PHNOM PENH (The Phnom Penh Post/Asia News Network): The UN Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) in Cambodia has pledged to strengthen cooperation with the Ministry of Women’s Affairs to promote the equal presence of both men and women in the food and agriculture sector workforce.
The commitment was made during a meeting between women’s affairs minister Ing Kantha Phavi and new FAO representative to Cambodia Rebekah Bell on April 18 at the ministry in Phnom Penh.
According to the ministry, Bell had “praised and expressed pride” about previous cooperation between the organisation and the ministry.
“Bell committed to further strengthening this excellent partnership, which aims to continue assisting the Cambodian government, as well as the ministry, in increasing the equality of representation of men and women in the workforce and... improving family life,” it said in a Facebook post after the meeting.
The promotion of equal representation and the improvement of family life will be conducted through the training of family members, especially women, in matters including agricultural skills, nutrition, the use of digital technology and means to locate and sell products in markets.
After the meeting with Phavi, Bell also met with Dim Theng – deputy head of the Ministry of Commerce’s General Directorate of Consumer Protection, Competition and Fraud Repression (CCF) – on April 19 to discuss plans to set up a better “farm to table” food control system to ensure that consumables are of “good quality, safe and hygienic, in accordance with international standards”.
CCF said in a Facebook post that both parties discussed the National Food Management Assessment System, a strategic project by the EU to improve food safety in Cambodia.
Bell told The Post that FAO has supported the women’s affairs ministry in its quest to close the gender gap in agriculture by enhancing rural women’s socio-economic empowerment and strengthening women’s leadership roles in rural development, decision-making and resilience building.