The first Nestlé Prize in Creating Shared Value was awarded today to International Development Enterprises (IDE) Cambodia, for a rural development project which aims to increase the standard of living of Cambodian rural population by improving agricultural productivity and income. As a member of the Nestlé Creating Shared Value Advisory Board, I was one of the judges.
Since 2005, IDE Cambodia has trained a network of small rural entrepreneurs to become Farm Business Advisors (FBAs), selling a range of products and services to help small-scale farmers improve their farming techniques and income. Through this approach, farmers become more effective producers and marketers, thereby increasing their revenue. In turn, FBAs earn an additional income from selling their products and services at a profit.
IDE uses market-based approaches to increase the income of the rural poor by improving market access, increasing agricultural production and creating sustainable local businesses. Starting in 2005, IDE Cambodia developed a network of 60 independent small rural entrepreneurs in Cambodia. IDE Cambodia Country Director Mike Roberts said: “It is an honour to receive this recognition from Nestlé. The prize will help us further IDE’s mission to create income opportunities for poor rural households. We hope to leverage the Prize to reach more than 75,000 rural Cambodian households in the next few years. On a global scale, this is still very small but we think there are big implications in what we are learning.”
The Prize was created in 2009 to provide financial support of up to CHF 500,000 to individuals, NGOs or small enterprises who offer innovative solutions to nutritional deficiencies, access to clean water, or progress in rural development.