Thursday, December 31, 2009

NGO partners Meeting at Svay Rieng

On December 29, 2009, Mr. Yim Sok Sophors who is in charge of the Project Linking Farmers to Market for Rural Prosperity (RIU/ICF) as the project manager will participate in the partner meeting at Svay Rieng Province. Representatives of IDE (International Development Enterprises) and Representatives from PADEK (Partnership for Development in Kampuchea) will present at the meeting.

By this time, it is the second year of the project enactment, buoyantly all NGO partner representatives will confer in detail about the expansion of new target communes, which communes will be covered by CEDAC, IDE and PADEK. It is expected that the NGO partners will be able to discuss indeed about the operational strategies for 2010. It is to note that CEDAC is responsible to support 500 cooperating farmers within 50 vegetable farmer producer groups (in 50 villages across Prey Veng and Svay Rieng Provinces) be able to generate more farming income from vegetable selling. According to the project document, it is expected that each cooperating farmer will make further income of 150 USD from selling of vegetables.

Exposure Visit of IFWP-MP

The project Improving Livelihood for Women and Rural Poor in Mundulkiri province (IFWP-MP) is organizing an extra exposure visit from Mundulkiri province to Takeo and Kompong Speu Provinces. 47 interested farmers as well as the community-based field assistants of the project participated in the trip.
The exposure visit is organized in order to strengthen the knowledge and skills of those who are mentioned above in relation to agricultural techniques (system of rice intensification, vegetable growing, multi-purpose farm…), community-led saving group, village based farmer association, etc. It is expected that the visitors are able to learn new ideas to attract their intention to the project. Based on the experiences of our work, there will be more and more farmers apply agricultural techniques and other innovations introduced by the project if they have actively participated in the exposure visit.
It is to review that the project IFWP-MP has firstly conducted target villages selection, introduction workshops at the district level, organized village general meeting, selected potential farmers, and it is now the stage for organizing exposure visit for those potential farmers. The project will provide monthly capacity building onward.

Monday, December 28, 2009

Working group on Local Governance

A group of CEDAC staff are working together to write up the concept note of local governance. Mr. Huot Dok, Nhep Mengcheang, Khat Bora discussed about rational background, problem statement, goal and specific objectives, expected results and outputs, strategic activities, risk management, sustainability, indicators, budget plan, etc.

It is to remind that CEDAC has been implementing a project, called “Local Administration and Reform-LAAR” in collaboration with PACT for several years. The project funding agency is USAID. The project has contributed to improve the effectiveness of social services carried out by the commune councils. Commune Monitoring Committees (CMCs) are working closely with the commune councils in terms of ensuring good local governance in their respective communities.
They expect that the concept note will be submitted to CEDAC Field Program (FNP) by January 01, 2009.

Community-led Saving Group

Mr. Soy Tith, a project officer of the project ” Community-led Saving Development for Poverty Reduction and Self-reliance in Pailin province” is working on the first quarterly report covering from 15th October to December, 2009.

The project is fudned by CARE to work ininvolve in Community-led Saving Groups. Up to the end of December 2009, the project has supported 39 saving groups comprising 837 members (of whom 55% are women). The total capital mobilized by all saving group members is 77,423,300 riel (equivalent to USD 18,883.732). These Saving for Self-Reliance Groups operate in 22 villages across 5 communes in Pailin province. 22 village-based saving group animators are now in place in all 22 target villages.
The project has drawn the interest of the most vulnerable villagers to mobilize and use capital, which had been invested so far on the borrowing costs from MFIs/Banks and Money Lenders within their own villages. The villagers seem to be aware and willing to reduce their financial dependency on outsiders and to become self-reliant in the near future. Their voluntary participation in the saving groups reflects this position.  The project contributes to building of collaboration and trust among villagers, as well as to the accessible, safe and profitable financial services for the most vulnerable families. A number of new groups have been formed into 4 new groups. At the same time, many new members joined the existing groups. Moreover, the savings mobilized by the villagers has also been increasing. Saving group members were able to take larger loans at a lower interest.

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Learning is Sharing – Sharing is Learning

On 22 January 2010, Dr. Yang Saing Koma, president of CEDAC will organize a series training for CEDAC’s staff. At that time, the training will focus on Learning is Sharing and Sharing is Learning. I myself, Yim Sok Sophors, is going to present the book, called “30 minutes before a meeting”. Hopefully, I will be able to learn from myself and to learn from the other.

Concept note is accepted by EU

The concept note on Thematic Programme for Environment and sustainable management of natural resources, including energy submitted to European Union (EU) which was developed by CEDAC and Plan is now accepted by EU. CEDAC and PLAN Cambodia will write up the full proposal and send it to EU in March 2010. It is a good sign of cooperation between CEDAC and PLAN. It is expected both organizations will gradually enhance their cooperation from time to time.

The workshop to design the project will be done on 15-17 February 2010. The workshop venue will be informed later on. The participants will come from CEDAC team and PLAN Team. Totally, about 20 participants will participate in that important meeting. We will ensure to have a good participation from the communities that is why some community representatives will also be invited to the meeting. The length of project duration will cover 60 months.

Project management discussion meeting

December 23, 2009 there was a meeting at 4:00 PM at CEDAC Office in Phnom Penh with the participation of Mr. Khim Sophanna, Mr. Oum Savin, Mr. Ouch Ngak, Mr. Sim Samoeun, Mr. Yi Kimthan and Mr. Yim Sok Sophors to discuss about the reinforcement of project management within CEDAC, included to discuss about financial management, staff management, how to do contract with the project’s staff and CEDAC’s staff, etc.
Referring to the meeting, it enabled to learn more about project management especially to follow the guideline/procedure of the funding agencies.

Vang Sean and Chhin Chhunhoir at PRS

Vang Sean and Chhin Chhunhoir went to Tramkak district, Takeo province in order to organize group discussion with the project’s staff of PRS and other relevant persons who will involve in conducted Participatory Monitoring and Evaluation of PRS. The drafted questionnaires were picked up for plenary discussion with the participants. Suggestion, addition and correction were made during the meeting.
Particularly, I helped to edit the TOR of this monitoring. It has already been submitted to Mr. Bao Vuthy, the project coordinator of PRS for comment and approval. It is expected that the M&E team will do another good work at the end of this year, 2009.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Concept Note on Climate Change

This morning, I, Yim Sok Sophors, improved the concept note on climate change of CEDAC Field Program. Some relevant figures were included in the problem statement of the concept note. Additionally, I have also improved the expected outputs, indicators and sustainability, etc.
I think that the concept note is more sharpened. The team members need to give more ideas in order to improve the concept note from time to time. Hopefully, we will be able to develop a good concept note/strategy paper of climate change before the general assembly of CEDAC on 5-6 January 2009.
The strategy paper will be used effectively in order to develop some proposals concerning to climate change under the intervention of CEDAC Field Program. I impressed that what CEDAC has been doing currently are actually relevant to climate change mitigation and climate change adaptation. The community resilient agricultural innovations are being promoted and disseminated to the community people. For example, we introduced System of Rice Intensification (SRI) to small farmers. The SRI is more resistant to drought and flood. The farmers who have smaller rice field can harvest more yield with a better productivity. On the other hand, Multi-Purpose Farm (MPF) is very helpful for farmers to convert their unproductive rice field to be a productive farm, the definitely can harvest various agricultural products while they applied MPF. The farmers can get fuel wood for cooking, they can have tree leaves to use a green manure to spread on the rice field, they can have pole for house construction, farmers can also get vegetable, fruit, fishes, rice… from the farm. The preparation of MPF provide to farmers multi products that is why it is called Multi Purpose Farm. There are many activities that CEDAC has been doing in the fields, such as the promotion of bio-digestor plant, improved cook-stove, tree planting, etc. All contribute to conserve and improve the natural resources, increase farmers’ agricultural production and productivity to ensure food security and market supplies in the respective communities.

A proposal to ACT, ILFARM-KTL

Today, I worked with Mr. Yi Kimthan to write up a project proposal for submission to ACT. The proposal will target to Kompong Chhnang province. We will work on improving agriculture innovations, farmer producer and farmer cooperative, strengthening to existing farmer associations, strengthen the local authorities and local stakeholder on participatory community development approaches.

If the proposal is approved from ACT, the community people will have more chance to get support from CEDAC. The existing farmer groups, agricultural cooperatives will be strengthened so that they will be able to self-managed while the project phased out. Development needs several steps. For example, first we train farmers to produce food for family consumption and then we link them to the market while they have enough food for family consumption. Practical management and leadership is being trained to farmers step by step. Finally, the community farmers will be self-reliance.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Proposal to EPN

This morning, I worked with Mr. Yi Kimthan, the director of CEDAC Field program to write up a proposal for submission to End Poverty Now (EPN). We will write this one for Prey Veng province that will contribute to implementing EU project in that province.

It is expected that CEDAC Field Program will receive fund support from EPN as a new funding agency for CEDAC if this proposal is approved.

Workshop on the project's results

On December 16, 2009 Mr. San Sorn, Farmer Community Facilitator of CEDAC's project, namely "Improvement of the most Vulnerable Families for Prevention of Human Trafficking and Unsafe Migration" participated in a workshop organized by IOM and Ministry of Women's Affairs.

The workshop was organized in order to present the results of the project under implementation of IOM in collaboration with the Ministry of Women's Affairs. CEDAC is a part of the project that is responsible to improve the livelihood of the poorest families through promotion of ecological agriculture such as system of rice intensification, ecological chicken raising, vegetable growing, etc.

Friday, December 18, 2009

CEDAC's proposal on local governance

Mr. Yi Kimthan and Mr. Yim Sok Sophors will work together for 2 days next week in order to write up the project propsal on Local Governance. The proposal will be submited to EU. Both of them will design the project proposal based on the strategy paper of local governance program of CEDAC Field Program that has been recenlty defined.

Monitoring for PRS-EU

M&E team will conduct an internal monitoring for the project PRS-EU at the end of this month, December 2009. Mr. Chhin Chhunhoir will be the team leader of this task. It is expected that the main staff of M&E team will participate in undertaking this assignment effectively. The monitoring is to bcheck and to measure the quantitative and qualitative progress of the project.

The monitoring team will closely cooperate with the project team in order to accomplish a good result of the monitoring through participatory method. Currently, Mr. Chhin Chhunhoir is preparing the questionnaires and checklist for group discussion. The discussion on the questionnaires and checklist will be done among the PRS project's staff in order to good questionnaries and checklist are established for this monitoring.

More capital for buying paddy

The shortage of money to buy paddy during this harvesting season is a main problem of a community based rice mill in Chhumkiri district, Kompot province. There are many tons of paddy are being sold currently to the middlemen in the district meanwhile the community based rice mill has no sufficient capital to buy more rice. It is expected that more capital will be provided very soon. If the community based rice mill has more money, more paddy will be bought.

The community now has established a warehouse in SreJang commune, Chhumkiri district. The community will use that warehouse to stock their paddy for a while and sell it at an appropriate time in order to maximize their profit.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Rains damage harvesting paddy of farmers

There was a big rain in Chhouk and Dong Tong districts, in Kompot province yesterday, December 16, 2009 so it is difficult for farmers to bring their harvesting paddy from the field to their homestead. The paddy were wet and the grain can be damaged because of water logging. In such circumstance, the farmers are now busy to harvest their paddy as fast as possible. Some people said that the climate now is changing, when we need water for rice cultivation, but there was no rain. When we don't need anymore water, but there are much rains. It is now regular if compare to the previous climate situation.

CEDAC's Annual Assembly at CJCC

CEDAC will organize the annual assembly with the participation of all CEDAC's staff at CJCC (Cambodia-Japan Cooperation Center) on 5-6 January 2010. We will present the general progress of each main program of CEDAC in 2009 as well as to think about future CEDAC's intervention in 2010 and the next 5 years (2010-2014).

Field Program will also present its strategy for 2010-2014 during the meeting at that time. It is expected that each main components of CEDAC Field Program will complete the strategy paper soon on January 01, 2010 and those will be compiled for printing and disseminating during the annual assembly of CEDAC on 5-6 Jan 2009.

CEDAC receives more funds from EC

CEDAC recenlty has received more fund support from EC concerning to the implementation of the food security projects in Prey Veng and Svay Rieng provinces. The fund support from EC will enable CEDAC to expand its scope of work in addressing the issues of food insecurity in the target communities (Baphnom, Kompong Trabek, and Prah Sdach districts in Prey Veng province and Kompong Ror and Chantrea districts in Svay Rieng province).

Community based Rice Mill

I am now at Chhouk district, Kompot province to conduct the study on impact of community based rice mills under facilitation by CEDAC. I have met and discussed with the management committee members of community based rice mills in Chhouk district. At 11:30 AM, I am going to meet representatives of community based rice mills at Dong Tong district.

At this time, the farmers are busy with rice harvesting, so i will meet them at the afternoon that is an available time to meet them at house. The completion of rice harvesting in this rainy season is expectedly totally finished during this week.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Strategic meeting of CEDAC field program in Phnom Penh

I am participating in the meeting of CEDAC Field Program (FNP) in Phnom Penh from 14-15 December 2009. We have discussed about the concept notes of each manage program of FNP such as the concept note on climate change, primary education of poorest children, rural women, local governance, agricultural extension, Agricultural and Local Development Associations / Service providers, monitoring and evaluation, agro ecotourism, etc. The guideline of concept note was developed by plenary brainstorming among the participants. It was to note that the participants are the project officers of FNP come from different provinces with CEDAC's target provinces throughout Cambodia. Mr. Yi Kimthan was a chairman of the meeting in the first day. 

During the first day of the meeting, the participants were divided into various groups in order to discuss in detail for developing the concept notes of their respective program. The result of the discussion will be presented for a further discussion on tomorrow morning, December 15, 2009 at CEDAC Office. It is expected that each program of FNP will be able to gain more ideas to sharpen their concept notes.

I can say that the meeting is providing more inputs for the participants to learn and to finalize the concept notes of each important program of FNP. I believe that each main program of each FNP's program will be developed for effective advantages.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

M&E team at Kompot and Takeo Provinces

From 23-27 November 2009 a group of CEDAC M&E team, included Yim Sok Sophors, Meas Somica, Pheng Chandy, Vang Sean, Chhin Chhunhoir, went to Chhouk district, Kompot province in order to conduct the field research on rice value chain in 3 districts (Chumkiri, Dong Tong, and Kompong Trach). The team members had conducted 7 group discussion meeting in the studied villages.

Generally, it was able to find that rice farming families in the studied villages can produce paddy for selling. The amount of paddy sold from the village is gradually increased from year to year according to the improvement of rice farming practices. Additionally, the rice yield in the studied village is around 3 t/ha that is higher than the national average--2.58 t/ha. It is able to know that the farmers have gained their skill in producing more rice yield to meet the family's consumption and supply for markets after family's surplus. On the other hand, based on the interview with the representatives of community based rice mills they have understood well about the rice market situation in their districts. They want to expand their roles in supplying rice product in the markets. Currently, some rice cooperatives have been formed under the facilitation and support from CEDAC and Provincial Department of Agriculture (PDA). The cooperatives have tried to mobilize resources so that they can have enough capital to invest in rice business.

Particularly, it is able to know that most of rice farming families conduct dry season rice production in the districts close to Vietnam Border. Huge amount of external agricultural inputs are used. However the farmers are still able to make profit meanwhile they can harvest a good result. Even they can make profit from dry season rice production, but they are at high risk because the knowledge of using chemical pesticide and fertilizer is really low. It can damage their health, environmental contamination, etc. The selling price of paddy is determined by Vietnamese traders, the farmers have no any bargaining power to fix the selling price of their product. At the present time, it is able to observe that the farmers have tried to produce more rice for selling. They consume wet season rice and they sell dry season rice because the dry season rice is contained much chemicals that is not good for human health.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Field mission to IFWP

IFWP stands for Improving Livelihood for Women and Rural Poor in Mundulkiri province, Cambodia. It is to show that from 15-19 November 2009, Mr. Yim Sok Sophors who is the project coordinator of IFWP-MP went to Mundulkiri province with Mr. Sim Samoeun, senior program director of CEDAC in order to provide mission support for the project staff of IFWP-MP. During these field missions, 2 district workshops were organized with around 50 participants of each workshop, field visit as well as staff training were additionally organized during the mission. Click here to read in detail...

Friday, November 13, 2009

Rice Value Chain Study in Kompot Province

09-12 November 2009, Mr. Yim Sok Sophors conducted a field mission to Kompot province in order to conduct a field research on rice value chain study in Chumkiri, Kompong Trach and Dong Tong districts, in Kompot province. A research team was set up for implementing this research project in Kompot.

The former trainees of YAE (Young Agri-Enterpreneur) and the project's staff of Saving for Self-Reliance participated in this value chain study. At the same time, they also learned from and know how to conduct this study as well. Based on the research proposal, the team will select 25 villages in 6 communes in 3 districts for the study. There will be 200 farmers will be interviewed.

It is expected that we will be able to know the amount of paddy annually produced by the farmers in the studied districts as well as to know about the volume of rice imported from Vietnam for domestic supply. The impact of community-led rice mills will also be studied in detail in order to know its impacts to food availability in the areas as well as to know the main challenges of the operation and management.

Training on Cooperative

On 5-6 November 2009, there was a training on cooperative provided by Mr. Carl from Cooperative in German. He came and shared general concept of cooperative in German and the progress of cooperative in German. Around 25 CEDAC staff participated in this 2-day training, included Mr. Yim Sok Sophors acting as the participants and the translator of the course.

2 German trainers  presented and explained about the history of cooperatives in Germany. Additionally, a program officer of Buddish for Development also presented his experiences in supporting farmer cooperatives in Cambodia for years. According to the result of the training, the participants could learn more about cooperative especially they have opportunities to learn practical experiences from other NGOs that is valuable for them to improve their work in relation to cooperatives and other related fields.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Monthly meeting of IFWP-MP in October 2009

A monthly meeting among project staff of IFWP-MP was conducted in October 30, 2009 at CEDAC office in Phnom Penh. Totally, 6 staffs participated in the meeting with the following agenda:

- Sharing attractive information
- Sharing activities and results in October 2009
- Preparing activity work plan for November 2009
- Presenting the project concept of IFWP-MP to participants, especially new recruited staff
- Others

The meeting lasted for a half morning. According to the result of the meeting, the participants impressed that they are sure about project’s activities to be accomplished in November 2009. Additionally, the project staffs have received more understanding about the project, but they need to learn more to ensure that they are qualified enough to explain the other correctly. Click here for more detail...

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Proposal on Sustainable Livelihood Improvement of Rice Farmers in Kompong Tralach and Samaky Meanchey districts, Kompong Chhnang province

During this week, anothe proposal on Sustainable Livelihood Improvement of Rice Farmers in Kompong Tralach and Samaky Meanchey developed. CEDAC expected to operate this project in 40 target villages in its previous target villages of ILFARM-KTL.
This proposed project will be submited to AusAID as the funding agency. CEDAC will be able to stimulus the operation of farmer cooperatives in those village if the proposed project is approved.
The submission of this proposal will be held on October 29, 2009.

Meeting with Mr. Scott, from Australia

On 27 October 2009, Mr. Yim Sok Sophors together with Miss. Pheng Chandy run a meeting with Mr. Scott, evaluator from Autralia. Mr. Scott will conduct a social impact of CEDAC project in the following month. Perhaps in January or February 2010.

During the meeting, we discussed about the general information of CEDAC’s work in the communities relating to social action. We presented to him such information. Additionally, he will submit to me and other CEDAC staff the TOR of this evaluation so that CEDAC staff will be able to provide their comment on the evaluation. Possibly, the meeting can be organized to realize the concept/idea of this impact evaluation.

Presentation of a Joint Climate Change Initiative of Capacity Development of Cambodian NGOs

On October 27, 2009, Mr. Yim Sok Sophors attended a presentation of a Joint Climate Change Initiative of Capacity Development of Cambodian NGOs at Phnom Penh Center. Forum Syd, CORD and DCA jointly organized this event with 10 Cambodian partner NGOs. Approximately 25 people who representatives of each NGO partner attended the presentation meeting.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Improving livelihood for women and rural poor in Mundulkiri

The project IFWP-MP that received funding support from EC is officially implemented from 20 October 2009 to November 2011. The project will be implemented in 30 villages across 9 communes of 2 districts in Mundulkiri province.

Overall objective: The project aims to contribute to poverty alleviation and invest in vulnerable groups

Specific objective: The project aims to enable the subsistence farmers and vulnerable social groups especially women to increase their economic and social conditions through increased food production and income as well as through improved social cooperation.

1,000 direct beneficiary farmer families from 30 villages across 9 communes of 2 districts including 120 women headed families, 120 farmer promoters, 120 leaders of village based farmer organizations, 120 farmer producer group members, 120 saving group leaders and 150 representative of local authority and local stakeholders. 2700 farmer families, or around 13,500 individual farmers, in 30 villages across 9 communes of 2 districts of Mondulkiri province will get the benefit from the project direct beneficiaries through farmer to farmer extension and by improved access to services provided by the farmer organizations supported by the project

The estimated results: 

1) Farmers are able to secure their food security and family income through the increase of rice production and to diversify their agricultural production, by applying the innovations introduced and promoted by the project;
2) Improved solidarity and cooperation among farmers as well as better skilled farmer representatives lead to a greater sustainability of the farmer organizations and their collective actions;
3) The vulnerable social groups are empowered and can engage with local and relevant national government institutions and local level decision-making process affecting their food and nutritional security strategies.
4) The local authority and local stakeholders will have increased their knowledge about and their action in promoting participatory and effective social development in their villages and communes.

The main activities:
The main activities foreseen to achieve these results and outputs include: *training and coaching of 120 key farmers/farmer promoters (FP), there are 40 FPs on system of rice intensification (SRI), 20 FPs on multi-purpose farm (MPF), 20 FPs on improving the technique of pig raising, 40 FPs on ecological chicken raising (ECR) to engage integrated farming. *30 village based farmer organizations will be set with 120 leaders, *120 saving group leaders and 120 farmer producer group leaders will be coached and trained regularly in order to mobilize 30 farmer-led saving groups, 30 women led saving groups, 20 rice farmer producer groups, 20 chicken farmer producer groups, 10 vegetable farmer producer groups; *15 rice banks, and 5 agricultural input producer groups (piglet, rice seed and chick); * setting up 2 community based learning and marketing centers (CBLM); * Organize the dialogues and forums to build the capacity of 150 local stakeholders at communal level, district level, * set up 1 project coordination team consist of 25 members include representatives of department of agriculture, forestry and fisheries, village chief, commune council members, district authorities, NGOs representatives and other relevant government institutions, 22 local experts will be formed in one community based organization for providing development services to the villagers.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Staff recruitment for IFWP-MP in Mundulkiri province

On 19 October 2009, I accompanied with Mr. Ouch Ngak, Mr. Bao Vuthy to conduct interview for recruitment of project's staff base in Mundulkiri province. After the interview, we finally selected 2 qualified candidates to fulfill the position of district coordinator and M&E officer.

It is expected that the recruited staffs will work effectively under support from the project officer, project coordinator, etc. Currently, some staff are working in Koh Ngiek district, Mundulkiri province to conduct recruitment of community based field assistants, get to know local authorities, including district governors, commune council members, village chiefs and other governmental officials in the target districts. It is expected that introduction workshop will be organized at the beginning of November 2009.

Meeting with GAA, HKI

At 10 AM on 19 Octoer 2009, I attended a meeting between CEDAC, GAA, and HKI at CEDAC office. We discussed about the project steering committee of the projects funded by European Commission. We have agreed altogether to give comment on TOR (Term of Reference). Those 3 NGOs plan to meet every 3 months. Next meeting will be held of HKI office.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Field Mission to IFWP-MP Mundulkiri province

CEDAC has recently received approval of implementing a development project under direct funding support for the European Commission (EC). At the inception of implementing this project, a field mission for the project, entitled “Improving Livelihood for Women and Rural Poor in Mundulkiri province (IFWP-MP)” was conducted from 14-16 October 2009 at Koh Ngiek district, Mundulkiri province. 5 project staffs, included Yim Sok Sophors, Pol Samath, Mak Samath, Lam Deun, Nhim Sokhea accompanied in this mission. During the field mission, we have achieved the following points:

1. Office Settlement

The project staff tried to find house for renting as the project’s offices. Notably, the project team decided to rent one office based in Koh Ngiek district and another one based in Mundulkiri provincial town.

It is to note that one office in Koh Ngiek district will be rented with a price of 170 $US/month and 150$US/month for the project’s office in Mundulkiri provincial municipality. The agreements will be prepared from November 2009 and it will be reviewed annually.

2. Meeting among the Project Staff

During the field mission, a meeting was conducted in order to set the priority activity for October 2009. Those are mentioned as follows:

a. Organizing District Workshops

2 project’s introduction workshops will be organized at district level with averagely 60 participants per workshop. The project staff will invite different stakeholders to participate in the workshops including village chief, commune council members, district authorities, government line departments (agriculture, rural development, women’s affairs, environment, relevant NGOs), etc. The leaflet of project summary will be provided in the workshop as well as the farmer magazines produced by CEDAC. The one-day workshop will be organized on 16 and 18 November 2009.

b. Recruitment of Community based Field Assistants (CFAs)

6 CFAs will be recruited. The project will selected 4 CFAs in Koh Ngiek district and 2 CFAs in Pechr Da district. Based on the discussion during the meeting, number of target villages located in Koh Ngiek district will be more than in Pechr Da district that is why there are more CFAs will be recruited in Koh Ngiek district. On the other hand, 1 CFA who is currently working for ALP will continue working for IFWP-MP as he is qualified enough to be responsible for this role.

c. Study about the Target Villages with Local Authorities and other Local Stakeholders

The project staff of IFWP-MP will firstly join with Mr. Cheav Sopheak to learn about an existing project of CEDAC in Sok San commune, namely “Agricultural Development Project for the Sok San Indigenous Community”. Then, the project staff will conduct field visit to possible target villages in the target districts of the project. They will meet the district authorities, chief of commune councils, village chief in order to study about situation of village whether they are appropriate to be selected as the project’s target village or not. It is to note that some villages in Koh Ngiek district, majority of villagers conduct fishing as the main families’ income source, not rice cultivation.

3. Conclusion

Based on the result of the mission, it is able to conclude that the project staff have known and understood about the activities to be carried out in October 2009 especially they have known the target districts of the project. This mission is helpful for the project staff to select target villages. Moreover, the project staff will declare job announcement for recruitment of community based field assistants (CFAs). However, the project staff will conduct announcement for recruitment of project accountant based in Mundulkiri provincial municipality.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

CEDAC strategic meeting at Cambodianna Hotel

On 12-13 October 2009, I participated in a strategic meeting of CEDAC at Cambodianna Hotel in Phnom Penh. Around 24 senior staff of CEDAC attended the meeting. The purpose of the meeting is to develop the strategic plan of CEDAC from 2010-2014.

First of all, the participants determined their expectation in relation to the meeting. Later, it is to note that revision of CEDAC's images both positive and negative in the last 5 years, at the present and images of CEDAC in 2014 is reviewed and determined during the meeting. Furthermore, the social mission was also discussed both in the last 5 years and expectation in 5 years later was actively discussed. At the second day of the meeting, the participants discussed about vision, mission, results and determined key strategies and activities to achieve the results.

According to the result of the meeting,I felt that the future images of CEDAC i n 2014 is clear determined. The preparation is well prepared and reliable. I think that CEDAC will achieve more fruitful results in the future.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Field Research on Paddy Value Chain in Kampot Province

From 06-09 October 2009, I went to Kampot province to conduct preliminary research on paddy value chain market. I went to 3 districts, included Kampong Trach, Banteay Meas and Chumkiri. During the field visit, Mr. Nhep Mengcheang accompanied with me to visit the districts. On the other hand, I also met some officials of agricultural of offices of each studied districts. Referring to the result of discussion with CEDAC’s staff in Kampot, it is to recommend that those 3 districts mentioned above should be included as the target studied area of this research project because those district have many farmers can produce paddy for selling and 2 of them are located at the border with Vietnam.

Additionally, this field visit was also conducted in order to test the questionnaires that I have prepared. Based on this activity, questionnaires need to be improved and updated with further information that is strongly relevant to this research project. Exactly, we can come up with more ideas after discussion with experienced farmers and other key persons. I think that some existing information can be collected in collaboration with the officials of agricultural offices at the district level. It is good to include in the finding report.

I think that this field visit enabled me to learn more ideas from the key persons in the village, previously I did not target to meet the officials of agricultural offices, but I could meet during the visit. Additionally, I have collected some basic data information that is relevant to this research. I will collect more information in other districts such as Banteay Meas and Kampong Trach.

At the next time, I will form research team and I will facilitate to conduct the field research of this project in the field. I think that it is good if I can invite the officials of agricultural offices to participate in collecting data information in the studied districts. They will help us in providing relevant information from the agricultural offices of each district.

Friday, October 9, 2009

Monthly meeting of FNP coordination team

Dawn to dusk, on October 05, 2009, I participated in a monthly meeting of FNP coordination team at CEDAC head office in Phnom Penh. Almost all project officers attended the one-day meeting for sharing project’s monthly progress, presentation on ICM project by Mr. Him Neun, discussion on cooperation and other management issues.

I think that the meeting enabled the participants to learn more ideas about self-improvement and project management skills, including project’s financial management, procurement procedure, etc. If all of us have well known about this, it actually contributes to improve working performance of CEDAC as a whole. Definitely, strong team members will absolutely contribute to build up a real strong team as a result.

On the other hand, I would like to add that I was a part of the meeting to facilitate in determining main indicators of CEDAC community development. In addition to the indicators, I think that it is good for us to use the common indicators for measuring the impact of the projects. At the present, I can note that different projects use different indicators so that we are difficult to synthesize those indicators meanwhile they are inconsistent and various. In fact, we will be easy to see the impact of CEDAC in serving for rural development work, if we can systematically analyze those indicators. Moreover, it will be necessary important for us to know certainly about the progress and impact of CEDAC, so that we can state those finding data in official working papers. Furthermore, we will increase self-confidence if we can know the reliable impact of our work in the field. It will motivate us to look forward.

- I think that all development projects of CEDAC should include to use the common indicators that we have developed, it does mean that despite some projects possibly have more various indicators than the others, but the common indicators should be included,

- Progress / impact of those indicators need to be conducted regularly every year so that it can be placed in annual report of CEDAC Field Program,

Friday, October 2, 2009

Collective Savings Group

Prey Chou village is located in the Pol Pel commune, Trakak district, Takeo province. There are 237 families in this village. There are 3 different collective savings groups within the village, which are a VFA, a women’s group and a youth group. All three of these groups were formed through facilitating support from the project.

The VFA was set up in 2005. Now, the association has 25 members with a total capital of 5,133,000 riels. The women’s group was formed in November 2008 and it currently has 15 members and a capital of 1,698,300 riels. Additionally, the youth group was formed in February 2009. There are 15 members within the youth group with a capital of 668,100 riels.

Therefore, 55 out of 237 total families in the village are members of savings groups, which is equal to 23% of the total families. The total capital in those saving group is 7,499,400 riels (approximately 1800 USD). Based on interviews with the representatives of those saving groups, the saving groups are very important for the group members and other villagers because the groups enable them to access saving and credit services that are provided from within their own village.
According to the group representatives and the group members, they are happy with the groups because they improve solidarity and mutual help among the group members and members learn about new agricultural knowledge and practical experiences from other members during the monthly meetings. This knowledge enables them to improve their own agricultural practices and increase their family income as a result.

The interviews revealed the following positive aspects of these savings groups:

- The management committee members demonstrate good commitment because they volunteer to work for the group members without being paid for services.
- The process of operating saving and credit services is good. The group members save money and repay the loans to the groups regularly.
- The monthly meeting is organized and occurs consistently, so that the group members can follow up with the progress of their groups and can also learn new ideas at the meeting as well.
- The village chiefs willingly participate and cooperate. The village chief is also a member of the savings group. The chief adds support and cooperation and his presence is really important because the village chief will give his signature on the group’s loan contracts.

However, the group representatives mentioned the following weak points of the groups:

- A few members do not save regularly. Normally, the members need to deposit their savings at regular meetings, but a few of the poorest families do not have money to deposit during the meeting, so they pay in monthly savings after the meeting day.
- The amount of capital saved is low so that the saving capital of the group only slightly increases from month to month.
- The collective savings of the youth groups is as good as the other groups. Some adult members would like to withdraw from the group.
- Some members of the management committees of the groups are not fully involved in group management because they are busy tending to their personal work and duties.

Group representatives and group members said during these interviews that they want to form a network of all the savings groups in the villages, to increase the number of group members to reach 50% of all families in the village and to increase the amount of capital available to provide credit services to group members and other villagers. Once the saving groups have sufficient capital, the groups’ can help reduce the cash outflow to outsiders. Finally, they want to improve group management.

In general, the farmers have a good understanding of the advantages of collective saving. Additionally, by setting up savings groups, farmers can access credit for investing in agricultural practices. Also important, the savings groups are helpful in preventing huge amounts of money from flowing out of the villages to outsiders.

Rice cultivation through SRI practices

Nget Mao is a woman farmer from Trapaing Sragnge village, Angtasom commune, Tramkok district, Takeo province. She has contact with the project since 2003.There are five people in her family. The family has 0.7 hectares of rice field, with two cattle that can be used as draft animals for farming. She mentioned that she has adopted and adapted the SRI techniques since 2003 on a plot of rice field of 0.1 hectares. The first experiment was conducted in order to see the result of SRI. Now, she cultivates all 0.7 ha of her rice field using SRI techniques. Particularly, she has applied the technique of transplanting in rows on 0.33 ha. She mentioned that it is difficult for her to use the string while transplanting in rows, which is why she could apply this technique on only part of the field.

Mao has adopted/adapted the following SRI techniques:

- Selecting only full grain seeds for propagation by soaking seeds in water with the combination of some salts.
- Preparing raised seedbeds and soil leveling. Previously she had 3 seedbeds about 0.1 ha, but now she has reduced the number of seedbeds to only 2 plots of 0.08 ha. She added that she increased the quantity of compost for those seedbeds.
- Reducing the quantity of seed. She previously used 60 kg for 3 seedbeds but she currently uses only 18 kg for 2 seedbeds. Therefore, she reduced the amount of seed used by 42 kg after applying the principles of SRI. She additionally uses neem leaves in combination with the seeds in order to protect those seeds from damage from pest insects.
- Transplanting healthy young seedlings aged 15 to 20 days old.
- Transplanting only 1-2 seedlings per hill, which is quite different from her conventional practice of transplanting 5-6 seedlings.
- Moreover, she conducted other SRI techniques such as improving soil health by applying natural fertilizer (compost), frequently weeding in order to control the weeds and to improve soil aeration, adjusting the water level at an appropriate level, shallow root transplanting and transplanting seedlings in rows, etc. She emphasized that she completely stopped using chemical fertilizer in 2006 because she understands the negative effects of chemical fertilizer on soil degradation, economic losses due to rising price of chemical fertilizer and on human health. Before cooperation with the project ILFARM-TK, she used chemical fertilizer at a quantity of 100 kg per year, but now she does not use it anymore, which is also good for her because it reduces production expenses. At the same time, she improved and applied the technique of compost making in order to increase the quantity of compost to replace the use of chemical fertilizer. Before cooperating with project, she was able to use compost for vegetable growing only but now the quantity of compost increased, enabling her to also use compost for the rice field.
- In 2008, she spent 479,000 riels for the production cost of rice cultivation on the rice field of 0.7 ha. However, she harvested 3,360 kg of paddy as a result (4.8 t/ha). At that time, the selling price of paddy was 1,000 riel/kg. So, the total estimated income is 3360 kg x 1,000 riel/kg = 3,360,000 riels. Therefore, she earned 3,360,000 – 479,000 = 2,881,000 riels.
- Finally, she is very happy and strongly interested in the SRI technique because she can harvest more yield through the practices of SRI. In the future, she will improve and practice other techniques. In particular, she intends to conduct the technique of transplanting in rows for the whole of her rice field as well as to increase the quantity of compost used.

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Meeting with project team member of CEDAC Mudulkiri province

At the morning of Wednesday, September 29, 2009, Mr. Sim Samoeun, Mr. Yim Sok Sophors, Mr. Pol Samath, Mr. Lam Deun and Mr. Nhim Sokea joint together for a first project team meeting at CEDAC office in Phnom Penh. The purpose of the meeting is to introduce about a new CEDAC's project in Mudulkiri province to all team members. The project will be started in October 2009. The project is funded by the European Commission.

During the meeting, Mr. Yim Sok Sophors together with Mr. Sim Samoeun presented the overview of the project to all participants by expressing in detail about the goal, objectives, expected results, expected outputs and main activities to be undertaken by the project. The participants additionally discussed about what to be carried out for October 2009 such as office rental, recruitment of project's staff and community based field assistants and so on. This project will enlarge CEDAC's intervention in Mudulkiri province.


On September 28, 2009, Mr. Yim Sok Sophors, CEDAC staff, conducted a training on the topics of Historical Background of Development Concepts, Farming System, Green Revolution, Technology Transfer versus Participatory Technology Development, Soil Nutrient Improvement, System of Rice Intensification, and Constraints of Agricultural Development in Cambodia to 15 young trainees of Kubuta engineering. The training was conducted for one day in training hall of SCT company office in Phnom Penh. The purpose of the training is to build up the capacity of young trainees of Kubuta (agricultural plowing machine) on agricultural development in Cambodia.

Based on the impression of the trainees, this one-day training is useful for them to gain comprehensive understanding on situation of agricultural development, especially in the context of Cambodia. On the other hand, the trainees learnt about some main techniques: such as soil nutrient improvement and rice production. All in all, the inputs from this training will be usable for them to work in the field with farmer communities.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Project Eevaluation in Svay Rieng and Prey Veng

I (Yim Sok Sophors) was participating in an external evaluation of the project, entitled “Improving Livelihood of the most Vulnerable Families for Protection of Human Trafficking and Unsafe Migration) in Svay Rieng and Prey Veng provinces from 23 to 26 September 2009 with Mr. San Sorn, Mr. Yi Sok San (IOM), Mrs.Tevy (an official of Ministry of Women’s Affairs) and other 2 external evaluators from CDRI. This external evaluation was conducted in purpose to measure the achievements and impacts of the project. It is to remind this project is funded by IOM (International Organization for Migration) for a period of 18 months from June 2008 to December 2009. The specific objective of this project is to improve the livelihood of vulnerable farmers through dissemination of agricultural technical innovations.

This evaluation was conducted in various methods, including individual interview with key stakeholders of the project such as officials of Department of Women’s Affairs at the provincial level, local authorities (village chief), target families, CEDAC staff who involved in implementing this project, IOM staff, etc. Additionally, the Focus Group Discussion (FGD) with the project’s target groups(cooperating farmers and key farmers, saving groups, sugar palm producer groups) were also organized in the project’s target villages.

According to my observation, in general, I see that the project has achieved good results in improving the livelihood of the target groups (migrant workers, the poorest families...) as the target groups have hugely gained the knowledge and skills of agricultural innovations (ecological chicken raising, system of rice intensification, solid compost, liquid compost, vegetable growing, sugar palm production…) very well. For example, the project has strengthened key farmers (3-5 key farmers per village) who are the main resource persons in agricultural extension in the villages. It is able to highlight that a cooperating farmer in Thom village, Thnot commune of Kompong Ror district, Svay Rieng province, could earn about 200,000 riels from vegetable selling per month that he had never ever made any incomes from vegetables before the intervention of the project. Many other cooperating farmer families have improved their incomes from innovations introduced by the project (like collective selling of sugar palm, know-how to produce powder sugar palm…). However, the reduction of chemical pesticide for dry season rice production is still limited and need to be taken into account.

In addition to this evaluation, Mr. Yi Sok San, IOM staff, has impressed that “CEDAC has achieved a very good result”. Moreover, the official of Ministry of Women’s Affairs also highly appreciated to our effort and commitment to accomplish a very good result of this project. They all considered that the livelihood component implemented by CEDAC is a good case to be widely disseminated as it is an effective way for prevention of human trafficking and unsafe migration. They believe that income instability is the main root of cause of migration. The evaluation report will be produced by the evaluators as soon as possible.

What I have learned from this evaluation:

1.The evaluator did not select the target families by themselves but they allowed the project staff to select for them, it is purposively selected.
2.It is good that stakeholder interview was conducted before the farmer interview and group discussion in the village because the evaluators could gain basic understanding and overview of the project before conducted in-depth study in the field.
3.The detail program of the evaluation should be prepared firstly and distributed to relevant people in order to make easier for arrangements.
4.Questionnaires should be developed separately for stakeholder interview, cooperating and key farmer interview, etc because different actors involved in different activities of the project.
5.At the next time, the project should also recruit a field community to help farmer community facilitator so that the project would be able to carry out more activities and achievements in the field.
6.Thematic workshops on the topic of chemical pesticide should be organized more often in order to raise awareness among the rice farming families who conducted dry season rice production as they use much chemical pesticide.
7.More external study tours should be organized for the potential farmers in order to speed up the progress of innovation dissemination.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Meeting about CEDAC's development indicators

I and Mr Yi Kim Than had a meeting with Dr. Yang Saing Koma on September 22, 2009 at 11:30 AM at office of CILD. We discussed about the capitalization of project experiences and setting up main indicators for measuring the progress and impacts of CEDAC's work in the communities. 3 main categories will be considered like, economic, human and social capital and environment.

After discussion, Mr. Yim Sok Sophors is responsible to write those indicators based on the results that CEDAC has been doing. The result will be widely used in CEDAC as a whole. Additionally, CEDAC can use those indicators officially for developing the proposals and other relevant documents.

Hopefully, the result of developing those indicators will be produced before the management team meeting of CEDAC on October 12, 2009.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Presentation on CEDAC

On September 14, 2009 Yim Sok Sophors, CEDAC staff, met Miss AYAKO HASHIMOTO, a master student from Japan to present and discuss about CEDAC's work. Generally, Mr. Yim Sok Sophors has presented about the main activities of each main component of CEDAC, including Field Program, Research and Development, CESDE, CILD, Publication, Environment and Health. The main activities of each component were presented and discussed in detail one by one.

Through this presentation, it enabled Miss Ayako to learn more detail information about CEDAC, especially the activities that CEDAC are currently operating in order to family agriculture in Cambodia.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Post Evaluation of HMB1 in Takeo and Prey Veng Provinces

A Post evaluation of HMB1 (Ensuring Access to Primary Education for Children of the Poorest Families) has been conducted from 03 to 17 September 2008 at a team of CEDAC staff and Ms. Yonekura.

The research was conducted in both Takeo and Prey Veng provinces. About 150 target families of HMB1 were individually interviewed for the purpose of studying their changes after the intervention of HMB1.

Based on the result, it is able to note that most of the target poorest families have improved their living condition through improving the capacity of generating family's income, repaired and constructed a proper house, be able to send their children to school, etc. This is thanks to they have improved the knowledge and skills of agricultural practices, saving, family management, etc. Their vision and hope is enlarged.

However, we see that some poorest families have not successfully improved their quality of life. They need special support from the project in order to help them to overcome the poverty successfully. Even there are majority of the target poorest families have improved their livelihood but some other poorest families are likely not improved such as they still face to food shortage, send their children to work for generating additional incomes, lack of income from on-farm activities.
Possibly, it is good to develop a project to support the remaining poorest families in the target villages.

It is to note that the extreme poverty of the poorest families is the main root cause that they cannot send their children to school or to study regularly at school. Therefore, if you want the children go to school regularly and can prolong their education as much as possible, please consider your intervention to support the poverty eradication of the poorest families. Helping the children to to school by provision of food, learning materials, clothes is not really a sustainable way. Please help the families to overcome the poverty so that they actually can afford money for all expenses on children education by themselves.

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Monthly coordinating meeting of FNP in Kampot province

From 03 to 05 September 2009, CEDAC's Field Program has organized its monthly coordinating meeting at Kampot province with 26 participants. The participants of the meeting included the project officers, program officers and program director.

Generally, the participants shared the progress of implementing the development projects one by one and we have discussed more detail about the overview of the projects in comparing to the plan. By doing so, the participants could access to critical information of the project. Moreover, the participants have updated the progress of new projects approved by several fudning agencies in order to know the situation of FNP in 2009 and 2010. Additionally, the participants have also discussed about the management strategies of FNP. We will separate the main sub-programs under the whole program in order to make easier in management and enhancement.

Moreover, the participants have conducted plenary reflection on the quality of work that have been conducted by the project. The quality is strongly important to prove the sustainable achievement of the development projects under CEDAC's Field Program Unit. To manage the database effectively, the participants have decided to develope a database program which will be developed by external consultant firm. All the project officers and M&E Officers will discuss to determine the main information to be collected. Addtionally, the discussion on stregthening to ALDA (Agricultural Local Development Associations) was also raised for discussion in plenary. At the current time, we have decided that ALDA is formed under the umbrella of CEDAC but those ALDAs can be registered offcially in case of needed.

On the other hand, the participants conducted field visit to some target villages of the project "ILFARM-KP" in order to learn about about the community rice mill, applicaiton of System of Rice Intensification (SRI) by farmer promoters, Multi-Purpose Farm (MPF), etc. As the result, the visitors could learn and found out some consideration for improving the work in the future.

The next meeting will be organized on October 05, 2009 at CEDAC Office in Phnom Penh.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Fact Finding at Siem Reap Province with PLAN International

From 31 August to 02 September 2009, Mr. Yi Kimthan (FNP program director) and Mr. Yim Sok Sophors (FNP member) accompanied with Mrs. Soriya and Mr. Phallin, PLAN staff conducted a fact finding in 3 villages, 3 districts of Siem Reap province. The fact finding was conducted in order to seek for understanding on the real situation of the target communities for a joint project between CEDAC and PLAN in relation to improving income generation and livelihood improvement of the most vulnerable farmers through improving sustainable agricultural production in the dry land area and degraded soil areas. This project is called for proposal by the European Commission (EC).

It is to remind that the study was conducted in 3 districts, like Srey Snom, Angkor Chum and Banteay Srey districts. As a result, it is able to know that those studied areas are strongly faced to drought, soil fertility is degraded and low agricultural productivity especially the farmers could harvest about 1 ton/hectare from rice production, which is shapely below the national average. Totally, 3 group discussion meetings were organized during the fact finding event. The participants of those group discussion meetings consisted of commune chief, village chief, farmers, women and other key informants in the villages.

At the end of the fact finding process, we conducted a wrap up meeting with the team at PLAN office in Siem Reap province as well as discussed about the project design with the senior staff of PLAN at Imperial Hotel, Phnom Penh on September 02, 2009. The draft concept note will be submited by CEDAC to PLAN on 10 September 2009.

Field Mission to Mudulkiri province, Cambodia

From 23-29 September 2009, Mr Yim Sok Sophors and Mr. Chhin Chhunhoir who are CEDAC's staff have conducted a field supporting mission to the project ALP (Agriculture Livelihood Project for the Sok San Indigenous Community in Sok San commune, Koh Ngiek district, Mudulkiri province). It is to note that farmers are now busy with rice transplanting as it is now the season for rice production, however most of them have already finished transplanting. Recently, the farmers confronted to drought so that there are much weeds in the rice field as a result. Although, the rice is still growing very well. Nevertheless, it is good if there are some rains in a very short future.

This is the second year of the project implementation, we see that there are more farmers have applied the technique of System of Rice Intensification (SRI) thanks to they have already learned from the experienced farmers at the first year. The indigenous farmers believe that the SRI practices will enable them to gain more yield. On the other hand, the farmers have understood more and more about the advantages and process of managing collective saving group. However, the interest rate per month decided from the group members is likely high as they want to gain more income for the group. I note that most of borrowing is used for consumption but not many for investment. So, the project needs to make more effort in order to improve their business activities successfully.

During the occasion of field mission, we have also participated in the training workshop organized by ExCom of Mudulkiri province. As a result, we have known other local stakeholders such as government agencies, Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) and private sectors. Moreover, we have strengthened CEDAC's cooperation with all of them. At the same time, the participants have also learned about CEDAC as well. It is really necessary important to expand the role of CEDAC in community development in cooperation with other local stakeholders.

Friday, August 21, 2009

HMB1 Post Evaluation

Ms. Yonekurayukiko (a former representative of JVC Cambodia)will conduct a post evaluation of project, entitled "Happy Mountain Bird / Ensuring Access to Primary Education for Children of the Poorest Families) from 3-17 September 2009 at Takeo and Prey Veng provinces. The staff members of internal quality control of CEDAC's Field Program will participate in that important event.

The evaluation team will discover the improvement of livelihood of the target poorest families after the withdraw of the project implementation for 2 years as well as to follow up the exact progress of primary education of the target poorest children. Additionally, the practical experiences of implementing this project will be compiled for a widely dissemination both national and international levels.

It is to note that on 02 September 2009, Ms. Yone has arrived to Cambodia for doing this task. She traveled with CEDAC staff to go to Tramkak district, Takeo province on 3 Sep. Addtionally, the team planed to meet altogehter on September 07, 2009 to discuss in detail about the preparation and development of questionnaires.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Meeting with other NGO partners

On Tuesday, 18 June 2009, I (Yim Sok Sophors, a staff member of CEDAC) participated in the meeting with representatives of the other NGOs like HKI and GAA. The meeting was taken place at Welthungerhilfe/GAA office, Phnom Penh. The following are the names of participants:

1. Mr. Yim Soksophors, CEDAC
2. Mr. Aminuzzaman Talukder, HKI
3. Mr. Hou Kroeun, HKI
4. Mr. Walter Berier, Welthungerhilfe/GAA
5. Mrs. Christina Warning, Welthungerhilfe/GAA
6. Mrs. Angela Kahl, Welthungerhilfe/GAA

The meeting was organized among the NGO partners that have received grant support from the European Commission (EC) for the purpose of discussing about the how to conduct baseline survey, end line survey and global indicator with the technical support from the international consultant. At the end of the meeting, each NGO partner has agreed to conduct jointly baseline survey, end line survey and global indicators. A budget package is developed with the contribution of all NGO partners. Additionally, GAA act as the coordinating NGO that facilitate the coordinating meeting among all NGO partners from this month to end of this year.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Survey and Training Service for HEKS and CCK

Mr. Eung Seng and Mr. Sok Thea have recently conducted the survey and training services for HEKS. The title of the survey is "the family of Child Sponsorship Program (CSP)of HEKS-Cambodia in Takeo and Kampong Chhnang provinces". The purpose of this survey is to find out what are the real needs and proper intervention support of the five CSP’s families to improve their living condition in the future. The results from the survey will be the input for the program implementation to support the CSP's families in the year 2010. The study was conducted with all five CSP's families based on questionnaires which were used to interview students, household heads, school principals, neighbors and village chiefs. The study was conducted from 18 to 22 July 2009.

On the other hand Mr. Eung Seng and Mr. Sok Thea have also provided the training service CCK. The aim of the training is to provide general theory and steps of the baseline study and share real experiences related to the baseline study which has been conducted by CEDAC. The training lasts two days from 16 to 17 July 2009 at CCK's office in Koh Andeth district of Takeo province. The training has attended by ten participants from CCK's staff and involved people; in which 50% of them are women.

Friday, August 14, 2009

Mr. Kin Mengse (second from the right), program officer of CEDAC, accompanied with other project staff visited SRI rice field in target village of a joined project between GAA and CEDAC.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Rally against WTO in Hong Kong, 2005

1 CEDAC staff and other 3 representatives of FNN participated in the international conference on WTO.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Sorn Vansoy, representative of Farmer and Natural Net (FNN) in Cambodia, took photograph with African children during the world forum in Mali, 2007.

Come on, having lunch with me. It is delicious as it is the cooked rice from SRI practices.

The indigenous farmers learned how to transplant rice seedlings in rows / square pattern.

How the indigenous people carry the rice seedlings now? Just look the photo!

The indigenous minority farmers in Sok San commune, Koh Ngiek district, Mondulkiri province, Cambodia visited the rice field after transplanting, which followed to the SRI principles. This technique has introduced by CEDAC since the rainy season rice production in 2008.

I participated in the world food sovereignty in Mali,
Africa in 2007. The forum has discussed a lot how to ensure the food sovereignty especially among the poorest families, small landholders, fisher folk, indigenous people, etc. Hundreds people from different institutions, NGOs, farmers organizations participated in the forum.

The photo above is the photo of Mr. Yi Kimthan, a main CEDAC staff in Baphnom at that time. During the time, we had worked to promote family ecological agricultural among the poorest families. Those agricultural techniques are vegetable growing, compost making, multi-purpose tree planting, System of Rice Intensification (SRI), etc. Additionally, the drilled wells distributed to farmers in order to enable them have access to clean drinking water and they have water for watering their crops especially in the dry season. The poorest families normally have small land and lack of capacity to grow vegetables even for family consumption.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

I like this photo very much. It remind me a very good memory of working in Baphnom with former CEDAC's staff. Walking from CEDAC office in Chheu Kach market to target villages during the flood season. The photo from left to right, Yi Kim Than, Yim Sok Sophors, Heang Khaylay and Heng Seha.

It was a very good time for me to learn about Community Forestry with FAO in Siem Reap province in 2000.

Sunday, August 9, 2009

M&E team meeting

The M&E team meeting was conducted on August 07, 2009 at CEDAC office. Miss Pheng Chandy, Meas Somica, Chhin Chhunhoir, Leng Huch, Phor Phira, Nuon Piseth, Vang Seang, Hay Leakhena, Eung Seng, Sin Phoan Ly Kesa and Yim Sok Sophors attended the meeting. Generally, we have shared the information on the activities and results that have been accomplished in July 2009. The activity plan for August 2009 was also prepared during the meeting. It is to note that Mr. Chhin Chhunhoir and Mr. Nuon Piseth have presented how to link the document and MIS system of the project SfR (Saving for Self-Reliance).

It was interesting to learn about that as the participants are working involved in that task. It is expected that the training on this skill will be held as soon as possible so that the participants can learn and apply for improving their work effectively. On the other hand, the team members plan to conduct the study on impact of global financial crisis to the livelihood of farmers in PRS-EU project, Kampong Speu province next month.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Lack of Clean Water, Sanitation Costs Millions: Group

By Men Kimseng, VOA Khmer
Original report from Washington
03 August 2009

The lack of clean water and sanitation is costing Cambodia around half a billion dollars every year in poor health and a loss of tourists, a study has found.

In a discussion titled, “Water is Medicine,” Jaehyang So, manager of the World Bank’s Water and Sanitation Program, said that a study commissioned by the organization on economic impacts caused by the lack of water and sanitation shows that Cambodia, Indonesia, the Philippines and Vietnam lose around $9 billion every year.

“All of a sudden, the lack of sanitation became not a problem of the poor person that doesn’t have access to sanitation, but it became a real constraint to economic growth in the country,” she told an audience of health experts and policymakers last week in Washington.

In Cambodia, knowledge and access to sanitation and clean water are limited, while less than 30 percent of rural population has decent latrines. But advocates say their knowledge about sanitation has increased in the past year due to many campaigns to raise their awareness.

“Nowadays we focus our campaign on three points: firstly, building rural toilets; secondly, washing hands with soap after going to the toilet and eating food; and finally, drinking safe water and keeping their water at home safely,” Chea Samnang, director of the Ministry of Rural Development’s rural sanitation department, told VOA Khmer by phone Thursday.

Diarrhea is still the main disease caused by a lack of sanitation and clean water and is a leading cause of death in Cambodia and other countries around the world.

So said poor health, disease and the loss of tourists who won’t come to a country without proper sanitation cost Cambodia $488 million a year.

“With this information the government could truly understand that in addition to providing sanitation for every household and every citizen of Cambodia…they could not afford not to provide that sanitation, because without sanitation Cambodia was losing seven percent of GDP,” So told VOA Khmer.

Experts estimate that the lack of sanitation and clean water kills some 1.5 million children every year worldwide, while even small investments to counter the problem can save lives.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Participation of Samakum Kaksekor Samaki Mean Chey in CIP development process

By: Yi Kimthan

Samakum Kaksekor Samaki Mean Chey, known in English as the “Farmer Solidarity Community”, was found on 3rd February 2006. The CBO is located in Angkor Chey I Village, Damnak Kantout Khang Tboung commune, Kampong Trach district, Kampot province. There are 5 groups under the umbrella of the farmer association (FA) with 103 members, 60 of whom are women. To date, the association has been able to mobilize the capital through collective savings up to 22 million riel for providing loans to their members.

The main activities of CBO are:
• collective Saving for Self-Reliance (SfR) ;
• promoting agro-ecological innovations and conducting action research
• promoting natural resource management;
• present a voice to commune council in order to articulate the issue of the community in to CDP and CIP;
• promoting community business such as a community shop,
• mutual-help group
• rice bank

Since the establishment till October 2008, the CBOs had been working more on development and dissemination of agriculture innovation and the promotion of collective saving. It means that more activities related to income generation were carried out by CBOsb They also did not work closely with commune councils as well as they did not understand what is CIP? Why they needed to attend in the CIP development processes.

The CBO has cooperated and registered with CSPPM since October 2008. During the cooperation with the project, the project staff regularly provides training, coaching and follow up advice to build the capacity of CBOs to enable them to raise a voice to CC, attending on natural resource management and promoting community business. So far, the training topic raised by the project is shown as follows:
• How to write proposals and project management;
• CBO management and CBO planning development;
• How to raise a voice to CCs and others;
• Community business concept;
• CIP process and participation.

After cooperation with the CSPPM, Samakum Kaksekor Samaki Mean Chey and Damnak Kantout and commune councilors have improved the communication and cooperation, especially in the CIP development process. On the other hand, the CBOs are being recognized by commune councils and villagers as the actors that are playing very important roles in community development. By this recognition, there are more villagers interested to join. Thus, the number of members increased from 72 to 103. Additionally, the CBO also facilitated to form the youth group.
On the other hand, CBO executives also attended the monthly meeting of commune council to lean about CIP process as well as to present on CBO progress and problems within the community During the monthly meeting of commune council, CCs shares on commune’s activities,achievement and their work plan as well as on C/S fund and NRM-L fund that government has allocated to their commune.

By attending in monthly meeting of commune councils, Mrs Chey Siyath, leader of CBO said that Damnak Kantout Khang Tboung Commune has annual budget around 104 million riel with including 66 million riel is allocated from C/S fund, 24 million riel is allocated from NRM-L fundand the rest come from community contribution, birth and wedding registration etc. The NRM-L fund that available at the commune is only 21.6 million reil as 10% of total budget was allocated to provincial administration.
Furthermore, during the step 1 of CIP process, meeting at commune level and village level, Mrs chey Siyath raised some community proposal such as water gate construction for irrigation (vegetables, early rice planting…), improvement of natural resource management as the natural resource, improvement of the marketing for community products such as rice, potatoes, taro, peanuts etc. On the other hand, Miss Pech Sineth, the representative of youth group, raised some problems of youth such as school abandonment , migration, and non- attendance in both family and community work; she also suggested CCs to consider some alternatives such as providing vocational training, supporting both funds and ideas to youth group for education and occupation. As the result, issues raised were put into table 1.1.

In short, we observed that voice of this CBO is increasing noticeably. Based on the indicator of CSPPM, “voice” has three dimensions: Voice Awareness, CSO Structure and Voice Action. So all activities done by the CBOs can meet to the indicators of CSPPM such as:
• Awareness of CIP development process, awareness of the existence and amount of earmarked NRM funds and awareness of how to access those funds;
• Active participation in CIP Process, through the raising of issues and real needs of community through attending in at various CIP meetings at commune and village level and monthly meeting;
• Level of formality of structure and size, especially the size of membership and percent of female membership.
By interviewing, Mr Chheum Neth, chief of Damnak Kantout Khang Tboung commune council, “This year I am very happy because I observe that the representative of CBO attended in meeting at commune both monthly meeting and CIP process. Based on the meeting, I could know and learn a lot from CBO such as progress and workplan and had a chance to present them on the activities and plan of commune council as well. On the other hand, I have strong cooperation and communication with CBO executive members to ensure a good information flow between commune council and community”, Mr Chheum Neth said.

Since the cooperation with CSPPM, CBO impressed that they are gaining more knowledge and have a better understanding on how to develop a proposal, why CBOs need to develop work plan, and what is the importance of participation on CIP development processes. They are also more aware of the natural resource advantages. The cooperation and communication with CCs has increased remarkably and CCs also have strong support to CBOs.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Animal feed processing business

Written by Mr. Him Neun

With the supporting grant from EU and EED, CEDAC has been implementing Poverty Reduction among subsistence rice farmers through the promotion of sustainable livelihood system (PRS-EU) project from January, 2008. The project will finish in December, 2010. The project covers in 260 villages of four districts in Takeo and Kampong Speu provinces.

The project has providing technical supports the small scale farmers in organizing collective buying and selling group especially animal feed processing enterprise.

As mentioned above, on July 18 2009, Romon village Beung tranh khangcheung commune Samrong district, Takeo province was selected as a target village of the project, an animal feed processing was established with technical assistance from the project. There are 9 members (1 woman) with start up capital of 3,000,000 Riels (did not include the price of milling machine).

The main objectives of this business are:
- To increase income (as a result of higher price, reduced losses and stable markets)
- To supply animal feeds to markets by empowering the bargaining power between the producers and middlemen,
- To strengthen the relations among of folder growers and feed processors who are interacting together in the process of animal feed producing.

Up to now, 2 times of milling are operated with the quantity of 400 kg. It is expected that this business will operate successfully as the farmers in the village are strongly need animal feeds for the enhancement of their family's livestock production.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Rubber Tree Growing in S. E. Asia Expanding, Along with Risks

July 27th, 2009
Written by Michael Ricciardi
Eco Worldly Unrestricted expansion of rubber tree plantations in South East Asia could lead to “devastating environmental effects”, according to authors Ziegler, Fox and Xu writing in a May, 2009 perspective article in Science.

Throughout the “montane” (foot hill and low mountainous) mainland of South East Asia (inclusive of Thailand, Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, and China), rubber plantations are expanding. So far, an estimated half million hectares have been planted, and by 2050, that land mass area could triple. This expansion will come at a cost to broad leaf, evergreen forests and “swidden” areas (with vegetation from older slash and burn efforts).

Replacing both primary and secondary forests, the authors assert, will have an impact on long-term bio-diversity (creating “permanent monocultures”) and reduced total carbon biomass (note: forests derived much of their carbon biomass from uptake of atmospheric CO2).

Much of the current planting of rubber trees (Hevea brasiliensis, aka Para Rubber trees, whose sap is pure latex) is along sloping land areas and on foot hill and mountain sides (often converted to step agriculture) which naturally channel water into streams and lakes at lower elevations. The danger and risks from this expanding agricultural effort are many, and include: accelerated erosion of soil cover, excess stream sedimentation m(due to repeat cultivation on slope without adequate conservation), increased landslide risks (due to permanent conversion and road building), depletion of streams and lakes (due to irrigation needs), and decreased water quality (from pesticides and fertilizer runoff). Many of these risks and hazards–including permanent loss of forest cover–have already been encountered by farmers growing palm oil mono-cultures further into the interior of this region.

Perhaps ironically, these risks come on with a near half-century effort to mitigate, diminish swidden, slash-and-burn practices that were believed to be at the time quire environmentally destructive. Although these older practices did have some environmental and ecological consequences, over the years it has become clear from observation and studies that these consequences (in this region) were not as negative as once expected. Collectively, these various nation’s policies to move away from these practices (which are also less industry-efficient ones) and establish more productive cultivation systems, is resulting in far more harm, according to the authors, than the previous swidden agriculture base.

Scientists now must focus their research on studies of evapo-transpiration and hydrology (total water use) in these forests to determine real environmental impacts. The governments of Cambodia and Thailand are currently conducting such studies and it is hope that other nations will follow suit. Also, efforts are underway to expand reserve areas to preserve biodiversity and carbon biomass. Some have sugested paying farmers not to cut down the evergreen forests. The authors cited here also suggest encouraging “diversified agro-forestry systems” which permits extensive planting of rubber and palm oil trees, but not as monocultures. These systems represent a sort of “hybrid” compromise between total preservation of all forested areas and the creation of monoculture plantations, which produce a myriad of negative ‘eco’ and ‘enviro’ effects.