Public-Private Collaboration transforms small-holder agriculture in Siem Reap province

25 February 2013

Siem Reap, Cambodia – GIZ’s Regional Economic Development (RED) – Green Belt Programme operates in the Siem Reap province of Cambodia to foster the competitive integration of agricultural producers and small-scale businesses in commercial markets.

In particular, the programme supports thousands of producers in the province who are engaged in vegetable farming.  The production and commercialization of vegetables has the potential to generate revenues that complement incomes and allows investments in economic assets as well as household health and education.

Addressing small-holder challenges

Small-holders, however, are often disconnected from markets, have limited resources to scale up production or access new technologies and are caught in potentially harmful cycles of economic and social degradation. Developing small-holder agriculture requires providing technical expertise and know-how, which is often difficult to deliver in rural areas and costly for farmers.

In order to address this challenge, RED has promoted the establishment of partnership agreements between Provincial Department of Agriculture (PDA) and agricultural input companies.

Input producers and distributors, such as seed, fertilizer or agrochemical companies, have a strong interest to promote the development of the vegetable sector from the subsistence to the commercial level, since their business depends on having a growing number of commercial producers as clients.

Public-private sectors support over 4,00 farmers

Private sector companies can contribute to increase farm productivity by commercializing quality inputs in rural areas (e.g. high yield and climate tolerant seeds or safe pesticides). Additionally, they can provide extension services to farmers such as training and technical advice related to the correct and effective application of their products.

The public sector plays a key role to catalyze the interventions of private sector companies in support of small-holders. Since 2009, RED and the Provincial Department of Agriculture have teamed up with agricultural input companies to benefit vegetable producers in Siem Reap. Meanwhile, PDA technical staff operate as an aggregating entity that identify and channel the demand of farmers for technical support, which facilitates service delivery by private sector companies.

Jointly, the public and private sector have supported the dissemination of modern techniques and technologies to over 4,000 farmers. As a result, vegetable growers in Siem Reap have increased and diversified production, which generates, on average, an additional income of USD 159  per year, per household.

At present, the RED programme is supporting PDA to develop partnerships with new companies and extend existing collaborations, tailored to the changing requirements of a sector in transformation.

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