Abt Applies Buyer-led, Market Systems Approach in Cambodia
- Cambodians want new approaches to accelerate horticulture sector growth.
- Harvest II builds commercial partnerships and supports system-level change.
- Buyers and producers are collaborating, improving practices, and boosting sales.
Millions of Cambodians have risen from poverty, yet many still are highly vulnerable. Accelerating growth of the horticulture sector would bring new opportunities, enabling farmers to benefit from higher-value crops. But horticulture in Cambodia is not well developed (half of the vegetables in the country are imported) and those trying to expand operations face many constraints. USAID, through Feed the Future Cambodia, decided to take a multi-pronged approach, building capacity, market linkages, the policy environment and the market system itself.
Harvest II’s buyer-led/market systems approach begins with the buyer as the key entry point to the market system. It brings the buyer together with other market actors – producers, input suppliers, financial institutions – to meet market demand and grow their businesses together over time. The approach also looks to strengthen key functions of the market system more broadly, seeking solutions to common problems such as those related to input supply or the need for tailored financial products.
Harvest II has applied its market systems approach in four subsectors: vegetables, mango, longan, and cashew. The demand-driven project has worked with hundreds of private sector actors to help them expand their businesses, establish mutually beneficial relationships with their commercial partners, and contribute to system-level change. The project has also helped market actors coordinate to improve productivity, enhance supply chain management, and meet export requirements. Four years into the project, Harvest II partners have generated $51 million in farm and firm-level sales, invested $14 million in capital improvements, and created the equivalent of 1,873 full-time jobs.