USAID has awarded a five-year, multi-million dollar contract, designed to improve Cambodia's food security.
A Cambodian man carries rice at a paddy rice farm in Bekpeang village in Cambodia. (file)
The United States Government, through the U.S. Agency for International Development, or USAID, has awarded a five-year, multi-million dollar contract, designed to improve Cambodia's food security through enhanced agricultural development and better management of natural resources. The five-year contract was awarded to Fintrac, Incorporated, a highly-respected U.S.-based agribusiness consulting firm that develops agricultural solutions to end hunger and poverty.
This award will serve as U.S. Government's flagship food security activity in Cambodia. "Helping Address Rural Vulnerabilities and Ecosystems Stability", or "HARVEST", the Project, will work with public, private and civil society to strengthen food security by increasing agricultural productivity; raising the incomes of the rural poor; preparing the country to adapt to climate change; and reducing the number of Cambodians, especially women and children, suffering from malnutrition.
HARVEST is supported by several U.S. Presidential Initiatives, including Feed the Future; the U.S. Global Hunger and Food Security Initiative; the Global Health Initiative; and the Global Climate Change Initiative. These are all key components of the U.S. Global Development Policy announced by President Barack Obama. Cambodia is one of 20 priority countries receiving Feed the Future support.
The U.S. Government Feed the Future investments will address key determinants of food security including investments in agricultural productivity, agribusiness and market development, and equitable distribution of and control over productive resources; a multifaceted approach to nutrition; and a long term perspective to foster permanent solutions to chronic food insecurity.
Investments will build on existing success, U.S. and Cambodian expertise and strengths, and be concentrated in strategic areas based on U.S. and Cambodian comparative advantage. They will be designed in close coordination with the Royal Government of Cambodia, with local stakeholders and with other development partners in order to maximize the collective impact on sustainably reducing hunger and poverty.
A "focus on food" approach to rural income diversification and value-chain strengthening will help the Cambodian agricultural sector to become a major contributor to stable and sustainable economic growth for Cambodia and the region. Improved land and other resources management will conserve and maintain the economic value of Cambodia's sensitive ecosystems and rich biodiversity as well as reduce the vulnerability of agriculture and rural communities to climate change. Permanently reducing hunger and maintaining sustainable use of natural or communal resources are the central goals of HARVEST.