APICI
Strengthening agroecology stakeholders in Cambodia
Field Project
Cambodia

In Cambodia, agriculture employs 50 % of the labour force and accounts for 22,2 % of GDP. Yet, the country’s food and nutrition security is far from being achieved: Cambodia depends heavily on imported agricultural products that create competition for local products and malnutrition continues to prevail. 32 % of children under the age of 5 suffer from stunted growth, 10 % suffer from wasting and 24 % are underweight.

In Siem Reap, the country’s main tourism region, farmers struggle to meet increasing demand for safe, healthy food products throughout the year. What’s more, the covid-19 period, with its repeated border closures, has had a particularly disruptive effect on local sectors and markets, and increased food insecurity.

Against this backdrop, the general aim of the APICI project is to improve and secure the living conditions of family farmers through agroecological practices in Siem Reap province, Cambodia. Since 2010, it has been working in the following areas:

  • training farmers in agroecology in order to increase, diversify and improve the quality of production, and to encourage the dissemination of techniques through a farmers’ network;
  • ensuring the quality of agricultural products and structuring local value chains to improve market access and enhance the value of local products;
  • promoting and strengthening social and professional organisations in rural areas, in order to ensure support services for farms over the long term.

Prospects

The project – conducted by GRET and the Cambodian NGO CIRD since 2010, with support from the Hauts-de-Seine French Departmental Council – made it possible to structure a producers’ network and set up a value chain for the marketing of local, quality products.

The challenge now is to ensure producers’ organisations can operate autonomously, in particular by strengthening their capacity to deliver training to farmers on agroecological techniques thanks to a network of pilot farmers. An innovative way to promote agroecology was initiated: the production of video tutorials, made by farmers and distributed on social media (some videos have been watched more than 2 million times).

As consumers are increasingly aware of the importance of safe, good quality food, the project also aims to raise the awareness of stakeholders in the value chain on food security and to combine its agricultural activities with basic knowledge on nutrition.

In addition, the local authorities in Siem Reap have become aware of the importance of developing a provincial food system to feed the population. The action has therefore evolved since the end of 2022 to support provincial stakeholders in co-constructing and implementing a plan to develop an inclusive, sustainable and healthy food system at provincial level.

Key project figures

● 140 villages in 4 districts.
● 35 vegetable and chicken producer groups supported.
● 3 cooperatives created and 7 existing cooperatives supported, totalling 2,200 members.
● 1 market dedicated to local produce, set up in Siem Reap town.
● 420 family ponds built.
● 2,300 villagers trained in good nutritional practices.
● 36 savings and credit groups created, totalling 2,650 members and capital of over US$1 million.
● 65 journalists made aware of healthy and sustainable food and farming systems.
● Around a hundred video tutorials produced by farmers.
● Start of the consultation process for the co-construction and implementation of a provincial food plan.

Main funding: Hauts-de-Seine Departmental Council decentralised cooperation programme with Siem Reap province
Co-funding since start of project: EU, ICCO Cooperation, CFI, AFD, UNDP, PAFID, Syctom, MEAE

Project news

In 2022: Agroecological products are in vogue in the streets of Siem Reap

In 2021: Facilitating dissemination of agroecology by and for farmers in Cambodia

 

Press coverage of the project

GRET, a French NGO supporting small-scale Cambodian producers (in French only)

 

Project videos

Feedback from Mrs. Peun Sun on the development of her chicken farm (2022)

Interview with Sok Mean, a journalist in Thmey Thmey, trained by GRET on agricultural techniques and issues (2021)

Feedback from Mr. Touk Sokka on the introduction of agroecology practices in Siem Reap province in Cambodia (2017).

Our values represented in this project

Empowerment :
Encourage everyone to take action, think, invent and rethink themselves to organise collectively in order to craft a fairer world.
Resilience :
Make societies and ecosystems more resilient to cope with climate, environmental, social and economic shocks.
Social Justice :
Strive for dignity for all through greater social justice.
Ongoing project
Start date 01/01/2010 end date 30/04/2025
Average annual budget : 420 000 €
Project partners