Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Farming project gets extension, $66M

Farming project gets extension, $66M

Poor farmers in Kampong Thom’s Sro Yov commune, Santuk district, study technical methods of rice cultivation on tablet PCs as part of the ADB-funded Tonle Sap Poverty Reduction and Smallholders Development program in 2014.
Poor farmers in Kampong Thom’s Sro Yov commune, Santuk district, study technical methods of rice cultivation on tablet PCs as part of the ADB-funded Tonle Sap Poverty Reduction and Smallholders Development program in 2014. Moeun Nhean

Farming project gets extension, $66M

The government and international funders have committed a further $66 million to a project to increase small farmers’ productivity, after yesterday claiming success in the program’s initial seven-year period.

The renewed program, Tonle Sap Poverty Reduction and Smallholders Development (TSSD), will join a slew of agricultural improvement projects that have now been scheduled over the next several years.

TSSD was started in 2010 with funds from the government, Asian Development Bank (ADB), International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) and Finland, totalling $50.85 million, said Sam Chhom Sangha, deputy secretary-general of the Ministry of Agriculture.

Targeting 1,200 smallholder farmer groups in 28 districts in five target provinces – Banteay Meanchey, Siem Reap, Kampong Thom, Kampong Cham and Tbong Khmum – the project had improved the livelihoods of about 60,000 families, Chhom Sangha said.

“Before, I didn’t know anything about [good agricultural practices] or food safety – I only farmed based on traditional ways. Since I joined the project, I learned farming techniques to meet quality standards,” said Prak Thorn, a melon farmer in Siem Reap province’s Banteay Srey district, who joined the project in 2014.

“My customers are confident now and trust only my melons,” he said.

The ministry’s Chhom Sangha said the project’s initial phase would end in February, but thanks to its perceived success, the program would receive an additional $66 million from the government, ADB and IFAD to continue for five more years.

The second stage would expand to two more provinces, Prey Veng and Battambang, and focus more on irrigation, he said.

Meng Sakphouseth, IFAD’s country program officer, said there were many projects joining the sector with similar goals of developing the local horticulture industry.

“The challenges that we address will be production chain and market needs,” Sakphouseth said.

In May, the government and IFAD launched a six-year, $36 million joint project to develop agricultural value chains and help smallholder farmers access markets.

In August, New Zealand offered to provide a $6.5 million grant for a five-year commercial horticulture project aimed at helping small organic fruit and vegetable farmers find local buyers for their products, and in September, a five-year, $17 million initiative was announced by USAID to develop commercial horticulture in rural Cambodia.

MOST VIEWED

  • Hungarian exposes 90 to Covid in Siem Reap

    The Ministry of Health has discovered 90 people who have been exposed directly or indirectly to a Hungarian man infected with Covid-19. They all are required to quarantine at home and the hospital. The ministry is searching for other affected people. Among the 90, one is the

  • PM warns of ‘new Cold War’

    Prime Minister Hun Sen said the possibility of a so-called new Cold War has become a significant concern and that all countries have to reject outright, any attempt to allow history to tragically repeat itself. He made the remarks in a speech during 75th Session

  • PM: West unfair to Cambodia

    Prime Minister Hun Sen released a message celebrating the International Day of Peace on Monday, saying that some major powers and western countries had been systemically cooperating to put political pressure on Cambodia as they did in the 1970s and 1980s. Hun Sen said pressuring

  • ‘Bad news is an investor’s best friend’ – unlocking investment potential in Cambodia

    It is time to shop. Economic woes provide good pickings for investors if they know where to look The poem If, written by English Nobel laureate poet and novelist Rudyard Kipling for his son circa 1895, is widely perceived as fatherly advice for John who would

  • PM requests Russia’s Covid vaccine

    Prime Minister Hun Sen has requested that Russia provide Cambodia with its Covid-19 vaccine after the former announced it planned on mass vaccinating its population next month. The request came on Thursday through the prime minister’s Facebook page as he met with Anatoly Borovik,

  • First ‘mobile kitchen’ in Cambodia enters service

    A catering company recently rolled out Cambodia’s first “mobile kitchen” – a $50,000 container capable of serving up to 200 people at a time. The kitchen is the brainchild of Seng Hok Heng Catering Services. At 4.4m-high, 6.8m-long and 2.4m-wide (expandable to 6.8m), the kitchen is equipped