A rural development agency in Laguna will help the countryside development department in Cambodia craft a program to boost rural micro, small and medium entrepreneurs (MSMEs) in Cambodia.
The Southeast Asian Regional Center for Graduate Study and Research in Agriculture (Searca) has provided technical assistance to craft a Rural Entrepreneurship Development Program (REDP) for the Ministry of Rural Development (MRD) in Cambodia.
This was done through a stakeholder consultation workshop conducted at the Hotel Cambodiana, Phnom Penh, Cambodia, last week, that was attended by participants from MRD, nongovernment organizations and stakeholders from Cambodia.
Dr. Pheak Sothea, director of the MRD-Department of Rural Economic Development and Searca alumnus, mentioned that the stakeholder consultation workshop is the first-ever initiative of its kind that was conducted by the agency.
Dr. Gil Saguiguit Jr., Searca director, said that the initiative led by Cambodia’s MRD aligns with Searca’s thrusts. He added that Searca has just crafted its Tenth Five-Year Plan that will be launched next July, where the agency will champion inclusive and sustainable agriculture and rural development.
“One of the thematic areas of the plan is promoting rural entrepreneurship toward off-farm and non-farm businesses. Hence, this rural entrepreneurship development program may provide a momentum for Searca to promote Isard in Cambodia and in the rest of Southeast Asia,” Saguiguit said.
Hab Omaly, MRD undersecretary of State, expressed gratitude to Searca for providing MRD the technical assistance in crafting the REDP. According to Omaly, MRD, as one of the priority ministries in Cambodia, is envisioned to largely contribute to rural productivity through rural micro and small enterprises. He said that the development of REDP will bring an enabling environment for entre-preneurship that would later on trans-late to the reduction of poverty and sustainable economic development for Cambodia.