Cambodia is a net importer of vegetables, with total production falling at least 25 per cent short of demand. This shortfall has resulted in vegetable consumption being amongst the lowest in Asia. Each year a minimum of 60,000 tonnes are imported to supplement this production.
Past ACIAR-funded research (HORT/2003/045) has identified improved vegetable varieties, production improvements and postharvest management practices to increase production and reduce post-production losses. These outcomes were disseminated under this project, jointly funded by ACIAR and the Cambodian Agriculture Value Chain (CAVAC) Program, funded by AusAID.
Farmers in Kampong Thom, Takeo and Kampot provinces, were targeted through field schools, on-farm demonstrations and the dissemination of fact sheets. Linkages to other CAVAC activities included training of trainers and extension staff, farmer workshops and field days. The project also linked with CAVAC's business development component to analyse value chains and identify new market opportunities for vegetable growers and smallholders.
Australian project partners also worked with vegetable growers from a non-English speaking background operating in Australia, to understand the gaps in education and produce a suite of materials suitable for extension to that group.