IFAD Photo by Robert Grossman - Cambodia-Agricultural Development Support Project to Seila - Pig farmer Sam Sophal and her son feeding their pigs. The project provided her with training in pig breeding, pigs, vaccinations, swill and cement to build pigsties. She plans to breed the pigs and sell their offspring.

The project objective is to bring about sustainable improvements in agricultural productivity and rural incomes. This is to be achieved through acquisition of essential knowledge, technology testing and adaptation, field development activities, rehabilitation investment and retraining and human resource management in the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries.

The objective of the animal health and production component is to promote development of private veterinary services in order to make significant and sustainable reductions in livestock mortality and morbidity.


The animal health and production component is divided into three sub-components:

  • disease control and management support;
  • basic animal health services; and
  • promotion of animal production.


The project is ongoing. The National Animal Health and Production Investigation Centre (NAHPIC) has been reorganized and strengthened; a national strategy for animal health and production has been established. The project has brought about legislation concerning:

  • licensing and registration of village animal health workers (VAHWs);
  • the use of pharmaceuticals on animals; and
  • animal disease control.

Legislation is being developed concerning VAHW associations, control of environmental pollution for animal products and quality control of livestock products. The project has hired a national gender coordinator and initiated activities to raise gender awareness.

The activities supporting the establishment of animal health services for smallholders are beginning to function well. They have been readily accepted by livestock owners, and livestock mortality and morbidity have been significantly reduced in targeted villages. The project has trained 1 120 village animal health workers. A current major initiative is the establishment of a VAHW association responsible for certifying and licensing the workers.

Organizations and people

New social and political stability following the elections in 1998 provides a renewed opportunity for economic development. Inadequate institutional capacity, however, might endanger the success of the project. The Department of Animal Health and Production (DAHP) and provincial offices of animal health and production (OAHP) have the potential to take responsibility for project activities if adequate support is provided. DAHP has limited transport and insufficient skilled personnel in its central and provincial offices. Its budget is mostly expended in operating inefficient livestock farms and in paying salaries. The National Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory has the potential to provide an effective nationwide service and to establish a national animal health and production investigation centre. Additional financial support, however, is needed for expanding and strengthening such services.



To strengthen the institutional capacity of and to provide technical assistance to DAHP, improve the four OAHPs and upgrade or construct 14 district offices, each with a vaccine storage room, office furniture and telecommunications equipment.

To provide 61 training courses for central, provincial and district staff in veterinary services, extension, planning, management and administration.

To reorganize and strengthen NAHPIC.


Capacity-building has started.

Measures to improve the technical and management capacity of DAHP and OAHP staff are being undertaken. Seven OAHP provincial disease teams have been trained in parasitology, haematology and serology diagnostic techniques.

NAHPIC has been reorganized to provide diagnostic support to provincial diagnostic laboratories.

Livestock feeding

Animal feed is mainly based on scraps and by-products. Cattle graze the stubble of wet season rice and are fed on rice straw. Ruminant feed generally lacks energy; in the dry season it is also deficient in protein. Poor-quality feed leads to poor animal condition at the end of the dry season, which in turn reduces draught-power productivity and slows the reproductive cycle. The major feed for pigs is rice bran and scraps.

Adapted fodder legumes have been identified and seed is available; the German Agency for Technical Cooperation and the Cambodia Australia Agricultural Extension Project (CAAEP) have established them in common grazing areas. Concentrate feeds and protein sources other than rice bran are increasingly available; effective use of them requires further promotion, however.



To provide funds for the purchase of fodder-crop seeds and materials, adaptive trials and demonstration plots.

Four forage demonstration plots have been established, from which forage seedlings are being distributed to farmers in collaboration with CAAEP. Leucaena demonstration forage hedges have been planted in two locations.

Animal husbandry

Livestock in Cambodia are used for cash income, draught power, organic fertilizer and as protein supplement in household diets. Animals are raised in a traditional family-smallholder fashion involving little semi-intensive and no intensive raising. Animal ownership varies according to wealth. Poor families commonly have chickens and may raise one or two growing pigs; poultry are free range and are not usually penned at night. Rich farmers often have a draught pair and breeding cattle, which they sometimes give to poor farmers for share-farming. Strategies for productive management of ruminants and pigs remain to be worked out.

Planned Achieved

To train animal production technicians.

Four of the seven animal production staff have been trained in animal production extension.

Two reports have been completed, one on national large-ruminant and pig production and one on livestock options in Cambodia.

Animal health

Production of all livestock species is constrained by infectious and parasitic diseases. Disease outbreaks regularly decimate village poultry flocks; Newcastle disease is strongly suspected as the major cause. There are high mortality rates in pigs; most deaths occur in the post-weaning period, when pigs suffer a complex of stress and parasitism. Swine fever breaks out regularly. Haemorrhagic septicaemia in cattle and foot-and-mouth disease are believed to be endemic throughout the country. The Government’s ongoing country-wide HS vaccination programme suffers from poor organization and covers only 14% of cattle and buffalo.

Lack of access to animal health services, inappropriate drugs, lack of knowledge among farmers about animal diseases and poorly organized vaccination services contribute to loss of stock from disease. Private-sector response to the problems is constrained by lack of access to vaccines and drugs, lack of organized cold-chain facilities and lack of technical knowledge among vendors about the medicines and animal feeds that they purvey.

Planned   Achieved

To train provincial and district staff to become VAHW trainers, and to train and license 1 120 VAHWs. They would be supplied with materials and given small grants for pig and poultry medicines and vaccines at start-up.

To construct three field laboratories.

To establish a cold chain to ensure adequate storage of vaccines, temporarily support domestic production of vaccines by the Vaccine Production Laboratory (VPL) and provide a study of privatization of vaccine production to identify ways of encouraging private enterprise to import and distribute vaccines and remedies and take over in-country vaccine production.


In total, 28 trainers and 1 120 VAHWs have been trained and fielded. A major ongoing initiative is establishment of a VAHW association, which will be responsible for certifying and licensing the workers.

Three provincial laboratories have been built and partly equipped. A new National Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory has been constructed and training provided to its staff.

The privatization study was completed. It recommended regulation of the supply of veterinary pharmaceuticals, closure of the VPL and development of private-sector cooperative pharmacies.

Lessons learned

  • Functional grass-roots associations and institutions capable of delivering veterinary supplies, animal feeds and artificial insemination equipment are crucial to the sustainability of project components.
  • Farmers will only benefit from the project if the technical knowledge developed reaches them and takes account of their views. This requires mechanisms for transfer and continuous feedback among central and provincial government departments and among districts, communes and farms.
  • The enthusiasm and commitment of project staff are important factors in successful project implementation, especially when external conditions are difficult.
  • Privatization of animal health services depends on government commitment and acceptance on a user-pays basis by farmers and animal-health workers.

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