The company has been particip-ating actively in various social projects in health, educations. The project is designed to inclu de cost efficiency and afforability for rural end-users and local.
   
1. Proposed Project Provinces  
Economic growth has risen to double-digit rates, averaging 11.2 percent in the last three years. However, there is disparity of income levels between provinces in the country. Selection of provinces of Battambang, Banteay Meanchey for Economic and Social Relaunch of Northwest Provinces in Cambodia (ECOSORN Project) has been revisited and identified as most feasible to continue. Siem Reap province is among the highest poverty rate in Cambodia with low paddy rice yield. Battambang and Banteay Meanchey are on the average poverty rate with average paddy rice yield. Distance from the three provincial towns is less than 3 hours by vehicle. The population of these 3 provinces is 2,599,005 (Battambang = 1,024,663, Banteay Meanchey = 678,033, and Siem Reap = 896,309). Focus on current ECOSORN project provinces will ensure sustainability model which could be duplicated to other geographic areas in the country.
2. Project Components  
The project is designed to include cost efficiency and affordability for rural end-users and ensuring adequate local capacities for operations, maintenance and sustainability.

a) Micro-finance (Self Help Group)

Increase financial access is seen as major constraint for business development despite existence of some financial institutions. ACLEDA, AMRIT, and PRASAC have played a significant role in providing microfinance services with some administrative requirements. A Self Help Group (SHG) initiative has been implemented successfully by Envisioning in Stung Chinit area, Kampong Thom province has been evaluated as a most sustainable community financing mechanism to support micro-businesses and agricultural productions. SHG is most efficient intervention with low average cost of €30 per family (direct cost).  An estimate of about €400,000 (including administrative costs) could help to establish about 10,000 family members of SHGs. Under the SHG scheme people will be encouraged to reduce their unnecessary expenses for saving under the scheme. Household budget management will also be trained for better value of money.

b) Agricultural Extension and Inputs

Improved access to quality extension services which has been implemented by ECOSORN will be continued to change attitudes and behaviour of people toward better modernization of agricultural production technique. The traditional agriculture production technique was one of the major factors contributing to very low production of Cambodian paddy rice among the Asian countries . Targeted households will be the household beneficiaries of the current ECOSORN Project. Additional households will be encouraged to participate in the project but they must meet the pre-defined criteria to reduce high number of drop out. Continued supports will be provided to those households who expressed their interest to join the project but fail to meet criteria to enable them to join the project at the later stage. Agricultural inputs such as fertilizers (compose and chemical), breeds, seeds, and pesticides will be made available for demonstrations and actual practices. The subsidized agricultural inputs will be scaled down gradually to encourage the people to invest for their long-term agro-business development. The System of Rice Intensification (SRI) is one example which could be applied in the Project. Extension services will also focus on adoption of a ‘farming systems’ approach, where multiple crops (including tree crops), along with livestock and fisheries, form an integrated system.

Assessment on adequacy of irrigation infrastructures will be conducted at the inception stage to identify the needs for improvement. It is compulsory to have good condition irrigation infrastructures for the success of the Project.

Efficient use of water with affordable cost through establishment and functioning of Water User Group (WUG) is included in the scope of the Project. The Project will provide assistant in applying by-laws on use of irrigation water and facilitate the implementation of WUG through out the project period to ensure that the existing and to be built irrigation infrastructures are properly maintain with reasonable cost-benefits.
c) Off-Farm Training and Establishment of Small Business

Off-farm training including selective training silk production, micro-business management, trading will also be provided. In general, household members have different competencies, skills, and interests. Opportunity for Off-farm training is made available for those who wish to pursue micro-business or find jobs in future. Local demand for silk products in these provinces is high and generally come from Takeo province, this makes good incomes for households. Model of micro-business management will be made available by experts who will provide on-business practice assistances. Business information networks will also be established for fair competition.

A simple value chain technique will help community to calculate their cost and profits and identify business problems at different stage of creating value. Value chain for selected products such as rice, vegetable, livestock and fish will be trained to business traders: collectors, middlemen, and wholesalers.

d) Integrated Farming and Marketing System

Integrated Farming and Marketing System (IFMS) model which had been implemented by few NGOs in Cambodia such CRS in Prey Veng and Svay Rieng provinces has been viewed as feasible for implementing in the 3 project provinces. Empowerment of local authorities, collaboration with NGOs and CBOs in the areas is the key success of this model. A compressive review of the whole value chain of each agricultural product to be developed by the Project will be used as mechanism to establish business network and to reduce transaction cost at all stages to make product prices more competitive. Previous studies indicated various problems associate with high price of locally produced products such as high transportation costs from farmers to collectors and to wholesalers and/or retailers, large quantity of perishable products during transportation and selling, and high cost of time spent to bring small quantity into market.

The Project will facilitate in establishment and/or capacity building of existing, collectors, middlemen, wholesalers, transporters, and other players to reduce transaction costs to participate in cost reduction strategy. Farmers will be advocated to collaborate with this process to save costs and increase farming times.


e) Management, Coordination and Institutionalization

General principle of this establishment of management, coordination and institutionalization is to reduce as much as possible the unnecessary establishment of new mechanism in addition to the government existing system. Institutionalization will attempt to involve key government counterpart staff with clear defined roles and responsibilities.

A steering committee at national level will have an oversight role in the implementation progress and advise on compliant with government policies and the EC rules and regulations.

The Project will coordinate activities with the Technical Working Group on “Water and Agriculture Strategy” and other technical working group such as technical working groups related to food security, and Land Use and Management.

A Project Implementation Unit will be set up in Siem Reap province. This location is selected based on good geographic inter-connection between the 3 provinces and abilities to provide quick responses. Disadvantage of this location is issues in coordinating with central ministries in Phnom Penh which may not be as smooth as having office in Phnom Penh.

At provincial level the Project will maintain Provincial task forces at regional level with well defined Terms of References on planning, monitoring, providing technical assistances to lower levels. These task forces will have regular bi-monthly meeting. Counterpart staff from each provincial and district office will be identified and appointed to join the Project. Incentives to counterpart staff will be jointly defined with respective institutions.

At district and level below, the Project will work closely with newly establish district councils, with existing community councils, CBOs and other existing community establishments to coordinate planning and monitoring into overall plan of communes and districts and to enable transferring of knowledge, skills, and technology at the phase out stage.

NGOs who had demonstrated strong competency in agro-businesses such as Cambodia Agricultural Research and Development Institute (CARDI) and Community Economic Development Assistant Corporation (CEDAC) will be invited to participate in the Project and consulted on technical aspects.

Project Management staff will include one International Co-Director (for first year only), one Local Co-Director, one training expert, on finance office, and one administration officers. Technical staff will be located at province department to have close collaboration with counterpart staff and to assist them in all project management and technical aspects. From second year, there will be only local Director.

Short-term internal technical assistant include procurement experts, technical review experts and TA to assist in preparing Mid-Term and Final Reports.
3. Phase-out and Technology Transfer  
Technology transfer to community, farmer, traders will be considered at early stage of Project design including simple and appropriateness technology within the capacity of transferees, and people involved must learn on using technology gradually during the Project period. Those transferable technology and technique includes management of SHGs, management of WUGs, crop intensification, nursery, livestock / poultry, fish production, silk production, food processing, common transport mechanism, information networks, and integrated marketing system.
4.Safeguard Policies  
a) Gender Equity
The adopted gender mainstreaming action plan of the RCG will be used to promote gender participation in the Project area. All development stages will involve women as much as possible especially on key decisions. Silk production will involve at least 80% women, off-farm training and other activities will include at least 40% women.

b) Environmental Protection
The Project will develop environmental management plan including environmental risk mitigation measures on pesticides, water, forest, and fishery. The environmental management plan will be implemented and monitored regularly. Two national environmental experts will conduct detail environmental assessment, prepare environmental management and action plans, and monitor the implementation.

c) Ethnicity and Indigenous People
Ethnic minority and indigenous people management plan will also be included in proposed technical proposal. Specific intervention will be developed taking into consideration of seasonality and mobility of ethnic minority around Tole Sap lake.

One local expert will assist in develop gender and ethnicity management and action plan. All project report will be disaggregated by gender and ethnicity.

d) Land Acquisition and Resettlement

The Project will try to avoid as much as possible land acquisition and resettlement. But in case unavoidable for construction of irrigation canals, proper land acquisition and resettlement plan will be developed in accordance the RGC’s acquisitions and resettlement policies. Generally, cost of land acquisition and resettlement shall be financed by the RGC.
 
Risk Analysis and Mitigation Measures
Self Hel Group
Type of Risks Potential adverse impact Rating of Risk Management of Risk Mitigation measures
Untrustworthy environment People do not believe it will happen as plan Medium Provide full information and management procedures to community Strictly monitor members of self help group and provide regular training
Inequality in accessing funds Poorest people will not get funds Medium SHG will be decided by their members and records will be presented to group at the end of each months Improve parity in wealth distribution and applicants will be evaluated by committee, not individuals.
Fiduciary issues Fund may not be managed transparently High A committee will be established to manage the fund and records will be audited regularly Audit report of financial management
Misuse of fund Funds are used for other purpose than agriculture and businesses Low Fund is managed by community. Strict control can prevent misuse of funds Conduct regular supervision and cross-checking
 
Extension and Agricultural Inputs
Type of Risks Potential adverse impact Rating of Risk Management of Risk Mitigation measures
Limited number of trainees Will not encourage community to participate in the Project Medium Conduct training needs assessment and classify trainees in accordance with their interest After training support such as providing agricultural inputs, assist in marketing
Trainees do use technical knowledge from training No improved productivities Medium Trainees must have commitment in writing to follow technical knowledge Pre-selection criteria will include wiliness and ability to perform after training
No financial support to expand activities Cost disadvantage of small scale production Medium Include investment and fund raising in training curriculum Establishment of SHG in addition to current financial institutions
Inadequate water resources available Lack of water, reduce productivity Low Provide alternative options Support investment for surface water reservoir
Use bad quality pesticide Environmental degradation Medium Control quality of pesticide use and inform people of good quality pesticide Monitor strictly quality and quantity of pesticide used
No routine maintenance of irrigation canals No water for irrigation High Establishment and functioning of CWUGs Ensure appropriate funds are available for OM.
Misuse of seeds and breeds provided No improvement Low Ensure written commitment to use the seeds and breeds Make sure that facilities are available before providing seeds and breeds
 
Off-Farm Training and Small Business Development
Type of Risks Potential adverse impact Rating of Risk Management of Risk Mitigation measures
Low capacity of trainees Unable to absorb knowledge Medium Trainees will be recruited following capacity criteria Provide adequate demonstration
Financial barriers Unable to develop businesses after training High SHG and relationship with other financial institutions Ensure transparent practice for successful SHG
 
Integrated Farming and Marketing System
Type of Risks Potential adverse impact Rating of Risk Management of Risk Mitigation measures
Lack of interest from participants No participation Low Provide benefit information to all participants Encourage participants.
Poor condition of existing market infrastructure Impossible market development Medium Networking with local community in renovating existing market Analyze demand, recommend people to respond to the needs
 
Environmental Issues
Type of Risks Potential adverse impact Rating of Risk Management of Risk Mitigation measures
Adverse environmental impact Degradation lead to low productivity High Develop environmental management and action plan. Strictly implement the action plan
 
 
 
 
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