Getting an edge on the competition
Cambodia Agribusiness Development Facility provides invaluable technical training
In addition to cultivating rice, Vy Horn and her husband Chhuth Chhoeung grew cucumber, eggplant, and leafy vegetables to supplement their household income. Then they saw the profit that a relative had made growing melons, which he had learned through the Cambodia Agribusiness Development Facility (CADF). Vy and Chhuth decided to plant melons, too.
CADF is a program funded by the New Zealand Aid Programme and implemented by iDE with partner Plant & Food Research. Through CADF, iDE identifies market opportunities and constraints for small-scale farmers and then designs solutions that can be implemented by small local businesses. By improving access to technical assistance, market information, quality inputs, and new technologies, iDE strengthens the value chain that links all of the agricultural market players together. At the same time, iDE helps small-scale farmers to participate more effectively in the value chain, taking advantage of new market opportunities like melons.
Because Vy and Chhuth were new to melon growing, they had to learn by working with their more experienced relative. They gained the experience and confidence they needed to reduce the risk in trying something new. They began growing melons in their own rice fields after acquiring a loan from a microfinance institute for seeds and other start-up costs.
Vy and Chhuth’s first two melon crops on their own land were successful and they earned more than $5,000 in profit. After the last harvest, they decided to rotate crops, switching to a new variety of melon. The new crop made them an additional $2,000 net profit. Using the money they had earned, Vy and Chhuth have paid back a $5,000 loan for house improvements. They also invested in new ponds for a dry season water supply so that they can grow even more melons.
Chhuth has become an active member of the melon association and he and his wife plan to expand their farm. Chhuth told us, “I need to find a larger plot with good water access in the wet and dry season so that I can grow more crop cycles each year.”
Key Results from CADF
5,158 Total commercial horticulture farmers reached
$754 Average increase in net annual income from horticulture
1,832 Total commercial pig raisers reached
$1,066 Average increase in net annual income from pigs