Rockville, Md. – The U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) awarded Abt Associates a five-year, $25 million contract to collaborate with the private sector in Cambodia to boost agricultural competitiveness, job opportunities, and availability of nutritious foods.
Agriculture employs 35 percent of Cambodians, so the sector plays a major role in the country’s economy and the well-being of its citizens. Yet agricultural productivity is lower than in neighboring countries, and many Cambodians reduced their food consumption during the pandemic. COVID-19 has exposed weakness in the country’s agricultural market systems—while revealing widespread readiness to adapt to more competitive agricultural and business practices.
Abt will work with the private sector under USAID’s new Feed the Future Cambodia Agriculture Partnership Hub. The AgriHub builds on previous USAID initiatives, including the Abt-led Harvest II project. Harvest II generated $28 million in horticultural investment and helped companies register 140 new food products. The AgriHub will work with a broad range of companies and agricultural cooperatives to create income-generating opportunities for women and youth, especially in climate-smart agriculture.
“Our experience in Cambodia during the pandemic has shown how creative and responsive Cambodians can be to emerging market opportunities,” said Mariandrea Chamorro, Abt’s regional vice president for Europe, Asia, Latin America, and the Caribbean. “We look forward to deepening our collaboration with the private sector under the Agriculture Partnership Hub so that Cambodians and Cambodian market systems can become more competitive, resilient, and inclusive. This should lead to more broadly based economic growth and improved livelihoods, including for women and youth.”
About Abt Associates
Abt Associates is a global consulting and research firm that combines data and bold thinking to improve the quality of people's lives. We partner with clients and communities to advance equity and innovation—from creating scalable digital solutions and combatting infectious disease, to mitigating climate change and evaluating programs for measurable social impact. https://www.abtassociates.com