The Royal Government of Cambodia has received financing in the form of a loan (USD26.1 million) from the International Fund for Agricultural Development, a grant (USD15 million) from the Adaptation for Smallholder Agriculture Programme Trust Fund, and Government funding (USD11.4 million) from the Ministry of Economy and Finance to implement the Agriculture Services Programme for Innovation, Resilience and Extension (ASPIRE). The total confirmed financing is approximately USD 52.5 million.
The lead implementing agency is the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries (MAFF) with the Supreme National Economic Council (SNEC) and the National Committee for Sub-National Democratic Development Secretariat (NCDD-S) also having implementation responsibilities. ASPIRE will be implemented over a seven-year period 2015-2021 with activities at national level and initially five pilot provinces : Kampong Chhnang, Pursat, Battambang, Preah Vihear and Kratie.
The goal of ASPIRE is to reduce poverty and increase the resilience of poor and vulnerable smallholder farmers in the Kingdom of Cambodia. The Programme Development Objective is that by 2021 an enhanced Cambodian model of agriculture services is demonstrated as effective for assisting a diversity of smallholder farmers to contribute to broad-based economic growth through profitable and resilient farm businesses and is adopted as policy.
The ASPIRE Program and Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries is trying to combat and remove barriers to market product distribution from smallholder farmers and target producer groups in provinces to traders, investors, and the industrial sector, national and regional markets and corporations. The services of agricultural products and the market system are currently not functioning efficiently or effectively. This is a serious challenge for agricultural producers/smallholder farmers in ASPIRE target provinces as well as a whole country.