The agricultural sector has played an important role in the economic growth of Cambodia given the fact that 80% of population is in rural areas and 60% lives on agriculture in the country. On the other hand, since the agricultural sector contributes only to 33.5% to the Gross Domestic Product (GDP), the improvement of agricultural productivity has been set as one of the main priorities in the national development strategies, such as the "Rectangular Strategy for Growth, Employment, Equity and Efficiency Phase II" and the "Strategy for Agriculture and Water 2006-2010."
Likewise, since most chemical fertilizers and pesticides are illegally imported from the neighboring countries like Vietnam and Thailand and sold in local markets without the Khmer labels, most end-users do not know how to select and use them properly. Improper use of pesticides may not only hinder agricultural productivity but may also cause health and environmental problems and food insecurity.
It was therefore essential for the Cambodian government to improve the management of agricultural materials and give necessary information on the correct selection and use of agricultural materials for sound and sustainable economic and social development in this country.
In order to achieve these, the analytical capabilities for agricultural materials of the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry, and Fisheries (MAFF) must be enhanced. At the same time, necessary information on proper selection and use of agricultural materials must be provided for the end-users and the general public. This project's overall goal therefore was to promote the proper use and enhance quality control of chemical fertilizers and pesticides in Kandal and neighboring provinces.