The FINANCIAL -- IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, and AMRU Rice, one of the leading rice export companies in Cambodia, on June 20 launched a joint advisory project in Phnom Penh.
As part of this partnership, IFC will support AMRU Rice over a three-year period to implement the developed Sustainable Rice Platform (SRP) standards and practices in the company’s supply chain.
Building on the success of IFC’s work in the rice sector, IFC and the World Bank are implementing a four-year project with local agricultural exporters to improve the competitiveness, build an enabling environment for the agribusiness sector, and facilitate more and higher value agricultural exports.
In this partnership with AMRU Rice, IFC will train and coach at least 2,000 contracted farmers in AMRU’s supply chain in Kampong Cham Province. The training will equip them to implement the SRP standards and practices. By adopting the SRP standards, AMRU Rice will be equipped to meet the requirements of international buyers and respond to global market trends of sourcing rice products in a more sustainable manner, according to IFC.
“IFC brings in significant global experience of delivering knowledge and expertise in agriculture to help businesses grow sustainably and improve farmers’ livelihoods,” says Song Saran, AMRU Rice’s CEO. “Adding SRP rice fits our strategy of expanding its niche market with higher value and sustainable products. Thanks to IFC’s great support over the past years, we are delighted to work with IFC to achieve the next milestone”.
AMRU Rice started its rice trading activities in 2011 and gradually integrated other steps in its rice value chain. Over time, the company established its own semi-processing facilities and then ventured into contract farming with farmer cooperatives in Kampong Cham, Preah Vihear and Battambang provinces.
Since 2010, IFC — in partnership with the European Union, Enhanced Integrated Framework and other donors — has been supporting the Cambodian government by working with its clients and industry associations to create industry standards, improve export procedures, promote private sector participation in the seed industry, and enhance efficiency of rice millers and re-processors.
“Over the past seven years, IFC has intervened on key levels such as farming, milling and exporting to promote Cambodia’s place on the global rice market map. IFC’s support has brought about a transformational change in the country’s rice sector, increasing its export volume from less than 100,000 tons in 2010 to more than 500,000 tons in 2016,” said Kyle Kelhofer, IFC Country Manager for Vietnam, Cambodia, and Lao PDR. He added, “Our partnership with AMRU Rice will help farmers along the rice supply chain to access necessary skills, markets and services, and significantly improve their livelihoods.”
SRP is a multi-stakeholder platform established by the United Nations Environment (UNEP) and the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI). It aims to promote resource efficiency and sustainability in trade flows, production and consumption operations, and supply chains.