Cambodia: Project for agricultural development and economic empowerment

Project area: The Project will target 246 communes in 36 districts in the provinces of Kampot, Kandal, Prey Veng, Svay Rieng and Takeo.

Target group: The project will target resource poor rural women and men and their households including: (i) poorest, (ii) poor and (iii) medium poor households. Landless and land-poor farmers, rural youth and women headed households usually included in the poorest category will be a priority for project assistance. The project is expected to benefit around 90,000 rural households, of which about 49,000 will be the main project beneficiary households.

  • Project objectives: The project goal is to improve the livelihoods of poor rural people in the target communes of Kampot, Kandal, Prey Veng, Svay Rieng and Takeo provinces. The development objective is to improve agricultural productivity and to diversify the sources of income of rural households living in poverty in the selected provinces.
  • Project description: The project has three closely inter-related components. The Project Coordination and Management component will include a dedicated monitoring and evaluation unit and substantial resources for studies and knowledge generation, namely on those areas that present the greatest scaling-up potential. The project comprises two operational components.
  •   Improved Access to Financial Services. This component will include three inter-related sub components: (i) Group Conditional Capital Transfer Scheme, (ii) Capacity Building for Improved Access to Finance and (iii) Support to Existing Group Revolving Funds.
  •   Improved Access to Technology and Markets. The component will finance three interrelated sub-components: (i) support to innovation in capacity building, (ii) applied training and capacity building and (iii) small rural business development.
  • ┬áThe three project components are closely inter-related as the intervention logic is to combine sustainable improvements in access to financial services with applied training in both on farm and non-land based income generating activities, promotion of market linkages and business development opportunities. The components are also fully integrated in terms of their implementation strategy which relies on first expanding the range of investment choices available to the target groups and then empowering the individuals and groups to make better choices by creating a safe learning-cum-investment environment.
  • Important features: Project design is consistent with the objectives of the 2007-2012 RB-COSOP, specifically its first strategic objective of sustainable improvement of the livelihoods of the rural poor. The project approach is that of striking a balance between innovative features and building on the experience of IFAD projects through scaling up those features found to be most efficient in achieving strategic objectives and seeking to improve past intervention modalities when required. It is also closely aligned with the Government’s policies for rural development including the Rectangular Strategy’s resolve to make agriculture a leading sector of the national economy and a key source of sustainable economic growth, as well as expand food security and reduce poverty. In addition it is well aligned with the National Strategic Development Plan, the Strategy for Agriculture and Water (2010-2013) and the policy on Promotion of Paddy Production and Rice Export.

The project will include the Netherlands Development Organisation (SNV) as implementation partner and co-financier for the sub-component on small rural business development and also providing technical assistance on the development of training packages and knowledge dissemination. The project will also establish an innovative partnership between Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries and International Development Enterprises (iDE) to substantially expand the successful Farmer Business Advisor programme to new provinces and communes. In addition, the project will support the adaptation and scaling up of the National Bio-digester programme to poor beneficiaries and create an additional rural business development opportunity in project areas.

Potential cofinanciers and domestic contribution:
Estimated project costs are of around US$ 43.2 million. An IFAD grant and a loan of US$ 17.5 million each will finance most of the project activities. The Food and Agriculture Organisation will fund the financial literacy support activities through a technical cooperation facility of US$ 0.3 million. SNV will provide financing of technical assistance, studies and operating costs relative to the Small Rural Business Development activities of the project, as well as for the sub-component “support to innovation in capacity building”, totalling almost US$ 0.7 million. iDE funding of around 0.4 million will include technical assistance management support for the expansion of the farm business advisors network. Government funding is estimated at US$ 4.7 million. Finally, beneficiaries will be expected to contribute with US$ 2.1 million.

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