CHAIN - Cambodian Horticulture Advancing Income and Nutrition

Project completed

The last phase of the mandated Cambodian Horticulture Advancing Income and Nutrition Project will focus on sustainability and scalability of horticulture business models for farmers and businesses, supports quality extension services under the leadership of National and Provincial Agriculture Offices. Strengthened local market systems and improved water access for year-round safe vegetable production will increased income for 7,200 farmers and young migrants in four north-eastern provinces.

Country/region Topic Period Budget
Agriculture & food security

Agricultural development
Agricultural services & market
01.01.2021 - 31.12.2022
CHF  1’950’000

Agriculture continues to dominate the Cambodian economy, accounting for 21 percent of the GDP and has absorbed 32 percent of employment in 2019, and expected to increase during the period of COVID-19 outbreak and economic slowdown in 2020/21. The overall economic growth is projected to drop from 7 to 2.3 percent in 2020. Agriculture sector is expected to gain more importance in the livelihoods of those people migrating back to rural areas, including youth.

Cambodia is not self-sufficient in vegetables, about 300,000 tons get imported annually and linked to the seasonality of production in Cambodia. Imported vegetables are often associated with high contamination of chemical and pesticide residues.

Women provide a large share of labour in agriculture, about 50 percent of them are illiterate and still struggle with access to land, financial services, markets and agricultural technology.

Over 60 percent of small-scale farms are relying on rain water and have inefficient irrigation systems.

To improve small farmers’ productivity and the shift from subsistence farming towards commercial farming are key policies of the Government. Public and private partnerships are increasingly playing a prominent role. The demand for local safe vegetables and fruits has increased, which stimulates market opportunities for poor farming communities. Investments in access to water and introduction of climate-smart agriculture technologies in response to climate change are key to improve year-round production and to increase income for poor farmers. 

Objectives To improve income and nutrition of rural households through safe horticulture production and trade in targeted rural areas in Cambodia.
Target groups

Primary target groups are: 

-    Poor small households farmers

-    Indigenous People/Communities

-    Traders (vegetable’s wholesalers and retailers)

-    Young migrants workers

-    Small and Medium size of agriculture Inputs Suppliers

-    Government at national and sub-national levels

-    Rural communities affected by COVID19

7,200 households (43,200 persons): 6,000 direct semi- commercial and commercial farmers and 1,200 Indirect farmers.

Medium-term outcomes

1.    More efficient and inclusive local market systems in which smallholder farmers and private sector undertake profitable production and business; 

2.    Increased management/steering by provincial and sub-provincial government institutions; 

3.    Improved policies and performance by national level government institutions and private sector.


Expected results:  

1.    65 Lead-farmer incubator programme implemented in four provinces; 

2.    Rural Agribusiness accelerator programme implemented in four provinces, supporting local market actors (traders and inputs suppliers) to expand business; 

3.    Market actors (public and private) in the four provinces offer technical advice about smart water solutions and CAMGAP technical practices (gender responsive); 

4.    Provincial horticulture strategies and investment planning in four provinces in place; 

5.    Resource enhancement & water management planning exploration process documented for selected districts; 

6. Technical assistance action plan implemented for Provincial & Districts institutions regarding planning and co-investments; 

7. National Horticulture policy finalised and endorsed by Ministry of Agriculture Forestry and Fisheries (MAFF); 

Horticulture Stakeholder Platform, including smart water solutions platform in place.

Results from previous phases:  

-    Increased the supply of local safe vegetables for sale in four provincial markets from 32% (2018) to 52% in 2020; 

-    Reached out to 10,200 farmers (73% female, 7% Indigenous People -IP); 

-    Four Business-to-Business provincial horticulture platforms between public and private actors are in place and active;

-    Sixteen Traders have doubled their income by buying up to 25 tons daily of safe vegetables from farmer groups; 

-    Twenty agriculture inputs retailers who have engaged with the project have doubled their sales and revenue; 

-    80% of CHAIN female farmers reported that their workload in vegetable production had been reduced; 

-    The average annual net income of semi-commercial and commercial farmers ♀:54% is triple or four times increased; 

-    Increased access to technical knowledge and price information by using existing digital ICT/mobile and Apps.

Directorate/federal office responsible SDC
Credit area Development cooperation
Project partners Contract partner
International or foreign NGO
  • Other international or foreign NGO North
  • SDC Field Office

Other partners
Netherlands Development Agency SNV in consortium with Swisscontact
Coordination with other projects and actors

IFAD-funded projects ASPIRE & AIMS

DFAT-funded project CAVAC ll

USAID-funded project HARVEST2

SDC Projects (PaFF, SDP, RED lV, DRAW)

Budget Current phase Swiss budget CHF    1’950’000 Swiss disbursement to date CHF    1’941’919
Project phases

Phase 3 01.01.2021 - 31.12.2022   (Completed)

Phase 2 01.12.2017 - 31.12.2020   (Completed) Phase 1 01.06.2013 - 30.06.2018   (Completed)