A local business is collaborating with Heifer Impact Capital – a global private investment firm focused on “pro-poor wealth creation” – to develop a digital marketing platform to promote and expand the fruits and vegetables markets for farmers in communities in eight target Cambodian provinces.
Khin Marith, founder and managing director of local agricultural technology firm Kenko Shoku, told The Post on August 22 that his company had partnered with Heifer Impact Capital to invest more than $500,000 into forming a new project by developing an integrated online and offline marketing platform, aimed at promoting the sale of locally-grown produce in the eight provinces.
The eight current target provinces are Siem Reap, Battambang, Preah Sihanouk, Kampong Cham, Kep, Kampot, Pursat and Kandal.
“We consider this partnership an important event for the company to expand the market segment for local farmers’ fruits and vegetables, while activities to build confidence in locally grown fruits and vegetables for consumers are rapidly growing,” Marith said.
He said this investment will support the improvement of the quality of fruits and vegetables by using the digital platform to monitor the quality of farmers’ production processes from the farm to the market.
“Kenko Shoku is currently working with farmers and supporting them to grow vegetables and fruits in accordance with GAP [Good Agricultural Practices] standards.
“A reliable buyer’s contract will strengthen the farmer’s cultivation efforts with a clear business plan that includes the opportunity to sell on this market,” he said.
Pranjit Talukdar, regional director of Heifer Impact Capital, said Heifer International is working across Cambodia to connect farmers with groups of self-employed women.
“These strong networks enable farmers to work together and gain access to markets and financing. This project is in line with the Heifer Foundation’s goal of improving access to finance and investment across the agricultural value chain that Heifer is working on,” he said.
The company currently manages six private farms and eight distribution centres with an investment of approximately $20,000 per farm. The company plans to expand into 91 retail stores and 10 wholesalers by 2025 to supply their products nationwide.
He said the investment would allow the company to distribute 10 to 15 tonnes of products per month from 87 farming communities who are working with Heifer International.
The incomes of the farmers contracted to implement this project is expected to increase to $200 per month, compared to their current monthly incomes of about $100.
“Our mission is to build a community market for farmers and consumers – who can then access healthy and safe foods in Cambodia – with the participation of these farmers,” he said.