The collaboration between Amru Rice and development organisation SNV has borne fruit, with more than 2,000 tonnes of rice purchased from smallholder farmers stored in warehouses.
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With an initial investment capital of $700,000, the partnership implements a Warehouse Receipt System (WRS) to help more than 1,500 small-scale farmers, mainly in Kampong Thom and Preah Vihear provinces, find a market for their agricultural goods.
The project kicked off in September last year.
Song Saran, CEO of Amru Rice, said so far the project has hit all its targets, and it’s playing a big role in improving the livelihoods of small farmers.
“During the first year we collected 2,000 tonnes of rice, which was our goal for that period,” Mr Saran said, adding that in the programme’s second phase they will focus on storing cashew nuts and cassava instead, aiming for a total of 3,000 tonnes of agricultural products stored in their warehouses.
Mr Saran explained that all the rice collected during the first phase of the project will be exported to the EU and China. “We bought the produce at 3 percent over their market value, so we will need to wait until the international price of rice is up before we can ship it overseas.”
In total, the project aims to collect 5,000 tonnes of agricultural products grown by low income farmers, creating “collective marketing and financing” for the programme’s beneficiaries.
“The main goal is to build warehouses for the farmers and collect their produce in bulk to sell it. We are also helping them finance the purchase of equipment and fertilisers,” he explained.
“Together we can help them sell their products at a good price. Due to a lack of warehouses and buyers, many farmers were selling their products at very low prices before.”
Mr Saran said that for the next phase of the project they will need a capital of $1.5 million to collect 10,000 tonnes of agricultural goods. They are now looking for a new development partner to carry out this next phase of the programme.