The Smallholder Agriculture and Social Protection Support Operation Program was intended to complement the Royal Government of Cambodia's efforts to address weaknesses in smallholder agricultural production and social protection systems which have come to light during the food price crisis.
When high food and agricultural input prices hit Cambodia in early 2008, it was clear that existing mechanisms were insufficient to support vulnerable consumers and farmers. These weaknesses garnered much greater attention by both the Government and development partners given the on-going effects of high food prices and as the impact of the global economic crisis are increasingly felt.
The US$13 million Development Policy Operation (DPO), which consisted of a US$8 million grant from the Global Food Response Program and US$5 million in International Development Association (IDA) credits, was a stand-alone, single tranche operation intended to support key policy actions which strengthen the enabling environment for direct support poor households. It recognized the actions taken by Government to stimulate a supply response amongst smallholder farmers, and to mitigate the impact on household food consumption among poor and vulnerable populations. The operation also supported medium-term efforts to improve social safety nets and agricultural production systems through better policies, strengthened institutional frameworks, and improved transparency and governance.