An independent evaluation published yesterday has found the International Fund for Agriculture Development in Cambodia has helped small farm owners increase and diversify their businesses, by approving development projects for a total of $166 million so far.
The study found projects supported by IFAD contributed to increasing incomes in rural areas of Cambodia.
The evaluation, which covered the period between 2000 and 2016, assessed the performance of IFAD-backed projects and recommended continuing the partnership between IFAD and the kingdom as part of efforts to fight rural poverty.
Meas Pyseth, deputy secretary general of the Ministry of Agriculture, said the independent evaluation examined whether IFAD projects were supporting Cambodia’s agriculture sector.
“IFAD projects really helped our farmers escape poverty through their financial support for development. Their agricultural products now fetch a good price on the market. We hope IFAD will continue to support our farmers and expand throughout the country,” he said.
Khalida Bouzar, IFAD’s director, said IFAD projects had contributed to increased agricultural production. “One complete project showed that IFAD beneficiaries had on average a 17 percent higher yields for rice than comparable non-project households. For more than two decades, IFAD has been helping rural Cambodians rise from poverty by increasing opportunities for them to improve their livelihoods,” she said.
Fabrizio Felloni, of the Independent Office of Evaluation, said their study showed IFAD projects were successful in supporting Cambodia’s agricultural sector.
“These have brought many changes to Cambodian farmers’ lives, so IFAD is going to go ahead with new plans,” he said.
IFAD started its operations in the country in 1996, and has since reached more than 1.2 million poor rural households.