IFAD and Cambodia to continue to collaborate on key initiatives to boost small-scale agriculture and farmers’ incomes

An International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) delegation to the Kingdom of Cambodia led by Donal Brown, Associate Vice-President of the Programme Management Department, met key officials, including Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Economy and Finance Aun Pornmoniroth, to discuss investments that will promote inclusive and sustainable agricultural growth in rural areas.

The visit reaffirms IFAD’s commitment to supporting Cambodia’s long-term rural development goals, ensuring that the benefits reach the most marginalized communities. While Cambodia has seen a significant reduction in poverty over the last two decades, poverty has increased as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. Rural families, especially small-scale farmers, are particularly vulnerable. Three-fourths of all of Cambodia’s 6.8 million farmers are categorised as small-scale farmers and they struggle to achieve the scale and consistent quality of produce needed by export and domestic markets. Most supplement their incomes with non-farm wage labour.

“Cambodia’s small-scale farmers possess remarkable resilience and hold the key to driving substantial economic growth,” said Brown. “IFAD prioritizes investments in infrastructure, value chain development, irrigation, market access, and financial inclusion to ensure that they get the support they need.”

IFAD has implemented a programmatic approach to its investments in Cambodia, where rural women and men can leverage an overarching vision of change shared by IFAD-financed projects – put into action by different stakeholders within the country, including the Ministries of Rural Development, Agriculture and others – to exponentially improve their lives and livelihoods. The delegation visited several project sites, in Takeo and Kampot provinces, where they met vegetable producer groups and poultry farmers, as well as families using techniques like net-houses and open field irrigation to increase production and productivity. The delegation also discussed a completed rural road sub-project with local authorities – an example of the kind of small-scale infrastructure project that has increased connectivity and established better links to markets.

Meetings with government officials, project partners, and participants fostered a stronger understanding of Cambodia’s needs and the opportunities for further collaboration. In addition to the deputy prime minister, the delegation met Dith Tina, Minister of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries and Tekreth Kamrang, Special Representative of the Minister of Commerce and Secretary of State, Ministry of Commerce.

IFAD has accompanied Cambodia’s development journey since the late 1990s, moving from recovery and ensuring food security to building institutions to now focusing on the market economy. IFAD’s current work in Cambodia aligns with the government’s post-COVID recovery and Agriculture Development Policy, which focuses on supporting small-scale farmers to compete in export and domestic markets and on building strong value chains.

Since 1996, IFAD has helped finance 12 rural development programmes and projects in the country for a total investment of US$1 billion, of which US$349 million came from IFAD’s own resources. These investments have benefited over 1.56 million households in Cambodia. Read more about our work in Cambodia here.

This article was initially posted by IFAD.