On 2 July 2014, Yim Soksophors co-facilitated and participated in the workshop on cassava value chain analysis at the Provincial Department of Agriculture (PDA)’s meeting hall in Kampong Cham province. There were 90 participants (18 women) attended in the workshop, included government staff, farmers, input suppliers, middlemen, processors, MFIs/banks, commune Councillors, SNV, CIAT and representatives from other NGOs. Main agenda of the workshop: Mapping of value chain actors, cassava value chain competitiveness, cassava production techniques and pest control, challenges and solutions, way forward. The objectives of the workshop were: To aware all actors and stakeholders about the cassava value chain and their roles, to share the value chain analysis, to validate the value chain analysis with actors and stakeholders especially to identify the problem and solution.

Participants in the workshop
Workshop on cassava value chain in Kampong Cham © Sophors

Summary of major information from the workshop:

  • Farmers have difficulties in accessing good quality and timely inputs particularly cassava cuttings
  • Production cost is high (e.g., fuels, electricity, transportation) so we cannot compete with the other neighbouring countries like Vietnam, Thailand.
  • Currently, labour (planting and harvesting) is equivalent to 50% of the total production cost (USD 525/ha).
  • The average yield stands at 19t/ha but it tends to decrease
  • Farmers sell 80% of fresh root cassava and 20% of dry cassava respectively with Vietnam being the often final destination.
  • Price fluctuation was causing on the entire value chain.
  • Limited market information among the value chain actors
  • High competitive in term of selling and buying prices of cassava even in the local areas
  • Limited capacity to export cassava to international markets. For example, our capacity to follow the market condition set by China. But at the same time, our neighboring country Vietnam has much better capacity to do that.

For future intervention

  • Form cassava producer groups
  • Improve market information & improve communication among value chain actors
  • Improve the cassava production practices (e.g., planting techniques, seed/ planting materials, pest control, etc.).
  • Encourage sharing of information & knowledge from farmers to farmers
  • Encourage women to participate in the cassava value chain
  • To create policy for cassava export

The workshop provided a chance for different actors in the value chain to come together and that they have seen that solutions to the issues involving value chains relies on all actors.