Cambodian Horticulture Project Advancing Income and Nutrition (CHAIN)

Project completed

The Cambodian Horticulture Advancing Income and Nutrition (CHAIN) programme is implemented by SNV and aims to develop and strengthen horticulture value chains in close collaboration with public and private sector actors in four least-developed provinces in the northeast of Cambodia. The SDC mandated programme supports poor, smallholder women and men farmers to increase their productivity and income and to improve food security, nutrition and climate resilience.

Country/region Topic Period Budget
Agriculture & food security
Agricultural development
Agricultural services & market
Agricultural land resources
Agricultural water resources
01.12.2017 - 31.12.2020
CHF  4’500’000

Agriculture remains an important economic sector in Cambodia, providing 29% of GDP and employment for 53% of the rural workforce. Some 90% of poor people live in rural areas and many are smallholder farmers with less than two hectares of farmland per household. Approximately 19% of the rural population is vulnerable to falling back into poverty due to external social and economic shocks, including natural disasters and scarcity of water resources as a consequence of climate change, especially in the highlands of the north-eastern part of the country (SDC target area). With more than 65% of Cambodian women engaged in farming, women-headed households and children (30% malnutrition rate) are the most vulnerable.

Increases in small farmers’ productivity and the shift from subsistence farming into commercial farming are key policy aims of the Government. In this process, private public partnerships (PPP) are increasingly playing a prominent role. Economic growth has increased the demand for vegetables and fruit, which constitute new market opportunities for previously isolated farming communities due to improved infrastructure and roads.

Objectives To improve income and nutrition of rural households through safe horticulture production and trade in targeted rural areas in Cambodia.
Target groups

Based on the market development approach, CHAIN 2 will work with three categories of target groups along the horticulture value chain: small farmers, private sector market actors, and public and development sector partners. 

Target beneficiaries are 9,500 farmers (58,500 persons at household level, 65% female and 10% indigenous people) being commercial, semi-commercial and homestead producers and processors to increase productivity and income and to improve food security, nutrition and climate resilience.

Medium-term outcomes

Outcome 1: Increased access for farmers to, and use of gender responsive extension and business development services of private and public horticulture sector actors.

Outcome 2: Improved functioning of the horticulture market system with inclusive business links providing farmers with access to inputs, knowledge and markets.

Outcome 3: Improved enabling environment supporting the development of the horticulture sector in 4 provinces.


Expected results:  

  • Improved sustainable and safe home-gardening models introduced to homestead farmers and market-oriented production technologies introduced to semi-commercial and commercial farmers; sector actors trained in gender-responsive extension services.
  • Business-to-business (B2B) services facilitated (traders and suppliers); Women’s economic empowerment implemented in production and processing.
  • Collaboration with the private sector (PPP); traders’ capacity is increased, including the ability to learn from and trade with each other.
  • Clusters of market actors, including farmers, coordinate business efforts; local/safe vegetable market strategies in place; trade and learning missions organised for forward/backward linkages.
  • Policy issues discussed among sector actors and Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries (MAFF); knowledge effectively built and shared; MAFF and other decision makers engaged in the horticulture sector.

Results from previous phases:  

CHAIN phase 1 successfully established market links along the horticulture value chain, reaching out to 6,000 farmers and processors (68% women and 6% indigenous people). Vegetable farmers increased crop yields and farm incomes, while households consumed more vegetables. CHAIN built networks of farmer groups, input suppliers and traders for adjusting production and trade to market demand. It facilitated close collaboration between public and private sector partners, and improved their capacity to provide effective and gender-sensitive services to farmers. It contributed to the registration of bio control agents (BAC)[1].


[1] Method of controlling pests such as insects, mites, weeds and plants through natural enemies of insects.

Directorate/federal office responsible SDC
Credit area Development cooperation
Project partners Contract partner
International or foreign NGO
  • Other international or foreign NGO North

Other partners

Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries (MAFF), Ministry of Women’s Affairs (MoWA),

Private sector actors and research institutes

Coordination with other projects and actors

IFAD-funded programme ASPIRE & AIMS

DFAT-funded programme CAVAC

KfW–Rural Infrastructure Programme (RIP)

USAID-funded programme HARVEST

GIZ–Regional Economic Development Programme RED lll/lV

SDC Country Programme (PaFF, SDP)

Budget Current phase Swiss budget CHF    4’500’000 Swiss disbursement to date CHF    4’450’000
Project phases Phase 3 01.01.2021 - 31.12.2022   (Completed)

Phase 2 01.12.2017 - 31.12.2020   (Completed)

Phase 1 01.06.2013 - 30.06.2018   (Completed)