Cambodian Microfinance and Farmer Associations

Cambodian Microfinance and Farmer Associations

Two assignments were undertaken by Jock Struthers for iDE (International Development Enterprises) in 2012 (

iDE is a non-profit International NGO with a unique market-based approach to poverty reduction, helping to build profitable enterprises and value chains that deliver sustainable social and economic benefits to the rural poor, enabling them to increase their income and improve their quality of life. iDE manages the Cambodian Agriculture Development Facility -CADF ( an agri-business value chain project funded by New Zealand’s Overseas Aid Program.


As Micro-credit specialist, the assignment sought to explore the many options for credit available to both farming families supported by the CADF project, the farmer customers of iDE’s Lors Thyme Farm Business Advisors (FBAs- who as franchised small business people supply farm inputs to farmers in many provinces) and finance to meet both FBA and iDE working capital needs.

Nine leading Cambodian Microfinance Institutions (MFIs) and other NGOs providing farm savings and loan NGOs were visited at Provincial and Head Office level to seek interest in providing suitable finance to iDE’s commercial farming clients of which five actively responded to follow-up meetings with iDE management.


The very successful CADF program is developing farmer organisations to provide ongoing access to knowledge, inputs, finance and markets. To date it has initiated nine farmer groups and is seeking a suitable model for an umbrella Vegetable Commodity Association, uniting the smaller community groups in order to promote collective power against a background of almost universal failure of such farm producer organisations on Cambodia.

The assignment undertook a review of farm association experiences, assessed the issues and critical considerations, particularly in relation to the handling of perishable products and questioned the role of such an association and whether there were better ways of improving market access etc. by developing a better “pull” from the private sector.

Farmer producer group meeting, Banteay Meanchey province.


CADF Staff enjoying a break at a team building session.


Meeting with President of the Kampot Pepper Producer’s Association Mr Nuon Lay and CADF counterpart Ms Nuon Phanith.


Viewing tomatoes grown at the Peri-Urban Agricultural Co-Operative’s demonstration area with Mr Un Bountha, Deputy General Director, Ministry of Commerce.



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