The Asian Development Bank -funded TSSD Project (Tonle Sap Poverty Reduction and Smallholder Development)makes $51.1 million available for 196 communes in five provinces (Banteay Meanchey, Siem Reap, Kampong Thom, Kampong Cham and Tbong Khmom).
The project promotes agricultural products and quality of life for farmers by teaching improved agricultural techniques and providing loans. About 640,000 Cambodian families who own less than one hectare of farm land were selected to benefit from the project.
“They will get loans from ADB in three stages. At the first stage, they can borrow $100 within 12 months. When they pay back on time, they can obtain a second loan for $180 and up to $240 at stage three,” explained Hem Chanthou, senior project officer at ADB.
“The amount they have to pay back will be saved by their local communities, and then their community has the rights to manage money on their decision,” he added. “The TSSD project will be completed in 2018, while the amount of money the communities get [is not returned to ADB].”
The Post went to visit farmer families taking part in the project earlier this month and witnessed how a little money can greatly improve the lives of rural families.