United Nations officer Kaushik Barua has been awarded medal under the Royal Order of Sahametrei and Sowathara of Cambodia.

Assam-born Kaushik Barua is the Country Director of the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD).

Barua along with another UN officer Sakphouseth Meng has been “recognised for their remarkable contributions to poverty reduction, rural development and smallholder agricultural development in Cambodia”, says UN Cambodia on its website.

Through the IFAD-financed and supervised Agriculture Services Programme for Innovation, Resilience and Extension (ASPIRE) program, over 61,000 farmers across 24 provinces in Cambodia have been supported to form farmers’ groups and business clusters.

The ASPIRE) program is implemented in collaboration with the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries (MAFF).

The program has supported rural farming households with appropriate climate-resilient technology, extension services and on-field support and market access.

The IFAD team has also collaborated with the Ministry of Commerce to promote access to markets and the Ministry of Rural Development to provide climate-resilient infrastructure to rural communities.

These interventions have resulted in marked increases in household assets and agricultural productivity across the supported communities.

The IFAD team has also promoted renewable energy technologies, with over 5,000 small farmers adopting sustainable and environmentally friendly renewable energy technologies on their farms.

Barua and Meng were recognised for their exceptional commitment to the objectives of the projects, for their close collaboration with ministries, provinces, and community partners and for introducing key innovations across the agricultural sector.

The Government of Cambodia conferred the Royal Order for these contributions.

Their work contributed to improved food security, increased household incomes and assets, primarily achieved from improvements in agricultural productivity and diversification and from investments in roads and irrigation implemented by the IFAD supported projects.

Additional director general of police (ADGP), Assam, Harmeet Singh has congratulated Barua for his achievement.

“It’s a moment of joy & pride for all of us in Assam, particularly the @assampolice family & me personally to see Kaushik Barua being awarded the Royal Order of Sahametrei & Sowathara for his contribution to rural & agricultural development in Cambodia,” ADGP Singh tweeted.

Kaushik Barua is the winner of the Sahitya Akademi Yuva Puraskar for his first book ‘Windhorse’ published by HarperCollins in 2013.

His second book, ‘No Direction Rome’, was published by Fourth Estate/ HarperCollins India in 2015.


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