Political instability in Cambodia since the fall of the Khmer Rouge in 1979 has prevented essential development in the rural regions of the country. Over 75 percent of the population in Cambodia engages in subsistence farming, which is often inadequate, and most areas suffer from a lack of basic infrastructure.

On March 15th, 2005, using a donation of 5,000 metric tons of wheat and 380 metric tons of soy flour from the US Department of Agriculture, IRD began implementation of the Better Foods for Better Lives program. Better Foods for Better Lives works both to strengthen Cambodia’s food processing capabilities and to provide fortified food products to children and low-income consumers.

As a direct result of the program to date, almost two million packages of low-cost fortified noodles called “Mee Dara” have been produced and marketed since May 2005. Local noodle producers have increased production by 60 percent and have created 110 jobs for women, and four local small bakeries have increased their production of bread by 20 percent. Meanwhile, 8,500 primary school children in Cambodia receive bread, snack noodles, and soy milk every morning as part of IRD’s efforts to combat malnutrition in country.

With increased efficiency, private sector food processors in Cambodia will be better positioned to compete with companies from the neighboring countries in Vietnam and Thailand.


Better Foods for Better Lives

Better Foods for Better Lives promotes both agricultural and private sector develop... more

Cambodia Food for Education

IRD’s Food for Education program in Cambodia’s Kampong Chhnang province is impro... more

Child Survival in Cambodia

Funded by USAID’s Global Health bureau, IRD’s Child Survival and Health program use... more

Improving Infant, Child & Maternal Health in Cambodia

Using an integrated, community-based approach, IRD has achieved important improveme... more

Success Stories

IRD to Distribute Soccer Balls and Shoes to Cambodian Children

Jim Lanning, Director of Acquisitions and Logistics at International Rel... more

US Congressional Delegation Visits Man Sarun Wheat Mill Factory

A US Department of Agriculture congressional staff delegation visited Ca... more

TOMS Shoes Distributed to Schoolchildren in 132 Cambodian Schools

IRD distributed thousands of pairs of TOMS Shoes students from 132 schools,... more

TOMS Shoes Distribution in Cambodia

An hour drive southwest of Kampong Chhnang town, 12-year-old San Baraing sat in fro... more

My Dream Came True!

Keam Chin, 14, is an eighth grader in the village of Prasnep in Kampong Chh... more

Reducing the Spread of Malaria in Cambodia

IRD’s Evidence-Based Interventions for Improved Nutrition to Reinforce Infa... more

School Feeding and Take-Home Rations Improve Outcomes in Cambodia

Rath Khemra, IRD’s local Food for Education field monitor, drops in on a school sup... more