Skip to main content

25 April 2024 - News


Climate-smart agricultural techniques have significantly increased the annual crop profits of targeted farmers from $1401 to $2234 over the five-year implementation of the Systems Approach to Transformative Economic Empowerment and Resilience project.

Save the Children in Cambodia, and partner iDE Cambodia collaborated with the Ministries of Agriculture, Education, Environment, Women's Affairs, and relevant Koh Kong provincial departments to hold the Evidence for Policy Forum on Integrated Climate Smart Agri-Human Development Initiatives on Wednesday, 24 April 2024.

During the forum's opening, Save the Children New Zealand Chief Executive, Ms. Heidi Coetzee, said the STEER project trained over 1000 farmers on improved and climate-smart agricultural practices. 53 farmers have been recognized for outstanding work and are now supporting and coaching their peers. The project also established demonstration farms and farmer-producer groups, provided business grants to expand production, and supported farmers to access markets outside their communities through agreements with agricultural buyers.

Ms. Heidi said, “As a result of these efforts, farmers have experienced an almost 60% increase in annual crop profit over the five years of the project. This increase in income has allowed families to spend more on children’s needs and well-being, such as schoolbooks and healthy foods, and means more time together as a family, which leads to better outcomes.

In addition, Ms. Heidi noted that additional funds provided in Year 2 of the project have begun to address the issue of high child labor rates and violence against children. The endline results show a positive impact on child labor rates and violence against children.

The STEER project, funded by a five-year (2019-2024) grant from the New Zealand Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade, promotes the community's economy, family well-being, and resilience through a market-based approach in Thmar Bang, Sre Ambel, and Botum Sakor districts, Koh Kong province.

According to Ms. Seng Kim Hian, Agronomy Director of iDE Cambodia, during the three years that iDE worked on STEER, they used various approaches such as training of trainers’ sessions, exposure visits, development of technical manuals and lesson plans for training, and on-the-job training and coaching.

Looking back, we believe this was a strong and effective collaboration and are honored to have been a part of it,” Ms. Kim Hian said.

Mr. Mathew Allen, New Zealand’s First Secretary of Development for Cambodia, Lao PDR, and Thailand, said the New Zealand Government is immensely proud of the work done by Save the Children to support rural households and their communities in Koh Kong to improve their livelihoods through the STEER project.

“The support delivered through STEER to climate-resilient agricultural practices has had a significant and ongoing impact on its target households that will continue to be felt for years to come,” he said.

H.E Dr. Yang Saing Koma, Secretary of State, Ministry of Agriculture Forestry and Fisheries, said the STEER project has significantly contributed to implementing and achieving results that respond to the first phase of the Royal Government of Cambodia's Pentagon Strategy.

“On behalf of the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries, I would like to encourage the relevant departments, the provincial, district, and commune administrations to continue to cooperate well and mobilize resources with relevant partners to contribute to the development of their localities, and thank Save the Children, iDE, and collaborators have made significant contributions to the implementation of the STEER project, which has improved the lives of the people,” he said.

Though the STEER project ended, Save the Children in Cambodia is currently implementing the Climate Change Adaptation, Resilience and Empowerment (CAREP) project from February 2024 to February 2026 with partner, Mlup Prom Vihea Thor Center Organization, in 4 target districts, including Sre Ambel, Thmar Bang, Botum Sakor, and Koh Kong (New District). The New Zealand Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade also funds the project.