KINGDOM OF WONDER

Cambodia is a country rich in culture, with friendly smiling people and potential for a great future. Our team has been living and working in Cambodia for many years – people are very ambitious, hardworking, and determined to build a better life for themselves and their descendants.

As such, it’s a wonderful place to support the growth and development of a burgeoning industry such as insect farming.

We have been involved with various charitable projects in Cambodia over the past 9 years, but focused specifically on cricket farming since 2016.

During this time we’ve visited a wide range of insect farmers and collectors in different parts of the country, and have begun working with a number of them to improve feeding and growing processes to ensure a higher quality cricket.

We are also now in the early stages of building a model cricket farm for Cambodia! Thanks to a local businessman and philanthropist, we’re creating a place where cricket farmers from around the country can come and learn how to maximize their micro livestock herds through the most natural, healthy, and sustainable cricket rearing practices possible.

OVERVIEW OF CAMBODIA

Angka Changrit Kampuchea (Cambodian Cricket Farming Organization) supports the rearing, selling and eating of crickets as a delicious, affordable and healthy solution to poverty and malnutrition in the Kingdom of Cambodia.

We are also planning expansion soon into other insect agriculture and sustainable systems based on insects.

ACK provides training and technical support and materials to local microlivestock farmers to help them maximise the quality and nutritional value of their herds.

Our goal is to reduce rural poverty and increase the availability of nutritious food in those same low-income areas.

Malnutrition affects a large number of rural Cambodians who do not have access to sufficient proteins, vitamins and minerals.

Raising and eating insects such as crickets provides a multidimensional solution as it provides an immediate nutrition source for farmers and their families as well an external income stream through selling their herds into the marketplace.

Angka Changrit Kampuchea is harnessing the power of existing insect demand in Cambodia by teaching both existing and new farmers the current global best practices for insect farming while providing them with the necessary tools to succeed.

ACK is based in Phnom Penh, Cambodia and works throughout the country.

BUILDING INCLUSIVE BUSINESSES

Angka Changrit Kampuchea supports insect farmers through an inclusive business model.

It is a business initiative that, keeping its for-profit nature, contributes to poverty reduction through the inclusion of low income communities in its value chain.

Inclusive businesses find profitable ways to engage the low-income segment into their business operations in a way that benefits the low-income communities and creates sustainable livelihoods.

Our goal is to help microlivestock farmers in Cambodia become healthy and financially secure and  independent.  

Malnutrition in Cambodia

Malnutrition is prevalent in many rural regions throughout Cambodia and affects as many as 4 million people annually.  The consequences of malnutrition are severe: it is one of the key underlying causes of child mortality and morbidity in Cambodia, not to mention the longer term consequences on cognitive and physical growth, diminished learning capacity and ultimately lower work performance, productivity and earning potential.

In these rural areas, the average caloric intake is far less than the recommended 2100 kCal per day and is often lacking in micronutrients and proteins.  According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), a diet with micronutrient deficiencies is among the top 10 leading causes of death globally.

Access to appropriate nutrients remains a major challenge for many Cambodians. Several studies have been done on the topic, and showing that access to adequate quantities of micronutrients, such as iron, calcium and zinc, as well as protein, is not possible through a local, affordable diet.

This is especially the case for the poorest part of the population, in these food insecure, rural areas.

THE ADVANTAGES OF CRICKETS

A “Superfood” in the truest sense, crickets are an incredibly high source of healthy fats, protein, and essential micronutrients including: zinc, calcium, iron, vitamin B12, and many more.  

Entomophagy, the consumption of insects, has roots in Cambodian culture dating back thousands of years.  Crickets, beetles, grasshoppers, larvae, spiders and many other insects are enjoyed by millions throughout the kingdom on a daily basis.  

With no cultural bias towards eating insects, and access to a large regional market demand, Cambodian cricket farmers are uniquely positioned to be involved in both a nutritional and financial windfall.

Crickets are relatively easy to rear, they reproduce very quickly (6 weeks from egg to harvest), and occupy very little space compared to traditional livestock.   

In 2017 ACK started with setting up a model cricket farm just outside of Phnom Penh that will be used for demonstration and educational purposes.

In 2018, in addition to providing technical support to existing farmers, small scale insect rearing stations will be set up at several new partner farms.  The number of farms will gradually increase to hundreds of rearing stations throughout the country.

In 2017 ACK also established a commercial processing center and a social enterprise Changrit Kamleang, for creating shelf stable dried cricket products for sale to the Cambodian marketplace.

When cricket production at our partner farms exceeds the consumption of farmers themselves, they can immediately sell to this processing center at a guaranteed market rate.

ACK Partner Farms Business Model

The business model of ACK combines the common consumption of insects with inclusive business. Crickets will be produced and consumed by rural farmers living at or below the poverty level. The reared crickets that are not consumed will be purchased from them and processed into products that will be available on local markets.

To make the project successful, an improved value chain needs to be set up from monitoring the quality of rearing and processing to marketing and sales, as well as the supply chain general logistics.   

The goal is to have the entire rearing and processing as well as the social enterprise sales chain established and sustainable for years to come.  

OUR IMPACT GOALS

The impact of ACK will be:

  • Availability of nutritious food for thousands of people in Cambodia
  • Alleviation of hunger and improvement in health
  • Acceleration of local entrepreneurship
  • Employment and income generation for hundreds of farmers and co-workers at processing centers
  • A reduced environmental load compared to other protein/meat production, less waste, energy, greenhouse gas and space

Regional cricket knowledge centers in Cambodia will guarantee knowledge transfer and stimulate further dissemination of cricket production for nutritious food for low income consumers and commercial processing centers, inside and outside of Cambodia.  

The crickets will be eaten whole, but also dried and ground into a flour to serve as an ingredient for new food products currently unavailable locally such as cricket noodles, soups, savory cakes, curry powder, and more.

The inclusive business model of ACK allows people with the lowest income within the regions to be actively involved as producer, salesforce or consumers.

This enables them to benefit from the economic development while simultaneously improving local food systems.

Soon Angka Changrit Kampuchea will be helping hundreds of farmers in rearing crickets, in turn providing them with additional income.

Processing centers will be set up and several hundred thousand servings of crickets will be brought to market annually by a large community of low income consumers.

To achieve this, ACK focuses on five different areas:

  1. Rearing (Cricket Farming)
  2. Processing and product development
  3. Marketing
  4. Value chain development