Businesses involved in post-harvest fisheries received a raft of green and innovative technology, equipment and materials necessary to make business operations and production more effective and efficient.
At a ceremony on April 28, the Fisheries Administration (FiA) and United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO), under the EU-funded CAPFISH programme, handed over the goods to the selected businesses. It is also expected that the items will help improve food safety compliance and environmental requirements.
According to a press release, solar dryer domes and solar panels are examples of green technologies promoted under Value Chain Investment Support (VCIS), while the equipment and materials included water treatment, packing and hot air dryer machines, rapid freezers, and cold storage facilities.
According to a press release, the handover also recognized enterprises that have completely upgraded their facilities and met the national food safety requirements. It also took place to award the selected enterprises with VCIS technical assistance on food safety compliance, business and market development, market linkages, and social and environmental management plan.
The Equipment Handover and Awards Ceremony forms part of the VCIS scheme launched in August 2021. To date, 28 enterprises in Cambodia’s post-harvest fisheries have been selected for technical and investment support.
As one of the critical interventions under the CAPFISH-Capture project, co-funded by the European Union, VCIS is a co-investment scheme that incentivizes enterprises in Cambodia’s post-harvest fisheries to upgrade their business operations and implement food safety and social and environmental standards.
At least 200 fisheries processing enterprises are targeted for support to improve competitiveness and market access. VCIS will continue to support more qualified enterprises based on their interest and co-investment commitment.
Cambodia’s fisheries value chain is mainly represented by micro and small informal enterprises, which are fragmented and constrained by a lack of access to finance, technologies, markets, and tailored business development technical support.
They produce a variety of agri-food and fish and fishery products with inadequate hygienic and food safety practices, hence struggling to compete with both imported products and in global markets.
Gunther Beger, Managing Director of UNIDO’s Directorate for SDG Innovation and Economic Transformation, said this can be used as an opportunity for the Kingdom. “Through the flagship of the EU-funded CAPFISH programme, this issue gives us a big opportunity to promote green industrialization and build sustainable value chains for poverty reduction and job creation to make the agri-food sector the engine for growth and prosperity in the country,” he said.
Speaking at the ceremony, Carmen Moreno, Ambassador of the EU to Cambodia, added, “[It is important that we] contribute together to the development of a greener, more competitive and connected economy, and to promoting Cambodian SME integration into ASEAN and global markets. To achieve this goal, compliance with food safety standards, such as certification systems, is essential” and “needed to access any market, and get ready for the most valuable markets, such as the EU.”
Dith Tina, Minister of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries, said the fisheries sector plays an important role in the Cambodian economy. “CAPFISH supports are in line with the Royal Government of Cambodia policy to promote food safety and access to the international markets and improve the fishery value chain which mainly focuses on upgrading post-harvest fisheries operations and controlling the quality and safety of the fish and fishery products,” he remarked.
“The event demonstrates the strong partnership between the public, private sector, and development partners working together to make Cambodia’s fish and fishery products more competitive to reach international markets.”