Buyer-Led Approach to Horticulture in Cambodia: The Harvest II Project
- Cambodia’s growing horticulture sector can bring rural residents new opportunities.
- Harvest II focused on buyers and bringing goods to market.
- Buyers signed the first MOU to purchase goods from producers.
Millions of Cambodians have risen from poverty, yet many still are highly vulnerable. Accelerating growth of the horticulture sector would further reduce poverty and bring new opportunities to rural residents. Previous models have been production-driven, but USAID, through Feed the Future Cambodia, wanted to find better ways to get goods to market.
Through the buyer-focused Harvest II project, Abt and its partners begin by identifying buyers ready to increase purchases of horticultural products from four targeted provinces. The team connects buyers to producers, helps develop a plan for working together, and builds producers’ capacity to meet specified buyer needs. As part of its start-up work, Harvest II conducted a baseline survey of 17 buyers and 280 producers from 61 villages that showed women earn far less than men.
Harvest II began in mid-2017. In September, Harvest II signed its first memoranda of understanding with six buyers — some interested in a mix of vegetables, others specializing in single products such as cashews. Results are expected to fit the needs of each buyer-supplier relationship, so the team is designing activities to improve women’s ability to compete in the sector. It is also planning ways to help youth benefit from Cambodia’s expanding horticultural sector.