Cambodia Horticulture Advancing Income and Nutrition (CHAIN)
CHAIN is an 8-year programme funded by SDC to support the development of the horticultural sector in Cambodia.
The Cambodia Horticulture Advancing Income and Nutrition project (CHAIN) was an 8-year programme funded by SDC to support the development of the Horticultural Sector in Cambodia and followed a market systems approach.
Horticulture is an important part of the agricultural economy of Cambodia due to a rapidly increasing urban consumption demand for fruits and vegetables. Cambodia used to import more than 50% of all its vegetables from neighbouring countries. Today this has gone down to about 30%. CHAIN promoted the production and trade of locally produced safe vegetables in four of the poorest provinces of Cambodia.
CHAIN began with a push approach to create a critical mass of producers and technologies reaching over 10,000 vegetable producing households. Later, the programme focussed on a B2B approach improving the services for inputs, extension and the business relationships. The final phase of the programme consolidated results, working in close collaboration with the national and provincial government on improving the enabling environment, including national policy and provincial strategies. Additionally, the programme helped develop greater climate resilience by promoting year-round production, smart water solutions, and water resource management in selected districts.
CHAIN was implemented in close collaboration with the Provincial Departments of Agriculture, and the General Department of Agriculture of the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries (MAFF). CHAIN partnered with Swisscontact and collaborated with the private sector and local NGOs.
CHAIN applied various successful cornerstone interventions to transform the market system:
Extension support to farmers by partnering with government and private sector to promote year-round production technologies such as ridging, growing nets, drip irrigation and plastic mulch, quality seeds, integrated pest management, affordable plastic greenhouses, and mechanised land preparation.
Business incubation and acceleration support to traders and input resellers to improve service delivery
Climate smart technologies for horticulture including solar pumps, farm ponds, communal water reservoirs and water resource management
Cluster approach facilitating market linkages and business relationships between input providers, vegetable buyers, farmers, and government departments
Consumer promotion initiatives including national campaigns and branded marketing efforts
Enabling environment support with a horticultural policy and application of quality standards GAP and organic.
10,000 households reached in 400 farmer groups
65% of farmers reached were women
30% to 70% increase in locally produced vegetables
27 Input resellers demonstrated increased business across four regions
6,000 farmers doubled their production and increased their income
Climate resilience increased through smart water technology interventions
CHAIN was externally evaluated in 2022 and was rated highly satisfactory.