Contract Farming A Potential Saviour For Rice Farmers

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A new farming model has been proposed to confront the complicated supply chain dynamics that bog down smallholder farmers.

The current struggles of Cambodia’s rice industry could be alleviated by a contract farming model, according to agricultural experts from Hong Kong-based independent think tank The Global Institute for Tomorrow (GIFT), who spent the last week researching strategies and interviewing farmers in Takeo and Battambang provinces.

“Contract farming in Cambodia could be done carefully through a pilot project, starting with smaller farmers, but it requires that farmers trust the contract farming model that we have been developing and researching,” said GIFT CEO Chandran Nair during a presentation at Raffles Hotel on Friday.

Some contract farming was already being used in Cambodia, noted Nair, but often failed to address supply and value chain dynamics as well as the fluctuation of production costs.

“Our group is trying to identify the key value chain problems first before contract farming can be a success,” he said, adding that farmers need a guarantee that contracts are consistently enforced and they get adequate returns.

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