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.
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, to promote sustainable agricultural technologies, the project continues its partnerships with small agribusiness companies from Phase I (2017-2020). It helps them 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.
This project is financed by Happel Foundation, Symphasis, and Marcuard Family Office, among other donors. As part of the Swisscontact Development Programme, it is co-financed by SDC (Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation, Federal Department of Foreign Affairs FDFA).