Cambodia unveils four-pronged intervention towards 2030 food systems vision

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
A woman sells food at Pshar Kandal in Phnom Penh in February. Heng Chivoan

Cambodia has outlined four main priority areas of intervention to realise its 2030 Food Systems vision, which centres on achieving food security and nutrition for all, and encouraging a healthy balance between socio-economic and environmental sustainability.

Deputy Prime Minister Yim Chhay Ly, who is chairman of the Council for Agricultural and Rural Development, provided some insight into Cambodia's National Roadmap for Food Systems for Sustainable Development 2030 in a pre-recorded video shown at the Food Systems Summit, held during the UN General Assembly in New York on September 23.

The first item is “healthy diets for all”, Chhay Ly recounted, highlighting the need to interrupt the intergenerational propagation of malnutrition. “We commit that by 2030, healthy diets will be available, accessible and affordable for all Cambodians.”

The second is “empowerment of youth, women and the vulnerable”. To realise this end, “we commit to create opportunities for decent employment, education and enterprise and promote gender equality and spaces for youth in policy dialogue”, he said.

The third is “resilient livelihoods and resilient food systems”, an imperative brought to the fore by ongoing Covid and climate change mitigation efforts, he said, adding that its fulfilment will “protect the food system against future shocks and stresses”.

To that end, he said, the Kingdom “will address vulnerabilities and poverty, and strengthen the resilience of food system actors, networks and infrastructures”.

The fourth entry is “governance for more inclusive food systems”, he said. “Cambodia will continue dialogue, coordination and collaboration with all stakeholders, ensuring justice and responsiveness to the needs of consumers, the vulnerable and indigenous people.

He described the 2030 food systems roadmap as “the product of extensive analysis of dialogues and aligns with existing policy frameworks and strategies”.

“As the nation moves to upper-middle income country status by 2030, food systems will serve as a critical foundation for sustainable development and the elimination of all forms of malnutrition, hunger and poverty, ensuring that no one is left behind,” he said.

As it assumes the ASEAN chairmanship next year, the Kingdom “[looks] forward to working with countries in the region to improve food systems for the sustainability of people, planet and prosperity”, Chhay Ly said.