The Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries (MAFF) and SNV Netherlands Development Organsiation are pleased to announce the signing of the Cambodian Horticulture Advancing Income and Nutrition (CHAIN) project agreement on 26 November 2018.
CHAIN is a project mandated by the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC) implemented in line with the priorities of the Royal Government of Cambodia (RGS) and the SDC Mekong Strategy 2018-2021, The Cambodian Government’s Rectangle Strategy IV (2018-2022) mentions as attention points for developing the Agriculture sector, the strengthening of the institutional capacity for food safety, and improving the sector for import substitution for vegetables.
An example of the collaboration: the National Dialogue was co-organised by the USAID Feed the Future Cambodia Harvest II and the CHAIN-II project on 27 September 2018, at the Raffles Hotel Le Royal in Phnom Penh. The event started with an opening session presided by His Excellency Veng Sakhon Minister of Agriculture Forestry and Fisheries MAFF and with opening remarks by the US Ambassador to Cambodia Mr. William A. Heidt and Mrs. Carin Salerno, Director of Cooperation, Swiss Agency for Development Cooperation (SDC), featured in the photo above.
The overall duration of the project CHAIN is eight years; started December 2014 and is expected to end December 31, 2022, consisting of three phases.
CHAIN focuses on market development of local fresh vegetable sector and graduating farmers to more commercial farmers in Oddar Meanchey, Preah Vihear, Stung Treng and Kratie provinces. The project aims to facilitate an inclusive and sustainable increase in incomes for rural women and men (including indigenous people, where present) through strengthening the market system. Project interventions are designed to realise systemic market change in which private and public sector stakeholders deliver effective services, including extension, inputs, micro-finance, market access and (market) information to meet the needs of the target farmers. CHAIN 2 promotes Women’s Economic Empowerment (WEE) within the horticulture sector to decrease barriers to the sector for women.
Since the start of the project, CHAIN has established a very strong and good cooperation with the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries (MAFF), in particular the General Department of Agriculture (GDA), and in the provinces with the Provincial Departments of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries (PDAFF). The signing of this project agreement is a formalization and continuation the existing strong and collaborative relationship. CHAIN will collaborate on promoting the local vegetables sector in compliance with the national standards such as CamGAP and Cam-organic.
Through their collaboration SNV and MAFF have facilitated close collaboration between public and private sector partners, and facilitated improved capacity to provide effective and gender-sensitive services to farmers. Over 7,500 household farmers and processors (70% women and 10% indigenous people) successfully increased their vegetable production and established market linkages along the horticulture value chain. The production of local vegetables has notably increased in the four provinces.
By 2022, CHAIN will have reached 15,000 smallholder farmers while improving food security and nutrition for more than 72,000 Cambodians. SDC’s country director Carin Salerno said Cambodia’s fast economic growth has resulted in more demand for safe local fruits and vegetables which provides a huge opportunity for smallholder farmers and businesspeople, particularly women, to boost their income and increase food security.
“CHAIN 2 will continue to use the market development approach aimed at strengthening the inclusion of poor people with a strong focus on women in the market to secure better access to agriculture goods and services and to gain higher incomes,” she said.
“The key element of this approach is a facilitation process for involving private and public partnerships as well as civil society organizations in the delivery of goods and services on the input and output side of the horticulture value chains.”