Local agribusiness Davane Plc and non-profit NGO Adventist Development and Relief Agency (ADRA) Cambodia will work together to promote the domestic agri-value chain and safe food market, a joint press release said.

A three-year memorandum of understanding (MoU) was signed on December 7 to that effect in a bid to make it easier to reinforce producer-buyer relations with Pursat province-based “Producer Groups”, as defined by ADRA Cambodia.

Through its Sustainable Produce to Market Value Chain Enhancement (Pro-Market) project launched on January 1, 2019, ADRA Cambodia will provide assistance to smallholder farmers in five districts of Pursat through to December 31, 2023, coinciding with the MoU’s expiration date.

With technical support from US-based non-profit organisation International Development Enterprises (iDE), Pro-Market is backed by New Zealand’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade and ADRA New Zealand with a budget of NZ$2,993,273 (US$2.10 million), according to ADRA Cambodia.

The project aims to support “Producer Groups” in their contract farming schemes, enhance the value chain of vegetables and fruits, and shore up sustainable growth in the rural economy and household economic resilience in the province, the press release said.

It added: “The project has three key outputs – market and value chain analysis and strengthening; producer group strengthened and developed; and producer group members and households trained and supported in production, post-harvest and agri-business.”

ADRA Cambodia country director Mark Schwisow said: “ADRA Cambodia is very pleased that the farmers from the ‘Producer Groups’ in Pursat will have this opportunity to use their new skills and understanding of the requirements of emerging markets through making lasting contract agreements with Davane Plc.

“ADRA Cambodia will do its best to foster strong relations between Davane and the interested ‘Producer Groups’ and will channel resources to ensure the quality, timeliness, and most of all Safety of the products sold to Davane meet the ‘safe food’ requirements on a sustainable basis.”

Develop Agriculture Value Chain Network for Economic and Environment (Davane) is an “emerging local private company committed to principles of food safety by building sound and factional food safety system to bring safe food to every home”.

Its CEO Chheng Makara said: “The MoU allows Davane to work with target producers that meet our safety requirements in structured fashion under the support of ADRA to bring quality safe foods to our clients who want to see and buy locally produced foods.

“It is an absolute fit . . . [with the] Davane philosophy – quality safe foods for our customers; support for responsible local producers; and environmental friendliness.

“We hope to enlist more partners like ADRA to help promote local produces and make safe food more affordable.”

Starting up in mid-2019 engaged in the rice sector, Davane noted that it gradually expanded to other commodities such as vegetables, meats, seafood, fruit and groceries.

It said it currently operates a safe-food store equipped with a quality control system and modern facilities that aim to ensure hygiene practices.

According to ADRA, it is the global humanitarian arm of the Seventh-day Adventist Church and boasts development and relief agency offices in over 120 countries.