Cambodia’s agriculture sector is one of the key engines for economic growth and poverty reduction in the country. In recent decades, however, agricultural intensification has caused the destruction of its natural assets, resulting in soil degradation. Farmers increasingly face low and declining productivity and income. The Cambodian agriculture sector needs to shift from vast production through land expansion and excessive use of inputs towards sustainable intensification.
The project facilitates access to machinery, inputs, and extension services allowing for a sustainable intensification of agricultural production for at least 9 000 smallholder farmers (30% women). This will be achieved by supporting established public and private actors to raise awareness on sustainable intensification practices and provide appropriate technologies and services to farmers. The project is also developing a reward system that will help farmers to transition to sustainable agricultural practices.
The project provides capacity building and technical support to the government at national and local level to establish a public-private agricultural extension model. Furthermore, the project supports companies who produce and/or sell sustainable agricultural technologies to develop and expand their business activities through business development and marketing support.
One challenge hindering the wide adoption of sustainable agricultural practices is the lack of technical human resources. The project has supported the Royal University of Agriculture to establish an internship programme. It allows agricultural engineering students to increase their employability, and the private sector benefits from skilled labour force. It is planned that in total 62 students (30% women) complete the internship programme.
The project promotes appropriate technologies and extension services for a sustainable intensification of agricultural production. This leads to reduced negative impacts on the environment including an improved soil health that allows smallholder farmers to increase their productivity and income.
The employability of agricultural engineering students increases as they obtain practical training and experience through an internship programme
This project is financed by the Happel Foundation, the Symphasis Foundation, the Leopold Bachmann Foundation, among other donors. It is part of the Swisscontact Development Programme, which is co-financed by the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC), Federal Department of Foreign Affairs FDFA.