For more information, please visit: http://jobs.undp.org/cj_view_job.cfm?cur_job_id=35062

PROJECT MANAGER
Location : Phnom Penh, CAMBODIA
Application Deadline : 31-Jan-13
Type of Contract : Service Contract
Post Level : SB-4
Languages Required : English
Duration of Initial Contract : 12 months with possibility of extension

Background

Poverty reduction and growth are the highest priorities of the Government. The Rectangular Strategy Phase II reaffirms government’s commitment to prioritize policies and investment in support of agriculture; infrastructure; private sector development and employment; and human resources development. The global economic crisis and the rise in food and fuel prices have led the RGC to adopt a dual approach. This aims to increase national competitiveness and diversify the economy; and to expand the social protection and safety nets.

The government has identified agriculture as the top priority for Cambodia’s socio-economic development, focusing on increasing productivity and diversifying within this sector. In 2006, the Royal Government of Cambodia updated its 2001 Diagnostic Trade Integration Strategy. The result was the preparation of the Cambodia Trade Integration Strategy 2007 (CTIS 2007.) The strategy was endorsed by the Sub-Steering Committee on Trade and Trade-Related Investment in March 2007 (the Committee serves as National Steering Committee for all Aid for Trade in Cambodia) and launched officially by H.E. Prime Minister Hun Sen in December 2007.

CTIS 2007 stresses the need for Cambodia to expand and diversify its export base above and beyond its original, two core export sectors – garments and tourism. To support this major strategic orientation, CTIS 2007 identifies: (1) 19 product and service export potentials for export development focus (including cassava) (2) “cross-cutting” reforms and institutional developments required to unleash growth in those potential exports; and, (3) capacity developments in areas of trade policy and Aid for Trade management.

This is also in line with the results of the country’s Trade Policy Review undertaken in 2011 in partnership with the World Trade Organization (WTO) that calls for Cambodia to move away from its dependency on garment and rice and urges to diversify and expand the country’s export basis.

Cassava is the second largest agricultural crop in Cambodia and growing rapidly. Statistics from the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries (MAFF) indicates production of nearly 4.250 million MT in 2010, up from 3.5 million MT in 2009. MAFF sources estimate that 2012 production may reach as much as 8 million MT. The fast growing importance of the sector for export diversification and export revenues cannot be underestimated. The sector might have been generating anywhere between $200 to $300 million worth of “informal” export revenues in 2010. Even though Cassava has become the second largest agricultural crop in term or income, employment, hectares cultivated, and exports (more on this in the next section), there is very little technical assistance support provided to the sector.

This lack of technical support is potentially serious considering cassava cultivation could have ecological consequences. Research has shown that continuous cassava cultivation on small plots could contribute to serious nutrient depletion and deterioration of chemical and physical conditions of the soil. When grown on even gentle slopes, continuous cassava cultivation could even contribute to soil erosion. But it need not be the case: cassava cultivation can be made sustainable using proper methodologies or when part of a sustainable integrated system. To this end, in 2010, the Ministry of Commerce and UNDP Cambodia released a very preliminary report on the potential environmental consequences of cassava cultivation and processing (as well as rice and rice-field fishery). As the study was very preliminary further research work is required.

UNDP, in its CPAP, has vowed to support the above goals of economic diversification and poverty reduction and in particular the human capital development and competitiveness issues. Similarly, at the request of the Government, UNDP has decided to re-engage deeply in the trade sector, trade being an engine for economic growth, through the creation of a dedicated project within UNDP.

The project will contribute directly to:

UNDAF outcome on “promotion of equitable, green, diversified economic growth”
CPAP Outcome #1 on Poverty Reduction: strengthening national and sub-national capacities to develop a more diversified, sustainable and equitable economy
CPAP Output #1.1: supporting human capital development and institutional capacity for selected sectors of importance for the diversification of the economy
CPAP Outcome #2: enabling national and local authorities, communities and the private sector to sustainably manage eco-system goods and services and respond to climate change

For more information, please visit: http://jobs.undp.org/cj_view_job.cfm?cur_job_id=35062

Tags: Cambodia, UNDP, United Nations, agriculture, management, poverty

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