The International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) will provide US$17.5 million loan and US$17.5 million grant to the Kingdom of Cambodia to improve agricultural productivity and to diversify the sources of income of rural families living in poverty.
The loan and grant agreement for the Project for Agricultural Development and Economic Empowerment was signed today at IFAD headquarters by Aun Moniroth, Minister attached to the Prime Minister, Secretary of State of the Ministry of Economy and Finance, Kingdom of Cambodia and Kanayo F. Nwanze, IFAD President.
Rice is the country’s main staple food. It is gradually generating a surplus for export. But food price spikes, such as the one in 2008, can hit rural areas hard, leaving many poor families to cut back on their food intake. More recently, Cambodia has made strides in economic growth but about 30 per cent of its population still lives below the poverty line.
The IFAD-funded project aims to benefit approximately 90,000 rural households in the five provinces of Kampot, Kandal, Prey Veng, Svay Rieng and Takeo. Landless and land-poor farmers, rural youth and women-headed households will be a priority. As a result of the project, average paddy yield of the primary target group is expected to increase by 15 per cent, and non-rice agricultural production by 20 per cent.
Poor families will have improved access to financial services and service providers will help on financial management of Improved Group Revolving Funds (IGRF).
Farmers will learn how to access technology and markets through training. The innovative training package will include improved production and marketing techniques and how to establish linkages between farmers and agricultural markets.
With this new project, IFAD will have financed seven programmes and projects in Cambodia for a total investment of US$99.3 million, benefitting 1.1 million households.
For more information, visit the IFAD website.