Young Innovators Paving the Way for a Resilient Future in Cambodia’s Agriculture
8 April 2024 - phnompenh

Young Innovators Paving the Way for a Resilient Future in Cambodia’s Agriculture

Phnom Penh – April 25, 2024, marked a significant milestone as over 50 young individuals from 11 different institutions, representing a variety of backgrounds, gathered to present their innovative ideas for the agricultural sector. This event culminated in their involvement in the intensive two-and-a-half-day Dak Dam Hackathon hosted by Impact Hub Phnom Penh.

After two years, the DakDam Program returned with a shift of focus from supporting existing startups to giving birth to new startups by igniting youth passion for caring about agriculture problems in Cambodia and developing innovative solutions. Through this program, we aim to change Cambodia’s agricultural future for the better.

“DakDam-Innovators for Resilient Agriculture,” a startup ideation program for aspiring entrepreneurs eager to enhance Cambodia’s agricultural industry through innovative and climate-resilient practices.  The program encompasses a hackathon, incubation, and ongoing post-program support. The program was supported by the International Rice Research Institute and implemented under the CGIAR initiative on Asian Mega-Delta.

Check out more information about the program here!


The Dak Dam Hackathon forms a crucial part of the overall program. This 3-day intensive challenge brought together shortlisted candidates from diverse fields such as agriculture, technology, and business, fostering collaboration in ideating, developing business models, and pitching their concepts. During the hackathon, the 14 teams gained insights into Cambodia’s agricultural challenges, igniting creative solutions guided by expert trainers. Participants underwent a thorough process of idea validation and development using a gamified methodology, ensuring an interactive and engaging experience. Each team benefited from the guidance of dedicated mentors with expertise in agriculture, technology, creativity, and business, aiding in refining their solutions.

What I like the most about the DakDam Hackathon is how supportive and helpful all the mentors and the teamworks behind this successful program. Not to mention the awesome refreshments, t-shirts, and gifts that deserve a chef kiss. For me, the three days of this hackathon have been an eye-opening experience. I will always be proud of completing this hackathon and going from knowing nothing about pitching business ideas to coming up with one. Now I notice myself dreaming about making an ideal business happen someday.  Anyone interested in turning their ideas into reality should definitely check out this curriculum. As a novice who has only recently participated in a hackathon, my honest advice is not to be afraid to try. It’s either you win, or you lose, then you learn.” –Sreyneang Yung, Oy-Spei Team.

Joining Impact Hub as a mentor has been incredibly fulfilling, marked by unforgettable experiences with the energetic participants and the dynamic organizing team. The organizers’ dedication set a high bar, cultivating an environment ripe for the participants’ enthusiasm, collaboration, and brilliance to flourish. Together, we created a space that championed mutual growth and innovation, making every interaction a deep dive into creativity and determination. The connections forged in this vibrant community transcend professional ties, evolving into profound, lasting relationships built on a bedrock of shared inspiration and unwavering commitment. I am immensely grateful for the opportunity to be part of this transformative journey, witnessing the powerful impact of collective effort and intelligence.” – Sinara Sagn, Co-Founder & CBO at Toptimize

On the final day of the hackathon, 14 teams showcased extreme potential and talents as they competed to become the top five teams who received $500 seed funding to kickstart their businesses and develop their prototypes. Among all teams, their ideas include precision agriculture tech providers, agri byproduct processing, climate-resilient agri-training, climate-smart pest management, water-efficient irrigation systems, and organic agriculture enterprises.

The hackathon concluded with five winning teams including ZeroCarbon, Chiv-Cheat, បន្សាំ-Bansam, CamboGreens and Her Agri.

CamboGreens produces green powder supplements, processed carefully under food quality and safety control from vegetables that have almost gone bad, to prevent food waste, support local farmers, and promote convenient vegetable consumption.

“Our goal for this competition is to create a small business that can help the agriculture field in Cambodia. by becoming involved in the DakDam competition, which is relevant to agriculture and entrepreneurs. We can conclude that the hackathon was a great experience after three days since we were able to interact with candidates from other professions. I had a great time throughout the three days of the hackathon since I learned a lot about business and agriculture and gained a lot of experience. I highly recommend that those who are interested in Cambodian agriculture should definitely check out this competition to learn more about the opportunity.” Dy Puthikakrona, CamboGreens Team

Zero Carbon is a precise tech provider that addresses land degradation in Cambodia by providing soil condition analysis and sensors, treatment, and consultancy services with their farming expertise. 


Chiv-Cheat is an ICT solution that prevents losses of cashew yield due to lack of techniques and diseases control through Chiv-Cheat Telegram Chatbot that detects, connects and provides resources to cashew nut farmers in Cambodia.

Her Agri is an innovative pest management solution that replaces harmful chemical cabbage pesticides with local and organic cabbage baits. Cabbage baits help farmers eliminate unwanted pests and maximize cabbage yield without harming microorganisms in the soil, soil quality and consumers’ health.

បន្សាំ – Bansam is an advanced climate-resilient vegetable propagation provider that not only maximizes vegetable yield with guaranteed quality but also saves farmers time during harvesting.

After the hackathon, these winning teams will move on to the incubation program, which will be a series of training for further develop their business ideas and prototypes, mentoring and coaching, and exposure sessions to compete again on the Demo Day and select only three top teams to win additional $1,500 for post-program support. 

Overall, Dak Dam Innovators for Resilient Agriculture Hackathon Final Pitch was a big success and provided young aspiring entrepreneurs with a life-changing experience of interactive knowledge sharing from experts in different fields.

For more information, please contact 

Chhim Tithamatak

[email protected]

Written by Chakriya Thida An