Phnom Penh (VNA) Cambodia’s Agriculture Ministry has ordered its officials across the country to hold campaigns to encourage people made jobless during the COVID-19 pandemic to take up farming, Khmer Times reported July 4.

In a letter signed earlier this week, Agriculture Minister Veng Sakhon outlined measures which need to be taken to boost the agricultural sector during border lockdowns triggered by the coronavirus.

He said the agricultural sector is key to kick-starting the country’s economy during these hard times.

Cambodia’s economy has been hurt by the disease and may decrease to 1.9 percent in 2020, the letter said.

Sakhon asked officials to encourage people to do farming by providing support on farming techniques and also provide solutions to problems they may encounter.

He said the campaign is aimed at improving the employment rates and livelihoods of people, especially migrant workers who have returned to their home provinces during the pandemic.

Last month, Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen told the launch of the Cash Transfer Programme for Poor and Vulnerable Households during COVID-19 that his government has decided to allocate about 100 million USD to develop rural infrastructure and provide employment opportunities for rural people./.