PRESS RELEASE – Boosting organic production and consumption in Cambodia
02 September 2016
Germany enters a partnership with Khmer Organic Cooperative Co., Ltd to promote production schemes for organic agriculture and link producers into ASEAN markets
The Deutsche Gesellschaft fuer Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH on behalf of the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ), enters a cooperation agreement with the Khmer Organic Cooperative Co., Ltd (KOC) until February 2018, to establish two organic certified demonstration farms, focusing on fruits and vegetables. The prepared farms later on will be used as a national organic training center for Cambodia. Additionally, the cooperation strengthens regional market linkages and establishes local organic supply networks. To assure continued knowledge transfer, best practices and knowledge of organic agriculture will be shared in trainings with other farmers and interested institutions. On top, efforts to raise consumer awareness will be made.
“The partnership creates a great opportunity for us to boost organic fruit and vegetable production among farmers, but also reach consumers through a marketing campaign”. – Sotheara, Founder of KOC
For GIZ, this partnership shall increase usage of food standards among Cambodian farmers and overcome existing challenges that prevent agricultural businesses from implementing food standards, including poor agricultural practices especially when it comes to chemical inputs of smallholders, and lack of access to premium ASEAN markets for organic produce.
The agriculture and food industry is one of the most important economic sectors in Cambodia (33.5% of overall GDP in 2013 according to the World Bank) and almost employs more than half of the country’s population. However, currently in Cambodia fruits and vegetables are only rarely certified in accordance with current standards for good agricultural practices (GAP) and organic agriculture. The lack of certification of agricultural products hinders Cambodia to trade its agricultural products. With increasing economic integration within ASEAN, standards for food production and processing will be attributed even more importance.
About “Khmer Organic Cooperative Co.,Ltd (KOC)”
Khmer Organic Cooperative’s vision is to promote organic vegetables and fruits for consumers at an affordable price, equip farmers with knowledge and essential skills to grow organic produce on their own, and work towards establishing a sustainable environment free of chemicals and genetically modified seeds.
Organic fruits and vegetables not only taste better but they are important for good health. Khmer Organic Cooperative strives to find markets for our farmers’ produce in order to provide them with earning and providing sustainable practices in the country.
KOC has two organic farms, the first farm is located at Picnic Resort along National Road 4 and the second farm in Chhroy Svay, Sre Amel district, Koh Kong province. These two farms are using organic farming methods of growing fruits and vegetables combined with modern concepts of preparing the soil, planting and harvesting products and the organic farms will become educational centres for farmers and others.
More information on KOC can be found on www.khmerorganiccooperative.com
About the project “Standards in South East Asian Food Trade” (SAFT)
SAFT is a GIZ-supported project that supports the ASEAN Secretariat on the development and implementation of regional food standards for good agricultural practices (ASEAN GAP) and organic agriculture (ASOA). The objective is to verifiably apply both standards in the ASEAN region, particularly in the production and processing of fruits and vegetables. The project is commissioned by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ).
GIZ is an experienced service provider working on behalf of the German Government to support achieving its objectives in the field of international cooperation. We offer demand-driven, tailor-made and effective services for sustainable development.
More information on GIZ can be found on www.giz.de
Sovann Pisey THLANG Borany Suy
Director, KOC Administrative Assistant-Public Relation
GIZ Office Cambodia
Sotheara IENG Ra Ten
Founder, KOC Technical Advisor, GIZ