we lacked rice (for consumption) that we had to import or ask (from well off countries/organizations) to be able to export food abroad. At this point, do not think that agriculture is shrinking and lacking. It is not so […] what is extensive development in comparison with intensive development? […]

In the past, a family of five people would need one hectare of land (to grow rice for consumption) […] if we continue like this, our forests will be cut down to serve the agricultural demand […] seeing the rate of agriculture (share in GDP) shrinking some people like to (defame the Royal Government to make a political profit) […] that their leaders are unclever, their followers who are intelligent detached themselves and joined the CPP […] I continue to welcome them. There is only one person I will not accept. Other than that one, I take them all as soon as they declare secession from extremist […]

(3) Mobilize agricultural technicians as sub-national administrative staff

I have announced that we must provide each commune an agricultural extension worker/technician to help farmers solve agricultural technical problems […] if we delegate only one agricultural extension worker/technician per commune and work separately, there is a lack of cooperation […] (we needed to address this issue so that), the sub-national administration will have technicians on hand. We are not afraid of the cost for the technical staff to be sent. We need to select the ones with appropriate skills […] avoiding sending the sugarcane agronomist to work in the rice field. It seems not right. Agriculture is not just about growing sugarcane. They know more than that. This is where we accelerate the development of agriculture, and the development of this sector is an overall aspect of rural development […]

(4) Land reform or economic reform is not a small issue

When we started giving land ownership, or so-called land reform, after the Pol Pot regime, […] I used to say that land reform was not a trivial thing. There are three pressures on me as I lead political and economic reforms. The first pressure force was within internal realm that does not understand about negotiation or what is the so-called political solution for peace, national unity, and ending the war […] meanwhile, the Vietnamese troops who came to help Cambodia, accompanied by Vietnamese experts, while Vietnam had not yet reformed […] at the time when Cambodia needs to turn its economy into a private economy, Vietnam respected Cambodia’s action. Another pressing force at that time was while still receiving help from the Soviets and Eastern Europe, CMEA, that was not yet undergoing reforms. The former Soviet Union (also not yet) reformed by Gorbachev’s Perestroika or Glasnost. If the Moscow side says, “If Hun Sen is left to go on with what he is doing, they will stop providing aid,” I will suffer the same ill fate […]

(5) Intensive farming development to prevent deforestation for agriculture

(About) Land reform. The 1981 Constitution stated that there were only state and collective economy entities. There is no private economy entity. What were we going to do? Fortunately, at that time, Chea Sim was the President of the National Assembly, Heng Samrin was the President, we immediately gave the opportunity to form a working group to amend the Constitution. Through the amendment of the constitution, we distributed the land to the people […]In 1989, we amended the Constitution to allow private ownership. At that time, we had a population of about 7 million […] to this day, although not yet re-surveyed, the population has increased (to approximately) 17 million people. It is this increase in population that requires us to address their land requirement issues so that they have the opportunity to grow crops. No development that does not degrade the environment. However, we have measures to prevent deforestation for agriculture by shifting from development through extensive to intensive farming development […]

(6) Terms-end thesis should study land to determine appropriate crop cultivation

Along with water management, we must work on (research and experiment to achieve new) rice seed varieties that provide high yield, in addition to our intensive agricultural practice efforts to get more yields, the introduction of technology into agriculture is essential to advancement of the agricultural sector […] when handing out diplomas more than 10 years ago at Chamkar Dong (Agricultural) School … I suggested that graduate students should learn more about land so that we would be able to identify suitable planting areas. Some places have no water, but our farmers still grow rice depending on the sky. We can transfer the cultivated area with insufficient water for other crops such as sugarcane, which has a sugar factory here or something that provides high economic benefits, and do not worry about water shortage […]

(7) Market and capital – driving force for raw material production and processing

The role of the farming community is very important in bargaining with traders on the market. This market factor plays a very big role in boosting production […] the market is a factor that stimulates the agricultural sector […] without a market, farmers do not produce. It also deals with capital […] (we must prepare) what kind of intervention for farmers so that farmers can have productive force. Not only produce as raw material, but encourage them to learn how to process […] encourage farmers in their cultivation and breeding with competing principal costs […] in the market framework with other countries […] how to make production cheap that they can profit from the production in addition to competing with imported goods […]

(8) May send experts to study the feasibility of agricultural crops in Timor-Leste

I promised the former President and former Prime Minister of Timor-Leste (Xanana Gusmão) who came to the SEA Games, and I met the current Prime Minister in Indonesia. I told them “Cambodia wants to send a team of experts to help study (about agricultural feasibility) in Timor-Leste, where about 27 percent of the land can be agricultural […] (Cambodia) can help Timor-Leste in two ways. The first is to give the country the opportunity to invest in Cambodia in rice miller, warehouse and set up a collection network and supply rice to Timor-Leste stably. I told them no country offers such an opportunity for a 100 per cent investment […] in addition, we can help Timor-Leste with techniques related to food and/or agriculture […] I said to them, “No one knows the poor better than the poor.” Cambodia has the ability, so Cambodia helps. To Cuba, we can also export the 78-days rice seeds […]

(9) Lowering production costs to compete with imported goods

I remind you this point to encourage cultivation, animal husbandry and aquacultural practices to cost cheaper to compete. This is a key point to address. If our farmers still produce at a high price, competition in the market framework with other countries (will still be difficult) […] imported goods will still be cheaper than domestic production. It is still a problem […] not only the Ministry of Agriculture that has to do this job, there are other relevant ministries include the Ministry of Economy and Finance, banks […] (we must figure out) how to make our production cheap to profit from […] we are in competition with imported goods. Nowadays, there are some imported goods that we cannot prevent. We are within the framework of AFTA, the World Trade Organization and, further, RCEP […] as long as our production has good quality and of low price, we can reduce imports and use what we have locally […]

(10) The Hun family protects the king, the throne, and the monarchy

Some (in the opposition) like to talk about family. I am talking about the family now, too. The Hun family is not just Hun Sen. There are a lot of people throughout the Kingdom […] who support the Hun family for the continuation of the post of Prime Minister or the future Prime Minister in Cambodia, […] this family is not the one that betrays the king. This family is the one that protects the king, protects the throne, protects the monarchy. I contributed to the restoration of the monarchy and we are now the single largest force in defending the monarchy, defending the throne, defending the king. You need to understand […]

(11) Tickets-free, advertising rights free, no obligation fees – right decisions

In just two days, the 32nd SEA Games will be over. It is the time for the whole Khmer nation to celebrate. Cambodia is hosting a successful SEA Games. We do not think too much of winning or losing. What we think about the most is the hosting that gives our guests the happiness and warm welcome of the Cambodian people. I made the right decision […] not to sell tickets for the (Cambodian) people or for the fans, not to sell the rights to advertise abroad, and not to charge obligation fees under the SEA Games statutes. We spend about USD 7 million more on the accommodation of athletes from other countries and their diet. I have has thanks from the Heads of State and Government of the ASEAN countries, who just concluded the meeting a few days ago […]

(12) 80% of Cambodians moved with tears of pride hosting SEA Games

About 80% of (the Cambodian) people are moved when they see a great event at the opening of the SEA Games. Some shed tears, not tears of torturing, but tears of national pride. This pride does not belong to Hun Sen or to the Royal Government or the CPP, but to everyone […] we used to be ranking at eighth, sometimes the ninth – only above Brunei […] Now we come fourth […] winning or losing a few medals is considered a pride in the process of advancing the sport of Cambodia, […] however, when friends leave Cambodia with no incidents, that is 100% success […] it is the goal that Cambodia wants, not money. We wanted friends – not only within ASEAN itself, but other countries in the world – to know Cambodia […] if athletes, after the tournaments wanted to visit Angkor Wat, please let them see for free […]

(13) Cambodians excited and proud of the opening ceremony of the SEA Games … Do not look at the SEA Games only on winning medals. Need to look at managing a game that provides friendship to the people of ASEAN, or we called ASEAN as a single community. The fact that I do not charge money has many goals. One of them – ASEAN is a single community. How other countries organize it is up to them. Cambodia has done this work from the perspective of its own thinking as a contribution to the integration of the people of ASEAN. I thank all the countries that sent athletes and provided support to Cambodia as hosts. I would like to send a message of gratitude to the Chinese people, especially to His Excellency President Xi Jinping, for donating a strong and beautiful stadium for Cambodia to have a good reputation at the opening of the 2023 SEA Games …


Selected Comments Samdech Moha Bovor Thipadei Hun Manet, at the closing session ...

Drugs is not a problem in Cambodia alone. This problem exists in every region, even in countries with strict laws,