Sustainable Soil For Life Association

Organization Presentation And Competency Portfolio




Sustainable Soil for Life Association (SSLA) is a Cambodian NGO that envisions a sustainable, resilient, and fair food system that ensures healthy livelihoods and socioeconomic well-being in Cambodia. SSLA’s mission is to support vulnerable smallholder farmers and rural youth to improve their livelihoods by promoting agroecological practices.


SSLA’s impact-driven and farmer-oriented approach focuses on diversifying cropping systems, improving soil health, enhancing biodiversity, and reducing reliance on external inputs. The organization builds farmer capacities through farmer-to-farmer knowledge and practice sharing and supports cooperative and community leaders in developing sustainable agribusinesses and building local market networks that create value for agroecological produce.


SSLA also works with vulnerable young people to promote entrepreneurship and leadership, increasing their engagement with their communities. The organization provides vocational training programs in agroecology and agri-food processing, as well as agri-business incubator programs focusing on circular economy and agroecology innovations, to support youth starting their own businesses.


SSLA’s key achievements since 2017

·         Over 1,500 farmers trained in agroecology practices

·         500 farmers adopted agroecological practices

·         Over 80 farmers achieved their transition towards highly diversified organic farms

·         About 60 farmers selling their agroecological produce with PGS certification

·         Over 200 young people trained in agroecology

·         10 youth-led agroecology businesses started

·         2 vocational schools in agroecology were established (Battambang and Siem Reap)


SSLA’s Areas of Focus and Expertise


Farmer Capacity Development for Agroecology

·         Farmer empowerment and engagement in transforming food systems

·         Adaptation and adoption of agroecological practices

·         Co-design and implementation of farmer-led innovations

·         Farmer-to-farmer training and coaching

Agricultural Vocational Education and Youth Empowerment

·         Vocational and technical training (TVET) in agroecology

·         Business incubator for agribusiness development

·         Youth engagement in community initiatives


Inclusive Market and Value Creation for Agroecology


·         Local food market network strengthening and linkages

·         Agroecological produce marketing and branding

·         Agro-food processing and value chain development

·         Business development and operations management for cooperatives and MSMEs



SSLA Impact Measurement


SSLA has a strong MEAL (Monitoring, Evaluation, Accountability, and Learning) system in place. SSLA uses the Tool for Agroecology Performance Evaluation (TAPE) to assess the impacts over project cycles from 2019. SSLA’s work is having a positive impact on the lives of farmers and young people who work with them. Farmers are reporting increased yields, improved soil health, and reduced reliance on chemical inputs. Young people are gaining skills and knowledge that will help them become entrepreneurs and leaders in the agricultural sector. SSLA is a small organization, but it is making a big difference in the lives of farmers and young people in northwestern Cambodia. The organization is helping to build a more sustainable future for the region.


SSLA Implemented Projects

Sustainable Soil for Life Association’s key achievements are mostly focused on farmer empowerment and youth vocational education:

·         Food Waste Day Awareness Campaign, 2023, Wefood and DCA HQ Denmark.

          Provided Wefood with technical assistance in developing and producing videos for an awareness campaign on “Fight against Food Waste” for Food Waste Day 2023. Funded by Wefood, a Danish supermarket selling surplus food to fight food waste, in cooperation with DANIDA, International Thematic Working Group “Food across Borders”.


·         Go-Global Project, 2023, funded by DCA HQ Denmark.

          Organized and facilitated student visits and exchange programs between Danish schools and SSLA’s students in Vocational Training in agroecology. February, March, April, November and December 2023.


·         Enhancing Agroecological Transition (EAT) 2021-2023, funded by DANIDA Frame, DCA Cambodia,

          The EAT project aimed to empower small-scale farmers and rural youth by promoting agroecological food systems that improve livelihoods and well-being.

          The project benefited 125 farmers, who shared and co-created knowledge during exchange visits, forums, and peer-to-peer practical training and coaching.

          The project supported over 60 farmers to enhance their knowledge in the production of bio-fertilizers, the integration of trees, and saving seeds.

          The project supported 37 advanced farmers to improve Participatory Guarantee Systems (PGS) to promote organic food and agroecological produce and sell their products directly to consumers and rural markets, urban shops, and farmers’ markets.

          The project provided 47 young people with access to vocational skills in agroecology and decent work through a vocational training program and a business incubator program that supported them in starting their own businesses and applying agroecological approaches. Fourteen of these young people started beekeeping farming, mushroom farming, and fertilizer production businesses.


·         Agroecology Live Learning Lab (AE-LLab), 2022-2023, Danida Innovation Funds

          SSLA co-implemented the project with DCA under DANIDA innovation funds within the area of ‘building resilient communities’ aimed to develop a new approach for sharing knowledge and learning about agroecology.

          The project focused on improving the capacity of 7 DCA local partners, farmers and building bridges with relevant universities. Aside from knowledge sharing activities, the project worked to leverage past innovation efforts outputs such as the ‘ECOkasekor app’ and the ‘Farmers’ Handbook on Agroecology in Cambodia’.

          The AE LLAB project shared his experience and knowledge acquired from previous projects with other DCA partner staff during workshops and his farm was also the location for providing practical training on agroecology.


·         Création des Maisons de l’Agroécologie (MAE), 2021-2024, Région Occitanie.

          SSLA co-designed and implemented a project that provided financial and technical support to 3 ACs in building construction, starting and strengthening new sustainable businesses and services, including, post-harvest washing and packing, agri-food processing, drinking water production, and natural soap production. Province de Battambang, co-funded by Region Occitanie, Financement d’investissement n° 21011443, in partnership with ASSOCIATION BRAHMA KESA and Vivre de sa Terre Association.


·         Upscaling Climate Resilient Agriculture: Transition to Agroecology (CRA), 2021, co-implemented by DCA and SSLA, funded by DANIDA Innovation Funds

          The project was co-implemented by DCA Cambodia with SSLA technical assistance. SSLA trained 23 agricultural technicians and NGO staff in agroecology who became trainers in 4 provinces.

          SSLA has developed new learning materials have been developed based on on-farm experiments conducted in collaboration with farmers in their vegetable gardens in Battambang province. The main output of this project was the creation of the “Farmer Handbook in Agroecology. Cambodia”.


·         Improve supply chains of PGS-organic vegetables in Battambang, 2020, USAID-funded Feed the Future Cambodia Harvest II, co-implemented with Laey Baitong Co., Ltd.

          SSLA trained over 200 farmers in the Participatory Guarantee System, of these, 100 farmers increased supply volume regularly and signed farming contacts. Over 120 demonstration plots have been set up in compliance with the Participatory Guarantee System and 40 peer reviews/inspections were conducted.


·         “Bank on it (BOT): Preserving Cambodia’s Agricultural Genetic Resources”, co-implemented with DCA Cambodia and funded by DANIDA Innovation Funds

          SSLA coached 13 outstanding farmers, who became master farmers and leaders and adopted a comprehensive set of agroecological practices in 3 districts of Battambang province.

          15 farmers adopted the principles of the Participatory Guarantee System, including peer-to-peer inspection, and decision-making to certify their products.

          SSLA established local value chains for agroecological and organic vegetables including producers, collectors, transporters, buyers, and consumers in Battambang province.

          SSLA trained 56 farmers on how to save local seeds and grow vegetables using agroecological practices.


·         AGILE: Agriculture Information Livelihoods and Enhancement (2018-2020), Danida Innovation Funds

          The Agriculture Information Livelihoods and Enhancement (AGILE) project is a 3-year project, co-implemented by SSLA with DCA Cambodia and funded by DANIDA that aims to increase smallholder farmers’ access to climate-resilient farming information.

          SSLA developed a prototype of a farming recommendations algorithm and conducted a survey to study the rural connectivity level and process around the use of the KSF app in Kampong Speu province.

          SSLA improved the app, which was renamed “ECOKasekor app” (Ecofarmer) and integrated a video-sharing platform for farmers.


·         Flood Humanitarian Recovery, 2021, funded by DCA, Project Number: 1010279-72

          SSLA assessed the needs of flood-affected HHs and provided 364 food-affected vulnerable households with emergency cash assistance, in collaboration and PIN, DCA and NDMC.


·         Covid-19 Humanitarian Response, 2020, funded by DCA, Project Number: 1010279-64

          The project conducted a market assessment and provided 292 COVID-19 economically affected vulnerable households with minimum package items and cash assistance voucher transfers, in collaboration and PIN, DCA, and NDMC.


·         Contract Title: Farmers Field School on Agroecology and Seed Banking, 2019. Funded by DCA, Reference No.: 1010279-59

          SSLA trained and supported 98 farmers (54 women) to participate in 41 sessions of farmer field school, including 39 who adopted agroecological practices, 21 farmers using local seed varieties of vegetables, and 17 farmers committed to the development of seed banks.


·         Contract Title: Khmer Smart Farming Application Testing and Redesign, 2018. Funded by DCA, Reference no.: 1010279-38

          SSLA has conducted the test phase of the KSF mobile app with over 200 users and developed a new app backend and frontend design prototype … the recommended back-end back design improvement and  app backend and frontend


·         Contract Title: Crop Database Development and Advisory, 2018. Funded by DCA, Reference no.: 1010279-29

          SSLA trained and coached 95 vulnerable small-scale farmers (67 women farmers) in 2017-2018, including 35 farmers who adopted at least one agroecological practice to reduce chemical pesticide and fertilizer use in 6 districts in Battambang province.


·         Training of Trainers for TVET teachers in agroecology, 2020. Funded by Brahma Kesa Association and Bayon Education and Development.

          SSLA trained 10 young teachers who completed 8-months of Training of Trainers (700 hours) for TVET education from Jan to Oct. 2020, who are all became agroecology trainers in 2 vocational schools in 3 targeted provinces (Battambang, Siem Reap and Oddar Meanchey).


·         Piloting Vocational Training in Agroecology: Associate Degree, 2017-2019, funded by Vivre de sa Terre (VDST)

          SSLA trained 15 dropout and vulnerable students who completed 2 years of vocational training in agroecology, became skilled young technicians in agroecology engaged among community.

          SSLA trained also 180 students from universities (UBB, UME) about soil fertility management in 2 months short training courses.


·         Development of a learning module about soil fertility in Khmer language, ALiSEA Small Grant Facility, grant provided by GRET, funded by AFD, 2017.

          The project has reached and raised awareness among more than 1 million young Cambodians about the agroecology approach with 10 online tutorial videos developed, 10 educational posters, and 40 illustrations of agroecological practices.


·         Production of an Animation Video “Life in the soil”, 2026, in cooperation with Phare Creative Studio, funded by Vivre de sa Terre (VDST), 2016.

          The project produced a 3-minute animation video spot which aimed to awareness on the importance of living soil and introduce soil conservation principles. 3 screening sessions have been organized and reached over 1000 young people.


·         Aide au développement de la Maison Familiale Rurale (MFR) de Day Damram, Banan, 2016, co-financée par EDM.

          The project provided technical assistance to the recently established rural training center MRF, and reviewed and improved the training curriculum, student recruitment process, and hands-on training facilities.


·         Improvement of Black Pepper Value Chains in Samlot District, Battambang, 2016-2017, funded by Vivre de sa Terre (VDST).

          The project supported 22 black pepper producers (13 women), registered in a farmer association named Samlot Khmer Organic Pepper Association (SKOPA) under MoI, in Song Commune, Samlot District, increasing access to the local market, adopting agroecological practices and increasing sales at a fair price on the export market.


·          “My problem, My solution”: Empower women and people with disabilities through theatre and income generation, 2017, co-implemented by Phare Ponleu Selpak, funded by OXFAM.

          The project trained 25 women living in poor communities helping them to start small businesses and urban vegetable gardens.


·         “Our River and our Forest”: Empower Por Indigenous women in Ta Toak, 2016, funded by OXFAM and co-implemented with CCT.

          The project coached and supported 15 indigenous women on forest tree and vegetable garden integration in the mountain area of Samkos, in Ta Toak Commune, Samlot District, Battambang, and diversified their diets and their source of income to reduce deforestation.


·         Soutien aux artistes de Battambang pour l’exposition “Paysans et Rizières du Cambodge” à Paris-Million Exhibition, 2017, funded by Vivre de sa Terre (VDST)

The project provided 6 underprivileged artists with assistance to create artwork under the theme of rice peasant livelihoods in Cambodia.


·         Inventory Project of North-western Cambodian under-used plants, 2015. Funded by Vivre de sa Terre (VDST) and ENSAIA (Agronomy Higher Education in Grenoble)

          The project has collected, classified, and documented over 200 vegetal species of under-used plants in North-western Cambodia.


·         Adapting agroecological practices: Trials on demonstrative farms, 2016-2020, funded by Vivre de sa Terre (VDST)

          Conducted more than 3 years of on-farm trials, experiments and research to adapt and improve agroecological practices (cover crops, conservation agriculture, and organic vegetable production) in Preykonkla Farm and Sumita Farm.


·         Aménagement agroécolgique des rizières du centre EDM de Samrong Bantay Chmear, 2015, funded by Enfants du Mekong (EDM).

          The project designed and implemented an organic farm in Bantay Chmear for EDM, including water harvesting, permanent soil covers, tree integration, and a crop-livestock integrated system.


·         Etude de fin de projet. Accompagnement des Maisons Familiales Rurales (MFR) du Cambodge, 2014. Projet cofinancé par la Région Nouvelle-Aquitaine, Consultance post-projet pour le conseil régional.

          The consultancy provided technical assistance to the local organization FAEC in cooperation with the MFREO of Nouvelle-Aquitaine Region. The organization conducted data collection and analysis and developed the evaluation report and final project report in French language for the donor.