Cambodia

Providing support services to farmers through NGOs in Cambodia

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MANILA, PHILIPPINES (12 November 2002) - The Asian Development Bank (ADB) has agreed to provide a US$1.8 million grant to improve livelihood opportunities for poor farmers in southern Cambodia. The grant will be from its Japan Fund for Poverty Reduction (JFPR), financed by the Government of Japan.

The project aims to reduce rural poverty by providing farmers with access to agricultural services and resources through non-government organizations (NGOs).

The project will emphasize the participation of women in income-generating activities.

Cambodia is one of the region's lowest-income countries with an estimated per capita gross domestic product of US$259.

Of the 36% of the population living below the poverty line, nine out of 10, or 3.6 million, live in the countryside.

Poverty is most prevalent among the vulnerable groups affected by the long civil conflict, especially displaced people, returning refugees, and war widows and their families.

Agriculture has great potential for improving human development and reducing poverty, but many rice-growing areas suffer from decreasing productivity due to the lack of access to improved agricultural technology and inputs.

To address this, the project will expand the outreach of agricultural support services to the rural poor.

It will do this by:

  • Improving access to income-generating opportunities through small-scale village infrastructure subprojects such as community ponds and tree plantations

  • Strengthening the ability of farmers to apply agricultural technologies through meetings to introduce new ideas and skills training and self-help programs

  • Helping with capacity building of community-based bodies and NGOs

  • Supporting project management and poverty impact assessment

  • The Department of Agronomy and Agricultural Land Improvement will be the executing agency for the project. An NGO, the Centre d'Etude et de Développement Agricole Cambodgien, will be the implementing agency.
The JFPR was set up in 2000 with a contribution of 10 billion yen (about US$90 million), followed by additional contributions of US$155 million and a commitment of US$50 million. The fund supports projects that target poor people and prioritizes innovative approaches.

=A9 2002 Asian Development Bank

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