Scale Up of Fish on Farms (March 2015 – Present)
Upon successfully completing Phase 1, UBC and HKI, with the support of IDRC, are working to adapt, apply and geographically scale up successful components and lessons learned from the Fish on Farms trial to ~ 4500 households across four culturally, economically and geographically diverse provinces in Cambodia: Kampot, Kampong Cham, Prey Veng and a peri-urban poor district in Phnom Penh. The second phase of the project, locally titled ‘Family Farms for the Future’, differs from the trial in a number of ways, including:
- Beneficiaries will self-select from one of three HFP models: 1) plant-based HFP only; 2) plant-based HFP plus fishponds; or 3) plant-based HFP plus poultry. By adopting a self-select approach, beneficiaries will be able to choose the model that best suits their needs, preferences and location as fishponds and poultry are not suitable for all regions.
- Market access and market opportunities for participating households will be assessed in order to support farmers in the transition from subsistence farming toward sustainable livelihoods. The project will help facilitate viable and expanded linkages between farmers, especially women’s market groups, with other private and public sector actors in the value chain.
- Inputs for the development of HFP systems will not be as heavily subsidized; beneficiaries will be required to contribute a significant proportion of their inputs. The cost-sharing mechanism developed in Fish on Farms for Village Model Farms, nursery ponds, and hatcheries will be expanded upon in Phase 2 to incorporate a microcredit option as one of the cost-sharing options, whereby farmers may borrow funds, as needed, to support their increased share of the costs for HFP inputs. Eligible beneficiaries who wish to receive loans will be linked with AMK, a nationwide private micro-finance institution. The willingness of households to invest in setup costs, along with the development of an improved market chain for HFP outputs, will be key factors for the success and sustainability of the project.
During Phase 2, we will measure outcomes, including seasonal dietary intake, production throughout the agricultural cycle, food security, and income. We will educate, equip and then transfer responsibility to farmers, local government and private enterprises, with the ultimate goal to provide evidence of an integrated model of HFP that has scalability and sustainability to improve the livelihoods of Cambodians and possibly the larger Asia-Pacific region.