ADB Media Tour to Communicate Development Results in Kampong Thom

The $1.9 million project is establishing community based enterprises, expanding markets and lucrative value chains, and enhancing production and management skills for local micro and small enterprises.

PHNOM PENH, CAMBODIA – The Asian Development Bank (ADB) is organizing a press tour on 18-19 December to observe and report on how the Improving Market Access for the Poor in Central Cambodia Project is helping increase household incomes and create local jobs for poor communities in Kampong Thom province.

In cooperation with the Ministry of Tourism, the two-day media visit will take 15 journalists from print and broadcast media to see key project components, including the newly constructed shelling center, which is used by community members for cashew production; the Sambor Prei Kuk Community Market, which will serve as a tourism spot and retail and wholesale outlet for local enterprises; Kampong Thom night market and exhibition center; and examples of handicraft design and production, as well as food processing.

“These complementary investments promote pro-poor micro and small enterprises and will widen access to markets and commercial opportunities for the formerly isolated communities. This in turn will allow them to secure a fair share of Cambodia’s growth,” ADB Senior Social Sector Specialist Karin Schelzig said at a media briefing on Tuesday.

The $1.9 million project, funded through a grant from the Government of Japan and administered by ADB, will improve quality of life for at least 12,000 households in 11 villages near the 7th century temple complex of Sambor Prei Kuk, where poverty rates range from 30% to 40%. By establishing community based enterprises, expanding markets and lucrative value chains, and enhancing production and management skills for local micro and small enterprises, real income levels are expected to increase by at least 25% in 900 households.

A parallel ADB-financed Rural Road Improvement Project, which will improve 28 kilometers of road linking the Sambor Prei Kuk site to National Route 6, should bring an influx of tourists, providing a wider market for Kampong Thom’s entrepreneurs.

The Cambodian Government and project beneficiaries are contributing more than $184,000 equivalent toward the project's total cost of nearly $2.1 million. The Ministry of Tourism is the executing agency for the project, which has been under implementation since 2011 and is expected to be completed in 2014.