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The Path of Rice tech Cambodia, a 5 year partnership project aiming to improve livelihoods of small-scale farmers

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.

Amru Rice’s Chairman and CEO, Song Saran

Launched on 25 September 2019, the 5-year of Rice Tech Cambodia is the partnership project between Amru Rice, SanoRice, Oxfam, Development and Partnership in Action, Larive International and the Provincial Department of Agriculture of Mondulkiri. Rice Tech Cambodia (RTC) is a public-private initiative with the aim to enhance the organic rice value chain in Cambodia leading to inclusive growth for small scale rice farmers. This project is getting support in the grant from the Netherlands Enterprise Agency (NEA) under the framework of “Social Development Goals Partnership Facility” (SDGP).

The project aims to improve livelihoods of targeted 2400 small-scale farmers in the targeted area, Mundulkiri Province, 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, especially in European market. 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. Beside this, the project is also indirectly strengthen the general business climate in Cambodia, contributing to sustainable economic growth.

So far, Amru has committed to bring significant outcome of this project by implementing with the small scale farmers through partnership in contract farming. In Koh Nhek District, Mundulkiri Province, where the project has been taken placed, in 2020, Amru has contracted with 6 Agricultural Cooperatives on the organic rice, in which the varieties including Pka Rumdoul, Red Jasmine, and premium white rice (Neang Ok, Neang Om). The 6 ACs have a total of 144 household members, with the rice cultivation area of ​​791 hectares, and the expected yield was around 2000 Metric tons.

Amru Rice Staff on the field during the organic rice certification process

Mr. Song Saran, CEO and Chairman of Amru Rice, said during the project launching that “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.”  He also mentioned that by helping smallholder farmers in this partnership organic rice contract farming will ease their challenges and prevent them in giving up the farming because they’ve got chances to diversify their farming to the niche market of organic products. With its production based on “natural principles” with a “clear control system”, he said organic rice is widely known for its myriad health benefits.

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.

Ms. Lim Solinn, Cambodia Country Director of Oxfam said during the project launching

Recently, in 2020, the United Nation’s global reporting has also release a report emphasizing the challenges of rice farming in Cambodia. The report also stated that organic products have the potential to increase farmer revenue.

“While Cambodia’s market share for organic products has remained static, local smallholders earn more on the implementation of sustainable models. Currently, there are more than 20,000 tonnes of organic paddy which could be processed into about 10,000 tonnes of rice. Some 90 percent of organic rice is exported to the international market.

Mr. Song saran quoted by Khmer Times regarding the UN Report

In 2020, Amru Rice exported around 9,000 tonnes, or 80 per cent of 2020 organic milled-rice exports, which represents a 10-20 per cent gain over 2019. Amru Rice also became the fifth largest organic rice exporter in the European Union in 2020.

Click here for the full video of RiceTechCambodia signing ceremony: https://youtu.be/IY944pUWero

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