Education Knowledge

Posted February 1998


Trends and Needs in Manpower Planning for Sustainable Agricultural and Rural Development in Cambodia: an Educational Planning Assessment

by Phat Muny
Vice Rector, Royal University of Agriculture
Editorial assisant: Vin. McNamara
September 1997
Note: This page presents the Table of Contents and Introduction of the Study. You may also download the complete Study in Word 6.0 for Windows (.ZIP, 76K)

Table of contents

I. Introduction

II. Overview of agricultural and rural development in Cambodia
The government's main targets for the agricultural sector
The government's medium term plan for rural development

III. Overview of labour markets and manpower training in Cambodia

IV. Trends and needs in manpower demand/supply for agricultural/rural development
Emergent developments in agriculture, setting new demands for skilled manpower
Analysing skilled manpower demand in agriculture for the 21st century
Manpower demand, quantitative requirements - pre-service education
Manpower demand, quantitative requirements - continuing (in-service) education
Manpower demand, qualitative requirements

V. Background to agricultural higher education in Cambodia
The Royal University of Agriculture
The School of Agriculture Prek Leap
The School of Agriculture, Kampong Cham
Maharishi Vedic University
The Institute of Technology of Cambodia

VI. Development of skilled manpower for agriculture

VII. Conclusions, and recommendations to the Advisory Task Force
Pre-conditions for effective implementation
Awareness raising steps
Basic issues
Possible critical path for action


I. Cambodia: rice yields 1993-96
II. Rice yields - regional comparisons
III. Evolution of agricultural practice in Cambodia
IV. Annual manpower demand by faculty 1997-2007
V. Summary of continuing education trainer requirements (1997-2007)


I. Demand summary
II. Capacities to be developed
III. Graduate competencies demanded by the market
IV. Royal University of Agriculture - program and staffing
V. School of Agriculture Prek Leap - program and staffing
VI. School of Agriculture Kampong Cham - program and staffing
VII. Supply summary
VIII. Projections - Royal University of Agriculture graduates
IX. Training plans - MAFF staff upgrade
X. Demand-supply comparison
XI. Prospective analysis of agricultural professions
XII. Endnotes

I. Introduction

The social and political upheavals in Cambodia over the past three decades have had a serious negative impact on the national development infrastructure - more obviously the physical infrastructure, but more significantly the human resources infrastructure. A fundamental question in relation to the achievement of the agricultural and rural development goals of Cambodia is the lack of even a minimal base of appropriately trained human resources to rehabilitate and modernise the sector. Massive problems with both the general education base and the higher education superstructure pose major problems for the rehabilitation and development of higher education in agriculture.

To remedy these problems in a systematic way, what is now the Royal University of Agriculture (RUA) has, since 1992 [1], initiated steps to address training needs effectively through the development of a Master Plan for Agricultural Higher Education. Since that start was made evidence has emerged of major environmental degradation, due to a lack of policy and planning controls informed by an awareness of sustainability issues. This development has imposed particular additional skilled manpower requirements. It is now clear that there is a crucial need for the provision of the trained human resources necessary for Environmental Planning and Impact Assessment in Agricultural Development. There is an urgent need to train planners who will have adequate knowledge and the skills to manage the natural resource base for sustainable agriculture. There is equally a need for all trained workers in agriculture to have an understanding of the implications of ecological issues for their work.

The current curriculum of agricultural education does not reflect such needs as the skills required to take advantage of a global market economy while at the same time paying due attention to ecological requirements. The knowledge of new graduates in agriculture does not answer to the requirements of employers. Several visiting missions have arrived at similar conclusions, leading to the recognition of an urgent need to address the issue of human resource development for agriculture in Cambodia.

Already in 1994 an FAO mission [2] had predicted a decline in the public sector share in employment in agriculture of the order of 80%, a collapse which would be more than offset by a quintupling of employment opportunities in the private sector. Following this report, and at the request of MAFF, an advisory mission from the extension and training division of FAO was arranged in December 1995. The mission found a need to develop a National Action Plan for Agriculture and Environment education at both intermediate and higher levels.

A project agreement [3] was signed between the MAFF and the FAO at the end of 1996 and the first document of draft policy guidelines and implementation strategies was finalised by mid-1997 [4].

A national team, the Action Plan Advisory Task Force, has been established to coordinate and monitor planning activities leading to the development, by the end of 1997, of a National Action Plan for Education in Agriculture. Subsidiary activities will include:

Human resource development is an essential element for the success of national economic rehabilitation, particularly in agriculture and rural development [5]. This report was commissioned to review the availability of and need for educated manpower for the agricultural sector. The estimate of trained manpower needs for the sector has been prepared within the framework of the overall National Action Plan prepared by the National Higher Education Task Force (NHETF) and in the context of agricultural and rural development planning by the Royal Government.

The preparation of this assessment has benefited from a number of valuable documents prepared by various Ministry agencies with the assistance of interested donors. A report on Ministry staffing [6] has set out broad guidelines for the downsizing ot the Ministry and the redistribution of its staffing to field posts. Of particular value on the demand side has been the document [7] of quantitative and qualitative demand projections prepared by the Royal University of Agriculture with the assistance of PAFAARC [8].


1. RGOC. Master Plan, Chamcar Daung Agricultural Institute. Description, Analysis and Development Plan. Phnom Penh: M.A.F.F., May 1992

2. FAO. Agricultural Development Options Review Phase 1 Rome: FAO, 1994

3. RGOC. Support to Human Resources Development for Sustainable Agriculture and Rural Development [TCP/CMB/6612(T)]. Phnom Penh: FAO, Dec. 1996

4. Gartner, J.A. End of Assignment Report (TCP/CMB/6612). Phnom Penh: FAO, June 1997

5. FAO. Strategic Options for Higher Education in Agriculture, Expert Consultation, a Report. Rome: FAO, December 1991.

6. Boekraad, Bernardus. Draft Report on Personnel Management and Working Conditions in the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries of the Kingdom of Cambodia Phnom Penh: FAO, March 1997 (as one of the documents commissioned under FAO project TCP/CMB/4558 Appui a la preparation de la restructuration des institutions de dˇveloppement agricole)

7. RUA. Analyse des mˇtiers et des emplois agricoles au cambodge Chamcar Daung: Groupe de travail des professeurs de l'URA, avril 1997

8. Projet d’appui au formation agricole et agronomique, royaume du cambodge, funded by La Caisse Francaise de Dˇveloppement (CFD) TCP/CMB/6612: Educational Planning

  • You may download the complete text of Trends and needs in manpower planning for sustainable agricultural and rural development in Cambodia: an educational planning assessment in Word 6.0 for Windows (.ZIP, 76K)

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