Written by Mekong Institute

Over 80 percent of Cambodian famers cultivate rice, primarily through traditional farming practices. For farmers, rice is the major source of income and sustenance. Rice is also the main source of crop that is value added and a major driver of agricultural growth. However, farmers are not aware well of the value chain of their rice and because of this they have lost out on the benefits they can acquire from this added value. This study on the rice value chain in Saang district, Kandal province Cambodia, will describe the rice value chain to determine the opportunities and constraints, and to recommend value chain upgrading strategies to promote benefits to various actors. Both primary and secondary data were used in this study that includes quantitative and qualitative data. Data was collected by using questionnaires, guide question, focus group discussions and key informant interviews.   

The results reveal that rice growing was the main source of household income in the study area. Even though rice growing was very important for farmers, their land holding was only 0.85 ha (rainy season rice land) and 0.96 ha (dry season rice land) which was less than one ha. The majority (93%) of rice farmers used fertilizer and pesticides to improve their rice productivity. Credit both on-cash and in kind were very important for farmers to purchase agricultural inputs for their rice production. Rice collectors (47.4%) were the main actor who provided the rice market information on price and demand to farmers. The distribution channel of the rice production were rice farmer producers, collectors, rice millers, traders, wholesalers and retailers that together formulated the various marketing channels. For rice pattern in the household, the average selling was 58% (rainy season rice) and 73% (dry season rice), average seed keeping was 3% (rainy season rice) and 12% (dry season rice), and the average household consumption was 39% (rainy season rice) and 15% (dry season rice).

Rice millers also played a main role in collecting rice from farmers. The results also demonstrate the constraints affecting the rice farmers associated with lack of capital, insufficient knowledge about fertilizers and chemical use, lack of knowledge on modern production techniques and post harvesting practices, and absence of storage facility. Rice collectors and rice miller constraints were associated with a lack of working capital to upgrade their production.

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