Expected Results


The nature of Market Development projects makes it difficult to measure and report impact that is attributable to the Program. One reason for this is that it takes years before we can expect to see the full potential for increases in farmers’ production and income. Another reason is that the program helps farmers by not working directly with farmers, yet through service and product providers of farmers. Early indications are, however, that CAVAC is likely to positively impact the lives of at least 250,000 farming households with additional production of 250,000 tons of paddy per annum.

The impact of market development programs is quite different from that of programs that support poor farmers directly. Programs like CAVAC aim to give the smallholder farmers access to better goods and services and thereby increase their income by assisting sustainable providers to improve the goods and services they deliver as shown in Figure One. This is called ‘systemic change’. The benefit of this approach, compared to a direct approach, is that smallholder farmers will have access to a wider variety of services now and in the future. The approach can potentially have a much higher outreach and is likely to better address farmers’ needs. Market forces not only have the potential to make the access sustainable, but also the potential to expand over time. Other companies may follow the example of the supported companies and farmers are likely to influence other farmers. This is called crowding-in and copying. Rather than only supporting the ‘static’ or continued delivery of the same services, market development programs also aim to support activities in a more ‘dynamic’ nature where the content of the service is adjusted to new knowledge and changing situations. Taking a market systems approach, CAVAC also aims to achieve change in markets that lead to more dynamic change though it will be very difficult to capture more than some anecdotal evidence for this.

Despite their high potential for sustainability and outreach, assessing the impact of market development programs has been a major challenge for the development community. As illustrated in Figure Two, it would take years after a program is able to capture the impact of the continuation of services, and the crowding-in, copying and adjustment of these services. Waiting for five or 10 years to show the impact is not really desirable. In addition, because CAVAC does not work directly with farmers, it is much harder to assess the impact on their income and therefore on their level of poverty. Much will depend on how and to what degree the businesses and institutions that CAVAC works with take on-board the changes in business practices. Therefore CAVAC has made the following operational choices in assessing impact:

-       results measurement will only consider impact up until two years after the end of the Program (see DCED Standard for Results Measurement);

-       crowding in will be monitored but it will not contribute to the aggregated data;

-       copying behaviour may be included to some extent, but it will not be included in the projections;

-       future improvements in services will be monitored but ignored in projections.

Impact Projection

CAVAC will report not only on the outreach but also on the total increase in production volume. The production volume can then be used to calculate the increase in income and value for money. By applying results chains and following best practice, CAVAC will be able to give a credible and transparent estimate of the level of impact. The system is kept manageable by using assumptions where and when possible.

With 18 months to go, CAVAC has a clear plan of activities for the remainder of the Program and will estimate how much Program supported activities have increased yields. This clarity in partnerships and activities allows for more accurate projections of outreach and impact, however there are still many uncertainties. In some markets like media, it will be very hard to measure credible figures through surveys in which case it will use literature data or refrain from reporting. In addition, some of the assumptions have been validated; others still need to be confirmed. The projections should be read with this in mind. The uncertainties in irrigation are mainly related to economic factors that reduce the attractiveness for farmers to farm in the dry, recession and early wet seasons, such as the low price for paddy and the high cost or unavailability of labour. Within the agribusiness portfolio, the main uncertainties relate to those activities that still need to take place over the next 18 months and actual impact. Interventions for example with the agricultural television program, pesticides companies or the one stop service of UNI-MART will influence the final numbers but most of the farmer engagement for these activities still needs to happen.

With its present knowledge and based on its present work plan for the next 18 months, CAVAC projects that the total attributable outreach may have reached 264,000 households by 2017. The increased production is expected to be in the order of 250,000 tons of paddy per annum.

Measuring Outreach

CAVAC’s definition of outreach is the number of households that change farming practices because of the activities CAVAC undertook. The definition assumes that a change in practice will lead to a change in yield, even when the change is very small.

It is important to recognise that the outreach figure is lower than the total number of farming households that have access to improved services. Although access is not calculated in CAVAC’s system, it could easily be above half a million households by the end of the Program.

In many interventions CAVAC calculates reach and outreach by studying how many farmers are affected on average per retailer and multiplying this number by the number of retailers affected. These ratios will be further validated over the next year.

When calculating the total impact on production and income, CAVAC may use a lower outreach figure to correct for those farming households where the impact was very small.

Table 1 below gives an overview of the projected outreach numbers developed by our intervention teams. The number is calculated with the following assumptions:

-       The outreach from the Provincial Department of Agriculture (PDA) contracts has not and will not be verified, and is therefore disregarded.

-       The outreach from the media activities will be kept separate as its nature is still very unknown.

-       Some farmers will be reached by more than one activity. To correct for this the Program has disregarded the outreach for irrigation as this is where most of the potential double counting may occur.

-       Double counting may also come from the work with fertiliser and pesticides retailers. CAVAC applies a simple mathematical calculation assuming 1.2 million rice farming households across Cambodia and a random distribution of both fertiliser and pesticide across these households. Through this calculation we can assume that double counting would add up to approximately 13,000 farming households and hence total projected outreach figures have been adjusted to account for this.

-       These figures are based on assumptions that have not yet been fully validated or activities that have not been fully evaluated or in some case even started. The Program therefore uses a ‘safety factor’ of 25%.

Table 1   Projected outreach numbers

Intervention areaOutreach directComments
Model farmers 41,159  
Wet season model farmer training – first version 20,023  
Wet season model farmer training – updated 9,967  
Dry season model farmer training - A survey did not show clear impact. Actual impact disregarded
Dry season road shows 11,169 These are the farmers who try new things.
Seeds – wet and dry seasons  - Outreach of better seeds is low and continuation is uncertain. There is impact on adoption of new varieties but too hard to attribute.
Fertiliser  168,720  
Heng Pich Chhay I 121  
Heng Pich Chhay II  14,795  
Ye Tak I 4,257  
Ye Tak II 74,540  
Bayon Heritage  43,776  
Maly San 1,103  
Papaya 794  
Anachak 23,971  
Lay Seng 5,363  
Pesticides 92,917  
Nokor Thom I 5,798  
Nokor Thom II 1,473  
Nokor Thom III 13,267  
An Giang 36,787  
Joint pesticide retailer training with the PDAs 5,837 Not yet determined if this figure will be used for impact calculations
SPK 1,296  
Diagnostic tool (Minimum four companies) 28,460  
Export 4,929  
Baitang, extension 4,000 Seed related data (1968 in June 2014) disregarded as uncertain
Federation of Cambodian Rice Miller Associations 929  
Vegetables 57,205  
Pacific Seeds 587  
East West Seed International 4,538  
UNI-MART 52,080  
Media (not included in total figures)    
Delight 100,000-300,000 CAVAC will only establish reach and outreach.
Irrigation (not included in total figures)    
All schemes 20,000 Present estimate 20,640. This number is still conservative and will be updated. With a better paddy price or less labour constraints the total command area and households affected can significantly increase
PDA activities (not included in total figures) 50,189 These are non-verified reach data from the PDAs assuming that reach in 2014 is the same as that in 2013 and reach in 2015 is half of that in 2013.

Increased Volume of Production


CAVAC has engaged with the Provincial Departments of Water Resources and Meteorology (PDWRAMs) to produce better landholding surveys. The landholding surveys can be seen as an update of the initial design data.

The data shows that the present CAVAC supported schemes could, under current conditions, increase the production by more than 200,000 tons of paddy per year. Currently, production is over 60,000 tons. Many schemes are not yet (fully) operational and in most schemes it will take a few years for broader adoption. Paddy prices, availability of labour and the attractiveness of new crops will also influence the final numbers in 2017.

CAVAC is comfortable projecting that in 2017 the schemes will produce an additional 150,000 tons of paddy per year. If the price for paddy increases, this could easily reach numbers higher than 200,000 tons. Water availability in most canals allows for an even wider command area but farmers will only irrigate further from the main canals if it is economically profitable.


Estimating the potential impact from agribusiness activities on the total increase in the volume of production is much more complicated. CAVAC has developed tools (Knowledge, Attitude and Practice indicators) which allow for estimating yield increases per farmer. It is however too early to conduct effective surveys for the updated model farmer training and fertiliser related activities. The first of these surveys is expected to be conducted towards the end of this year. The potential impact of CAVAC’s support related to better use of pesticides will be a more difficult challenge. For these projections, CAVAC relies on literature, observations and other indirect sources. For this projection it used the following data:

Table 2   Agribusiness and Information Systems – Production Volume Increase Projections

ActivitiesOutreach (volume)Average Yield - Paddy ton/haAverage Area per HH haEstimated Yield Increase%Total Volume Increase - Paddy tonComments
Model farmer            
Wet season model farmers 10,832  3 3 10  9,749   Not separated in Table 1 outreach figures. 10% yield increase based on small case studies
Wet season farmers 29,990  2.5  1.5  8  8,997
Road show
Dry season model farmers 4,477  5.3  3  7  4,983  Not included in Table 1 outreach figure
Dry season farmers 6,701  5.3  3  5  5,327  Lower than Table 1 figure, only using expected significant yeild increase
Wet and dry seasons 168,720  2.5  1.5  8  50,616  Assumed increase in production volume is similar for wet and dry seasons.
Wet season 37,167  2.5  1.5  5  6,969   Assumed 40% of total outreach is wet season, 60% dry season. 5% yield increase, broad estimate only.
Dry season 55,750  5.3  3  5  44,321
TOTAL              130,962 

With these assumptions and a safety factor of 75% it is estimated that the total increase in production may be of the magnitude of 100,000 tons of paddy by 2017. The total increase of production, attributable to CAVAC, is therefore projected at 250,000 tons of paddy per year in 2017consisting of production increases on 150,000 tons of paddy per year from irrigation work and 100,000 tons of paddy per year from agribusiness support.

The above figures do not include activities in the vegetable sector or television programming and the accompanying market information systems. Whilst it is very likely that there will be a positive impact from the activities in the vegetable sector, given current information, CAVAC will not be able to construct credible estimations. Support to a large television program and the accompanying market information systems could also have a very large impact, however the nature of broadcasting with a large variety of subjects makes it practically impossible to measure the impact on yields and volume in an attributable way. This impact will therefore not be quantified.


CAVAC: technical brief on EXPECTED RESULTs