Cambodia Horticulture Advancing Income and Nutrition (CHAIN)

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More than 40% of the rural poor suffer from food insecurity. The increasing market demand for vegetable and fruits provides a huge opportunity for small holder farmers and processors, in particular women to increase income and food security. The Cambodia Horticulture Advancing Income and Nutrition (CHAIN) project supports female and male farmers and processors in increasing sustainable production, income and resilience in four of the poorest provinces of Cambodia - Kratie, Stung Treng, Preah Vihear and Oddar Manchey. It is expected to provide sustainable income growth to 15,000 homestead farmers and improved household food security and nutrition to 24,000 households.

With the particular focus on the fruits and vegetables sector, CHAIN tackles market system constraints to improve the service delivery to poor farmers households, women headed households and ethnic minorities. CHAIN will support smallholder farmers to diversify into growing fruit and vegetables through the introduction of modern horticultural techniques and market linkages required to generate much-needed additional income, and it will also address poor household nutrition by supporting a diversification of diets.

The CHAIN project reflects the SDC Country Strategy for Cambodia 2013-2017 to support Cambodia’s poor and marginalised women and men with equitable access to economic opportunities, improved livelihoods and participation in decision-making. The project is aligned with the Cambodian Government's vision for the agriculture sector (NSDP 2014-2018), aimed at an annual growth of 5% through enhanced productivity, diversification and commercialisation. It also reflects the government's gender strategy (Neary Rattanak 2014-2018) with a specific focus on women’s economic empowerment in the agriculture sector.

CHAIN will operate for eight years, with three (3) implementation phases. Phase one was initiated in December 2014 with a budget of CHF 3.58 million (approximately US$ 3.77 million) and will last until November 2017, benefiting 6,200 poor households, ethnic minorities’ farmers and small processors. About 1,000 commercial farmers (50% women), 5,000 homestead farmers (95% women and 10% ethnic minorities), and 200 processors (80% women and 10% ethnic minorities) will profit from phase one of this project (2014-2017).

CHAIN focuses on farmers’ groups, farmers’ practices, improved services from the groups, and capacity building of farmers’ groups through the public extension agencies. These interventions will make farmers “market-ready”, improve their production of vegetables and increase demand for private agro-advisory services. The necessary sustainable systemic changes will need to be reinforced with the quality private sector services and products. Private extension services, mostly embedded with the inputs and agro-solutions, will create a push factor. CHAIN will link them with the farmers’ groups, assisting the private sector companies to reach to a larger pool of farmers with products and services with lesser efforts and time. Interventions providing demand-driven services to the farmers will also create a pull factor, bringing more farmers out of subsistence farming.

The CHAIN project is funded by the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC). SNV is the lead implementing agency in a consortium with Swisscontact for the current phase of the project. AVRDC - The World Vegetable Center works closely with the consortium in a sub-contracting relationship. CHAIN is being implemented in close coordination with the Cambodian Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries (MAFF) and the Cambodian Ministry of Women Affairs at national and provincial level.

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Key facts



Commercial and homestead producers and processors (male- and female-headed households) increase productivity by adapting improved technologies


Farmer groups and processor groups provide demand-oriented services and facilitate transparent and fair market engagement


Public and private sector actors deliver demand-driven, gender-sensitive and accountable advisory services.

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