Cambodia Tonle Sap Project Transforming Lives and Livelihoods Wins International Award

A poverty reduction and smallholder development project in Cambodia has won the prestigious International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) Gender Award, following a highly competitive selection process among nominated projects from 177 countries across the world to represent Asia and the Pacific region. According to a press release of the Asian Development Bank (ADB) AKP received this morning, the project was recognised by its strong results-based commitment to gender equality and the empowerment of rural women in agriculture, livelihood improvement, and access to finance in its seven target provinces along the Tonle Sap Basin of Cambodia. The National Committee for Sub-National Democratic Development Secretariat (NCDDS) of the Ministry of Interior and the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry, and Fisheries are the implementers of the Tonle Sap Poverty Reduction and Smallholder Development Project -Additional Financing (TSSD-AF) since 2018. Co-financed by the Royal Government of Cambodia, the Asian D evelopment Bank, and IFAD, the TSSD-AF project has driven up women's representation to 60 percent in management committees across its 270 targeted communes and significantly improved Cambodia's agricultural resources and developed long-term sustainability for its agricultural sector in seven provinces, benefiting some 650,000 households, especially small-holder farmers trapped by prolonged poverty. H.E. Ny Kim San, Deputy Head of NCDDS and TSSD-AF Project Manager, Ms. Morn Leakhena, Board Director of the Farmers Livelihood Improvement Association established under the project, and Ms. Lim Sereyroth, a gender advisor, represented the project team in receiving the award in an official event on Feb. 14-15 in Rome, Italy. 'It was a great honour for me to be part of the team that represented women beneficiaries of the project in receiving the award. They are enjoying much better living conditions, securing their children's higher education, and expanding their businesses. As a project beneficiary and a Cambodian , I am very proud of the achievement,' said Ms. Morn Leakhena. Built on the success of its first phase, the Tonle Sap Poverty Reduction and Smallholder Development Project (TSSD), the TSSD-AF project costs US$66 million, of which US$6 million is the financing from the Government of Cambodia, US$50 million from ADB, and US$10 million from IFAD. 'Well in line with both the rectangular strategy and its successor, the pentagonal strategy, of the Royal Government with strong priority in inclusive, sustainable, and resilient poverty reduction, the TSSD-AF project has prioritised inclusion of women, particularly those from smallholding farmers and trapped in poverty, throughout the duration of the project, while enhancing agricultural productivity, agricultural diversification, and improved access to markets, resulting in better livelihoods and higher incomes in the project areas,' said H.E. Ny Kim San . Running until July 2024, the TSSD-AF project covers mainly the provinces along the Tonle Sap Basin, and its ta rgeted provinces include Battambang, Banteay Meanchey, Siem Reap, Kampong Thom, Kampong Cham, Thbong Khmum, and Prey Veng. Source: Agence Kampuchea Presse