Volunteering in Cambodia. Farmer Ly Theort talks with international volunteers in one of her fields
VSO/Sophal Neak

"It's easier to sell products this way" - Ly Theort's story

Thanks to the Improving Market Access for the Poor (IMA4P) programme, rice farmers like Ly Theort are benefiting from economies of scale and new contracts that make it easier to sell their crops.

“I’ve been a cooperative chief leader for over ten years. I was voted in each time.

“I check the record books and seeds. I’m the key person to find the market and lead relationships with other NGO’s and the government. I let the government know that my agricultural co-operative is working.

“The price of the paddy is not balanced with the price of the labour of the farmer in Cambodia.

The benefits of contract farming

“This is the first year that we’ve done contract farming with two companies. When I do a contract with a company, the farmer knows from day one of growing his paddy that they have a market to buy the product. They know what to sell it for. They can get a good price. Farmers, like me, see that it’s easy to sell products this way.

“Farmers don’t yet show their emotion or feelings on this product. It’s the first year we are testing it. But we can get additional income and a good price."

I can see us becoming more profitable
Ly Theort

“With the extra money, I myself can get an extra $5,000 and use this money to buy more farmland.

“We can also use this extra money to do a flood or micro-land operation – that can be really good for farming. The rest we use as credit to create business.

“VSO IMA4P training has given us a way to analyse economics and know our expenditure. I have received training on managing our accounting book. We were trained on business plans, seeds, paddies and transport. With this, I can see us becoming more profitable.

"More farmers are joining our co-operatives because they trust us. That means we can increase our capital and investments. Now, the farmers are really happy.”

Find out more about our work in:

Chum Srey Nga (50) now uses her floating vegetable garden for income rather than fishing
VSO/Sophea Chheun


We've worked in Cambodia since 1991, strengthening inclusive education systems and supporting people to develop secure and resilient livelihoods.

Volunter Al Razon talks with co-operative leader Ly Theort on the edge of a field at her farm

Supporting poor farming households to make a sustainable living

Improving Market Access for the Poor (IMA4P) identifies high-impact value chains, transforming agricultural markets to make them work better for the world's poorest farmers.