China is the largest provider of financial assistance to Cambodia for agriculture and irrigation development in the last three years, Cambodia's Minister of Finance Keat Chhon said in Phnom Penh on Tuesday.
Since 2010 to date, he said, Cambodia has received a total loan of 561 million US dollars and a total grant of 22 million US dollars from South Korea, India, China, Japan and France.
"Of the amount, China's soft loan to Cambodia is 436 million US dollars," he said in an economic conference at the National Assembly. "We show that China is playing very important role to promote Cambodia's agricultural development and irrigation system construction."
The minister said that besides, Cambodia also received the loan of 88 million US dollars from the Asian Development Bank, and 24. 2 million US dollar loan and 17.5 million US dollar grant from the International Fund for Agricultural Development.
He said this financial assistance is very vital for the government of Cambodia to use for developing agricultural sector, especially rice production and export.
Cambodia is an agrarian country. More than 80 percent of the population is farmers. The country produced some 8.25 million tons of paddy rice last year. With the amount, it's estimated that there is around 2.5 million tons of milled rice left over for export this year.
In August, 2010, the government launched the rice export promotion strategy, aiming at exporting one million tons of milled rice by 2015.
Cham Prasidh, Minister of Commerce, said Tuesday that in the first half of this year, the country has exported 92,000 tons of milled rice.