7 startups have been selected globally to reshape the Agri-food sector in Northwest Cambodia

GIZ ICONE and Eatable Adventures have embarked on a mission to drive agri-food innovation in Cambodia. They selected 7 startups, offering innovative solutions to enhance the agrifood value chain, improve commercial exchanges, and introduce high-value crops.

ICONE, a project by GIZ (German Agency for International Cooperation) promoting the competitiveness of Cambodian businesses, and Eatable Adventures, one of the world’s leading Foodtech accelerators, collaborate to drive innovation in the agri-food sector in northwest Cambodia. Their joint effort aims to integrate sustainability and develop solutions to enhance local agri-food innovation in Cambodia, thereby supporting the country’s economic progress. 

Through a comprehensive analysis of the sector, they identified opportunities to boost local businesses and contribute to Cambodia’s economic growth among three key growth areas. GIZ ICONE and Eatable have launched an international call to the Foodtech startup ecosystem to pioneer innovative solutions among three Open challenges: transforming tropical fruit production, boosting agri-food global business relations and expanding Cambodia’s portfolio of premium products.

Driving Agri-food Innovation in Cambodia

After the call, 7 global startups were selected to boost local businesses and drive Cambodia’s economic growth:

It’s Fresh. A cutting-edge British company specializing in ethylene control solutions. Their technology maintains product freshness from farm to table by extending shelf life during transit, storage, and retail. Additionally, it preserves texture and flavor.

BNS (Bio Natural Solutions). A Peruvian enterprise dedicated to harnessing agricultural waste to create natural solutions. Their innovations enhance the longevity, disinfect, and protect fruits and vegetables. Additionally, they contribute to sustainable agricultural practices and environmental conservation efforts.

Bio2Coat. This Spanish startup is pioneering an innovative solution to tackle food waste and the imperative of reducing plastics. Through its 100% natural coatings, it extends the shelf life of foods like fruits and vegetables. This enables them to stay fresh for longer periods.

GreenPod Labs: this Indian company provides cost-effective post-harvest solutions to extend the shelf life of fruits and vegetables during storage and transportation. It is developing active packaging pouches that trigger built-in defense mechanisms in fruits and vegetables to preserve their quality.

Tenbox: a Cambodian company offering a wholesale e-commerce platform designed to simplify product sourcing for owners of retail stores, especially in the food and beverage sector or convenience stores. Its aim is to support small businesses and brands by providing a wide range of products in one place. Additionally, it offers other services such as inventory control or traceability verification.

Unibaio: this Argentine company has developed groundbreaking microparticles crafted from natural polymers to enhance agricultural inputs. These microparticles efficiently capture the active ingredients of phytosanitary products and fertilizers, ensuring deeper plant penetration. This innovation significantly boosts effectiveness while reducing application doses by up to 80%.

Qartbotech: this Malaysian company employs nanotechnology to enhance plant photosynthesis and strengthen crops, resulting in increased yields and improved quality. This innovative solution represents a significant advancement in agricultural technology. Additionally, it addresses the growing need for sustainable methods to boost crop productivity.

Showcase Event

This week, these startups were able to present their innovative solutions in a showcase taking place at Battambang. The event provided a unique opportunity to unite visionary entrepreneurs and local Cambodian corporations. It facilitated the introduction of groundbreaking innovations into the local market. Throughout the event, startups presented their projects, demonstrated the solutions, and forged connections with local corporations.

Why driving innovative solutions in the country?

According to the report jointly developed by GIZ ICONE and Eatable Adventures titled ‘Food Innovation and Agro-Processing Sector in North-Western Cambodia, agriculture stands as one of the foremost economic pillars of the country, contributing around 22% to its gross domestic product (GDP) and encompassing 30% of the nation’s total employment. Agricultural production dominates the primary sector, making up 60% of the sector’s GDP contribution, followed by fishing and livestock farming.

However, only 10% to 13% of agricultural production undergoes processing, leading to most exported products being in raw form. Additionally, a significant portion of these products undergo value-added products in Thailand and Vietnam before being exported back to Cambodia. Therefore, there is a pressing need for the country to focus on developing its processing and value-added capabilities in the agricultural sector to enhance its economic growth and global competitiveness.

Throughout the in-depth analysis conducted by GIZ ICONE and Eatable Adventures, three key growth areas were identified to drive innovative technological solutions aimed at enhancing production processes in the agri-food sector and contribute to its growth and competitiveness.