Empowering Agriculture Through Innovation with Farm Hero 

On March 15th, 2024, Swisscontact Cambodia partnered with Farm Hero to improve access to agricultural machinery services in targeted areas of Battambang province under the MetKasekor Model implementation. 

This partnership marked a proud moment for Swisscontact Cambodia, showcasing the impact of mission-driven dedication. Swisscontact  provides a platform for young, talented individuals like Sorkunthika Srour to excel and address issues they are passionate about. This commitment to inclusive development highlights Swisscontact's belief in youth as the future leaders driving positive change. 

Sorkunthika Srour's journey into entrepreneurship exemplifies this mission-driven approach. With a background in conservation agriculture while working at Swisscontact Cambodia for 3 years (2019-2022), she embarked on a transformative path that led her to co-found Farm Hero—a platform poised to revolutionize farming in Cambodia through an innovative business model and technology. 

From Battambang to Brisbane: A Journey of Discovery 

Her journey in agriculture began with her work with Swisscontact Cambodia in 2019 – promoting conservation agriculture in Battambang through the Mekong Inclusive Growth and Innovation Project. Driven by a desire to create meaningful change, and being awarded the Australia Awards Mekong Australia Partnership scholarship, she decided to further her education in Master of Entrepreneurship and Innovation (MEI) at the University of Queensland in 2022, where she gained valuable insights into innovation timing, portfolio management, design thinking, and lean start-ups among other concepts. Armed with the right knowledge, skillsets, and mindset, she was better equipped to tackle the challenges of starting a venture.

The Birth of Farm Hero: A Vision for Change

"During my time at Swisscontact, we used to talk about the concept of Uber for Tractors. I was always inspired by the collaborative work that Swisscontact, Centre de coopération internationale en recherche agronomique pour le développement (CIRAD), Cambodian Conservation Agriculture Research for Development Center (CARDEC) , and Cambodia Conservation Agriculture and Sustainable Intensification Consortium (CASIC) have done to support conservation agriculture. So, despite coming to study in Australia, I always reflected on what I learned, and about how I could solve the problem back home. I have always wanted to be a part of the community, a part of initiatives that make real change and impact on society."
Sorkunthika Srour, Co-Founder & CEO of Farm Hero

Understanding this gap in the market, along with an inspiration to help tackle the problem of soil degradation in Cambodia, her initial idea for Farm Hero was to provide farmers with easy access to no-till planters. However, through conversations with customers, she realized that there was a broader need for access to various of agricultural equipment. After refining the concept, with a focus on scalability, desirability, and profitability, she and her co-founder Vikram Fidolin Anandharaja transformed Farm Hero into a marketplace that aggregates small plot farms' bookings of agricultural equipment services and connects them to service providers. 

Overcoming Challenges and Embracing Innovation 

Her journey has been marked by numerous challenges, from finding a tech co-founder to refining the business model and creating high-fidelity Minimum Viable Products. However, with determination and the support of friends mentors and advisors, she has overcome these obstacles. 

Looking ahead, she envisions Farm Hero as a catalyst for change in the agricultural sector and digital economy in rural areas. By empowering smallholder farmers with easy access to machinery services, Farm Hero aims to make agriculture more appealing to the younger generation and ensure the sustainability of the sector. 

The Strategic Partnership: A Milestone in Impact 

"I am proud that Farm Hero was envisioned to facilitate essential aggregation services between farmers and service providers for agroecology transition services – a much-needed service. This effort aligns with the work of CIRAD and Swisscontact, who have collaborated closely with the Royal Government of Cambodia through CASIC and other departments at the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries (MAFF), as well as with multiple private sector partners."
Rajiv Pradhan, Country Director, Swisscontact

On March 15th, 2024, Swisscontact and Farm Hero forged a strategic partnership to enhance access to agricultural machinery services in Battambang province's targeted areas under the MetKasekor Model implementation. This collaboration aims to streamline agricultural equipment booking through the Farm Hero App, ensuring that smallholder farmers benefit from efficient and convenient access to machinery and technology services. This initiative is a step towards revolutionizing service provision, empowering farmers with seamless access to essential agricultural resources. It further helps in providing key aggregation services. 

Sorkunthika’s story is a testament to the power of passion, innovation, and determination. Through Farm Hero, she is not only transforming the agricultural landscape in Cambodia but also inspiring a new generation of entrepreneurs to create positive change in their communities.