RiceTechCambodia is a five-year partnership project between Amru Rice, SanoRice, Oxfam, Development and Partnership in Action, Larive International and the Provincial Department of Agriculture of Mondulkiri. The aim is to improve the livelihoods of small-scale farmers by helping them to get their organic rice certified, increase their productivity, enhance their yield and ensure a premium price on sales to the market in Europe.
The project was launched on September 25 in Phnom Penh with the participation of community representatives, the private sector, I/NGOs, banks and government stakeholders.
In his opening remarks, H.E. Veng Sakhon said that the project will be implemented in Mondulkiri Province and aims to reach out to 2,400 small-scale rice farmers.
Among these farmers, 54% will receive extensive training in organic agriculture and good agricultural practices while getting access to drying, storage and milling facilities, and thus increase the quality of rice products. As part of this project, we will introduce a pilot project of circular rice-fish farming.
Ms. Lim Solinn, Cambodia Country Director of Oxfam, said: “We believe that smallholder farmers deserve a fair share of the added value created in agricultural value chains, and this can be achieved through inclusive value chains in which they are empowered partners. This partnership is built on an inclusive business model that aims to fairly benefit smallholder farmers, private companies, consumers and government alike. We are thankful to our consortium partners for joining in this journey to support smallholder farmers, especially women, in transforming their livelihoods.”
All project activities will directly lead to significant improvement of the livelihoods of local small-scale rice farmers in Mondulkiri and indirectly strengthen the general business climate in Cambodia, contributing to sustainable economic growth.
“We hope for better prices through contracts with Amru Rice. It is very important for us to invest in new organic rice farming practices,” said Ms. Hoeu Leap, leader of the agriculture cooperative in Mondulkiri.
Mr. Song Saran, CEO of Amru Rice, said: “We enable farmers to shift to certified organic rice cultivation through contract farming, value-added drying, milling and storage facilities, premium prices and guaranteed take-off.”
“SanoRice adds specialized food safety expertise up to the level of baby food. With this expertise we are able to ensure a safe value chain from the farmer in Mondulkiri via the harbor in Rotterdam to the final consumer,” said Mr. Robert Vreeman, director of SanoRice Holding B.V.
“The Dutch government supports RiceTechCambodia because it contributes to the Sustainable Development Goals and strengthens ties between Cambodia and the Netherlands,” said Mr. Thomas van Leeuwen, deputy ambassador of the Netherlands to Cambodia.