Guwahati: For his remarkable contribution to poverty reduction, rural development and smallholder agriculture development, Indian native Kaushik Barua was conferred with the Royal order by the government of Cambodia on Monday.
Along with Baruah, Sakphouseth Meng was also conferred with the prestigious award. Baruah and Meng are the Country Director and Country Programme Officer of the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD).
The duo has implemented the Agriculture Services Programme for Innovation, Resilience and Extension (ASPIRE) by which, over 61,000 farmers across 24 provinces in Cambodia have been supported to form farmers’ group and business clusters.
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.
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.
Kaushik Barush, a citizen of India, is currently the Country Director for Cambodia and Lao PDR, IFAD. In IFAD, he has worked across multiple regions, including West and Central Africa, the Middle East and now South-East Asia.
Kaushik Barua is a graduate of Delhi University and the London School of Economics, from where he graduated with distinction. His writings on social and development issues have been featured in The Guardian, Open Democracy and other publications. He also won an award from India’s Sahitya Akademi (the National Academy of Letters) for his writing.