Phnom Penh: I was part of the team to formulate a project, called “Improving Vegetable Production and Marketing of Healthy Vegetables submitted the European Union (EU). The proposed project is designed for 4 years covering different aspects including 1) Improved governance in the vegetable value chain, 2) Increased farm productivity among vegetable smallholder farms, 3) Increased access to better markets for small farmers and MSM agribusinesses in the vegetable value chain, 4) Increased access to responsible and inclusive financing and investments in the vegetable value chain. The project objective is to develop an inclusive, sustainable and climate-smart vegetable lettuce & cabbages (leafy vegetables), tomato, long bean, and cucumber vegetable value chains in Cambodia.
As you know, most of the vegetables imported from neighboring countries (e.g. Vietnam, Thailand). Concern of the food safety is high among the consumers now, meaning that they want to eat healthy vegetables which not use a lot of chemical pesticide, fertilizer, etc. The project will train vegetable growers to apply GAP Standard in vegetable growing, make sure the vegetables are safe for the consumers. We also think about the introduction on climate smart agriculture (CSA) while climate change and variation is already affecting the vegetable farmers.
If the project is funded, the project will work closely with existing farmers’ groups, farmer organisations, agricultural cooperatives to improve their vegetable products, access to saving and credit, etc. Potential key farmers from the existing farmers’ groups would be selected and trained to play active role in dissemination of good agriculture practice and vegetable value chain. The key farmers can also play role to link farmers to market, also facilitate to link farmers to input suppliers. In terms of the sustainability, the key farmers would be able to get some fee/commission when they facilitate these kinds of work on the daily basis.
The project proposal was developed with other NGO partners, such as CEDAC, ACTIS, PDAO, RUA, NELIDA, and ICCO. ICCO is the lead applicant of this proposal while the rest are the consortium partners. The proposal was already submitted, and we hope to get good news from the donor.