Strengthening Sustainable Cassava Production through China-Cambodia-UNDP Trilateral Cooperation

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Cambodia has identified agriculture as the top priority for socio-economic development. To improve sustainable cassava production, UNDP has since 2011 worked with China’s Ministry of Commerce (MOFCOM) and Cambodia’s Ministry of Agriculture to help small processors and exporters of cassava move up the value chain, increase their revenue and cassava export, and create jobs in the cassava sector.

Decent Work and Economic Growth , Responsible Consumption and Production , Partnerships for the Goals

Cassava has become the second largest agricultural crop in terms of income, employment, hectares, cultivation, and exports in Cambodia. Notwithstanding the potential cassava production has to offer, there is very little technical support provided in terms of how to leverage cassava production. The lack of technical assistance is very concerning, specifically as the cassava cultivation might potentially deplete nutrients in soil.

As a bridge between China and Cambodia, this South-South cooperation pilot project has been crucial for farmers to draw on China’s comprehensive experience in cassava cultivation, and gradually address production, market and ultimately poverty challenges. The trilateral cooperation project, as part of a wider programme to improve cassava productivity whilst protecting soil quality in Cambodia, also aimed at promoting direct export of processed cassava to China. 

Upon project completion in March 2015, China, Cambodia and UNDP were able to leverage comparative strengths to identify local needs, environmental assessments, and organize joint missions to match cassava import and export needs.  Through the pioneering mechanism of trilateral cooperation, the project sought to improve the income and livelihoods of over 200,000 cassava farmers in Cambodia.

The project has helped increase Cambodian cassava export volume to China, improve quality of Cassava and enhance production to make Cambodian cassava more sustainable. In addition, pilot communities have been selected in each of the partner countries based on the cassava cultivation profile.


Ministry of Commerce of China , Chinese Academy of Tropical and Agricultural Sciences , UNDP

Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries in Cambodia

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