(CAAI News Media)
PHNOM PENH, Jan. 6 (Xinhua) -- Cambodia will spend 21 million U.S. dollars this year to boost rice crop yields in a move aimed at bolstering food security in the Kingdom, local media reported on Wednesday.
The funds from the Ministry of Agriculture will go towards irrigation systems and developing drought- and flood-resistant hybrid rice seeds in an effort to boost production, the Phnom PenhPost quoted Chan Sarun, agricultural minister, as saying.
"We have prepared more than 21 million U.S. dollars for new hybrid rice seeds that can endure drought and flood," Chan Sarun said.
Officials are also aiming to expand cultivated land by five percent.
Cambodia's rice production suffers from one of the lowest yields in the region, according to statistics compiled by the UN's Food and Agriculture Organization.
Ouk Saren, director of the Khmer Community for Agriculture Development, said farmers in lowland and coastal areas worry about unpredictable floods, while farmers in highland areas are more concerned with droughts.
"We need more modern techniques to help us resolve this problem," he said.
Cambodia expected to produce an estimated 7.286 million tonnes of rice for 2009/2010 of which the country expects to have about 3.3 million tonnes surplus for export, according to the agricultural report on Tuesday.
Editor: Lin Zhi