A recently completed agriculture research station is still waiting for government recognition so it can qualify for additional funding, government and international officials said last week.
Speaking at a field day held at the station Thursday, Harry Nesbitt, project manager of the Cambodia-IRRI-Australia Project, said he has requested the government to recognize the Cambodian Agricultural Research and Development Institute.
“With proper government recognition, the [institute] will have its own operational budget and possess a structure on which to submit requests to donors for the funding of long-term agricultural research programs,” Nesbitt said.
Agriculture Undersecretary of State Lim Kean Hor said he would try to push the Council of Ministers to approve the center, which is 3 km past Pochentong Airport on Route 3.
The station was first proposed in 1990 and international funding was promised from the UN Development Program and International Rice Research Institute.
A protracted land dispute, however, delayed completion of the center until this year, Agronomy department director Ith Nody said Sunday. Most of that initial funding was directed elsewhere as the dispute dragged on. The final agreement left the center with only 70 of the original 170 hectares set aside.
Researchers are conducting experiments outside the institute to encourage Cambodian farmers to use fertilizer.