Cambodia’s most important agricultural commodity is rice. An estimated 68 per cent of the Cambodian people’s daily caloric intake comes from rice. While national Cambodian rice production has reached surplus level, the majority of Cambodian farming systems are characterized as low-income, subsistence-oriented. An average rice farmer receives an income of $100 to $200 per year per hectare. Rice milling is one of the key bottlenecks in the rice value chain in Cambodia. Rice mill monopolies prevent farmers from receiving higher profit margins on their rice production.
In addition, many rice mills rely on old machinery that produces high levels of broken rice. This further reduces the value of the farmer’s crop. CVCD’s Rice Mill project purchases over one hundred tons of different types of raw rice directly from local farmers every year. CVCD gives these farmers, many of whom lack the means to transport their products to mills and to larger markets like Phnom Penh, the opportunity to profit from their surplus rice production.