Project in Cambodia
Safe Food, Fair Food for Cambodia
Timeframe: July 2017 - June 2021
The Safe Food, Fair Food for Cambodia project identified food safety impacts and barriers using system effects modelling. The modelling led the project to focus activities on the pork and poultry value chains and to target two key pathogens: Salmonella spp. and Staphylococcus aureus. The project conducted activities in traditional markets in all 25 provinces of the country.
Principal investigator and lead institution
Delia Grace, International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI)
Co-PI and collaborator institutions
- Sothyra Tum, National Animal Health and Production Research Institute
- Chhay Ty, Centre for Livestock and Agriculture Development (CelAgrid)
- Emory University
Brown, S.M., Nguyen-Viet, H., Grace, D., Ty, C., Samkol, P., Sokchea, H., Pov, S., and Young, M.F. 2022. Understanding how food safety risk perception influences dietary decision making among women in Phenom Phnom Penh, Cambodia: a qualitative study. BMJ Open 12:e054940. doi:10.1136/bmjopen-2021-054940
Duong, M., Nguyen-Viet, H., Grace, D., Ty, C., Sokchea, H., Sina, V., & Young, M. 2021. Perceived neighborhood food access is associated with consumption of animal-flesh food, fruits and vegetables among mothers and young children in peri-urban Cambodia. Public Health Nutrition, 1-29. https://doi.org/10.1017/S1368980021004122
Rortana, C., Dang-Xuan. S., Nguyen-Viet, H., Unger, F., Lindahl, J.F.,,Tum, S., Ty, C., Grace, D., Osbjer, K. and Boqvist, S. 2022. Quantitative risk assessment of salmonellosis in Cambodian consumers through chicken and pork salad consumption. Front. Sustain. Food Syst. 6:1059235. https://doi.org/10.3389/fsufs.2022.1059235
- Rortana, C., Nguyen-Viet, H., Tum, S., Unger, F., Boqvist, S., Dang-Xuan, S., Koam, S., Grace, D., Osbjer, K., Heng, T., Sarim, S., Phirum, O., Sophia, R., and Lindahl, J.F. 2021. Prevalence of Salmonella spp. and Staphylococcus aureus in Chicken Meat and Pork from Cambodian Markets. Pathogens, 10(5):556. https://doi.org/10.3390/pathogens10050556
- Henriksson, E., Söderberg, R., Ström Hallenberg, G., Kroesna, K., Ly, S., Sear, B., Unger, F., Tum, S., Nguyen-Viet, H., and Lindahl, J.F. 2021. Japanese Encephalitis in Small-Scale Pig Farming in Rural Cambodia: Pig Seroprevalence and Farmer Awareness. Pathogens, 10(5):578. https://doi.org/10.3390/pathogens10050578
- Söderberg, R., Lindahl, J.F., Henriksson, E., Kroesna, K., Ly, S., Sear, B., Unger, F., Tum, S., Nguyen-Viet, H., and Ström Hallenberg, G. 2021. Low Prevalence of Cysticercosis and Trichinella Infection in Pigs in Rural Cambodia. Trop. Med. Infect. Dis., 6, 100. https://doi.org/10.3390/tropicalmed6020100
Video: Five keys to retailers for safer pork in traditional markets in Cambodia
- Report. International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI). 2021. Proceedings of the Safe Food, Fair Food for Cambodia
final workshop held 21-22 June 2021. Nairobi, Kenya: ILRI.
- Policy Brief. Hung Nguyen-Viet, Grace, D., Unger, F., Lindahl, J., Tum, S., Sinh Dang-Xuan, Chea, R., Ty, C., Srey, T., Young, M., Duong, C., Brown, M., Heng, T., Alonso, S., Roesel, K., Lam, S., Lore, T. and Chi Nguyen. 2021. Pork and poultry safety in traditional markets in Cambodia: Understanding complexities and scaling up good interventions. ILRI Policy Brief. Nairobi, Kenya: ILRI.
- Blog. July 2021. ‘Safe Food, Fair Food for Cambodia’—Future directions for scaling up the project’s interventions. Nairobi, Kenya: ILRI.
- Presentation. January 2021. Food safety research and training in informal/wet markets in Southeast Asia. Presented at the 5th Asia-Pacific Food Safety International Virtual Conference. Nairobi, Kenya: ILRI.
- Manual. February 2020. Five keys to retailers for safer pork in traditional markets in Cambodia. Nairobi, Kenya: ILRI.
- Poster. July 2020. Achievement highlights of the “Safe Food Fair Food for Cambodia” project
- Results Summary. June 2020. Summary of Achievements and Intervention Plans to Improve Pork and Poultry
- Blog. October 2019. Cambodia’s Safe Food, Fair Food Project addresses major food safety issues. University of Florida IFAS blog.
|Food safety and antimicrobial resistance research: A One Health perspective||http://media.epi.ufl.edu/Hung-Ngyuen-7-26.mp4||Dr. Hung Nguyen, Regional Representative, ILRI|
|Safe Food, Fair Food for Cambodia project: Progress highlights for the first year (PDF)||https://youtu.be/-IXwXq_qQUY||Dr. Hung Nguyen, Regional Representative, ILRI|
More than 2 billion people fall ill each year from food they eat. Foodborne disease (FBD) is not only a major public health problem but also a barrier to smallholder farmers who wish to sell in high value domestic and export markets. As FBD is predicted to worsen under climate change, tackling FBD matters for climate adaptation. Though women have an important role in livestock value chains, extensive research by ILRI and others has shown that women tend to drop out of more complex value chains that demand greater food safety assurances, missing opportunities from these profitable value chains. Hence, supporting informal markets to provide safer food can achieve multiple outcomes of improved health, nutrition, equity, livelihoods, and, resilience to climate change.
Like many Asian countries, Cambodia has a rich tradition of tasty and nutritious foods. Animal source foods (ASF) are an important part of the cuisine with pork, fish, and poultry products widely consumed. The great majority of livestock products are produced by smallholders, many of them women, and sold in traditional, wet markets, where women also predominate as retailers. Again, as common in Asia, recent years have seen growing concern over the issue of food safety. Welcome development is accompanied by urbanization, rapid increases in demand for livestock products and, as a consequence, rapid changes in supply chains, which become longer, more complex, and less transparent. Trust in food goes down, often with good reason as the food system develops in a way that provides little rewards for those with good practices, but high rewards for those who carry out bad and unsafe practices.
In Cambodia, there is much concern but little reliable evidence on the health burden of FBD; its multiple costs; the hazards, foods and value chains most responsible for the burden; or, the best means to manage and communicate food safety risk. In the absence of evidence, misperceptions dominate food discourse: opportunities are lost and scarce resources are spent managing minor problems, while the major issues go to the back of the queue.
In order to tackle this problem we propose two major research thrusts. The first is to generate evidence on the health and economic burden of FBD in ASF value chains important to the poor and women and the second is to pilot a market-based approach to improving food safety that builds on successfully implemented projects in Africa and India. Understanding the risk associated with different commodities and hazards is essential for rational risk management and combining health information with economic information can better motivate political engagement and investment. Developing approaches to improving food safety in informal markets will not only deliver benefits to those participating in the value chain, but also offer an approach that, if evaluated as successful, can be widely applied in Cambodia and elsewhere. Our central idea is market-based, light-touch interventions that are sustainable and scalable, changing practice through capacity building and incentives, and provision of an enabling policy environment. Conducting research within a risk analysis framework, we propose to build capacity among Cambodian research partners whose participation will be coordinated by the two Cambodian PI’s leading the National Animal Health and Production Research Institute and CelAgrid, a lead Cambodian NGO respectively.
Food safety is often managed in a sectoral way and a key component of our research is to ensure better integration of food safety, nutrition, and equity objectives. We will investigate, for the first time in Cambodia, the links between nutrition and food safety in the context of ASF. The findings will help both nutrition and food safety communities better implement initiatives by leveraging synergies and minimizing trade-offs between attaining nutrition and health outcomes. Given the predominance of women in ASF retail, processing and household use, gender aspects must be fully integrated for the project to succeed. This includes developing gender disaggregated FBD health and economic burdens, ensuring the risk management project meets the different needs of women and men, and developing recommendations for risk management and communication that are gender sensitive and equitable.
October 2020 research update GRACE VGM (Virtual General Meeting)
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This work was funded in whole or part by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) Bureau for Food Security under Agreement # AID-OAA-L-15-00003 as part of Feed the Future Innovation Lab for Livestock Systems. Additional funding was received from Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed here are those of the authors alone.