Monday, June 21, 2010

Monthly Meeting of M&E team on 21 June 2010

The M&E team organized its monthly meeting on 21 June 2010. Mr. Yim Sok Sophors facilitated a half-day meeting with the participation of Mr. Chhin Chhunhoir, Miss. Pheng Chandy, Mr. Vang Sean, Mr. Nuon Piseth, Mr. Meas Somica, Mr. Nhep Mengcheang, Mr. Pil Sovann, and Mr. Leng Huch. Those participants are the project M&E officers of CEDAC. The agenda of the meeting are shown as follows:

1. Sharing interesting information and sharing the progress of M&E in the last month;
2. Recap the lesson on Impact Evaluation that trained by Mr. Steffen Johnson;
3. Finalize the concept note for conducting the impact evaluation of CEDAC
4. How to interview the change agent
5. Work plan and cooperation
6. Sum up and Impression

I could note that the participants shared actively the information relating to the monitoring that they have conducted in the last month. Additionally, some questions were raised to discuss during the meeting and it was a good opportunity for all of the participants to learn from each other. Furthermore, we also could understand the qualitative and quantitative of our project’s progress in the field. On the other hand, I observed that the participants get more clear understanding about the livelihood framework and Samchal framework that are used for conducting the impact evaluation of CEDAC in July 2010. The M&E officers will work in 3 small groups to conduct interview with the change agent in their respective communities. The result of their work will be shared in the meeting on 15-16 July 2010 at CEDAC Office in Phnom Penh.

Finally, Mr. Yim Sok Sophors will finalize the concept note of CEDAC’s impact evaluation and share it with the team members to comment or any other addition. The format/data sheet for data collection on SRI practices (System of Rice Intensification) were requested and sent by Mr. Yim Sok Sophors. It is now the raining season that farmers are busy with rice cultivation, farmers also follow the practices of SRI that is why we need to collect the SRI data for analyzing and reporting.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Capacity building on Impact Evaluation

On 18-19 June 2010 Mr. Steffen Johnson, an consultant from Nordeco-Denmark conducted a training for 12 staff of CEDAC, those are the project M&E officers and research who are mainly involved in project monitoring and evaluation. The training was conducted in the office of CEDAC in Phnom Penh.

Generally, the training mainly focus on research question, how to develop it appropriately, how to arrange the research question, etc. The trainer explained clearly the way to classify the research question. Some research questions are easy so that they were kicked out and some other questions need to be classified at the right level. During the training, the participants also discussed about the WHY question as we want to conduct the impact evaluation for CEDAC that will be conducted in July 2010. It is to note that the impact evaluation was raised for discussion in depth detail. In conclusion, the participants have learned actively on the training topics and they understand clearly about the impact evaluation and outcome evaluation. The understanding on this topic is really good for them to improve their knowledge and work for their responsible duties.

On 21 June 2010, each of the participants will continue their discussion on the detail schedule and methodology for conducting this impact evaluation at CEDAC office in Phnom Penh.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

CEDAC Impact Evaluation

On 14 June 2010, Mr. Stephen, international consultant from NORDECO in Denmark discussed with Dr. Yang Saing Koma President of CEDAC, Mr. Yi Kim Than Director of CEDAC Field Program about Impact Evaluation of CEDAC at the CEDAC’s Office in Phnom Penh. During the meeting, Mr. Yim Sok Sophors Team Leader of Internal M&E of CEDAC Field Program and Mr. Ly Kesa Researcher of CEDAC also attended.

Another meeting with other M&E officers will be held on 18 June 2010 to discuss about the detail of this Impact Evaluation. All of the project M&E officers will be invited to join the meeting as they will involve in conducting this evaluation. It is to note that Mr. Stephen will be responsible to guiding support to CEDAC’s staff to enable them to conduct the evaluation and also help for editing the evaluation report. Hopefully, the final evaluation report will be finalized in August 2010.
The evaluation will provide a very good exercise to the project M&E Officers of learn effective how to conduct a good evaluation. It is very helpful that we would have an international consultant to support us how to do it successfully.

Friday, June 11, 2010

CEDAC Field Program Discusss its Achievement and Key Activities for the Next Implementation

On 11 June 2010, over than 100 staff of CEDAC Field Program met and discussed actively during its general assembly at the Multi-Purpose Hall of CJCC (Cambodia-Japan Cooperation Center). The general assembly is systematically conducted in every 6 months to sum up the progresses/achievements, lessons-learned and key strategies to be implemented for the next semester. The organization of this event is very important because the staff can understand the general progress of the projects/program and they also know well the strategies and key activities for the next implementation.

Representatives of each project of CEDAC Field Program presented their achievements, lessons-learned to one another, it is to notice that there are 26 development projects has been carrying out by the program at the current time. Questions and answers among the participants were conducted in plenary during the assembly. In addition, Dr. Yang Saing Koma CEDAC President also shared his ideas with all of the participants regarding to the future implementation of the program. Generally, the program will continues helping the farmers to improve agricultural production through the promotion of family ecological agriculture, improve access to financial services for agricultural investment and the investment of community-led business activities, improve marketing services (Agri-business) through formation of farmer producer groups and linking to markets, etc. Furthermore, the program will also take more effort to strengthen ALDA (Agriculture and Local Development Association) in order to make sure that ALDA will become a very good development partners in the communities. The capacity building will be focused on practical management and leadership, how to help ALDA to access grants for community development activities. and more.

In conclusion, the participants understand clearly about their potentials as well as the potentials of the communities in order to use all of their potentials to achieve objectives and goal.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

ដំណើរទស្សនកិច្ចនៅ ព្រៃវែង និងស្វាយរៀង

លោក​ យឹម​ សុខ សុភាស់ បានចុះទៅខេត្តព្រៃវែង និងខេត្តស្វាយរៀង ដើម្បីពិនិត្យមើលគំរោងផ្សារ ភ្ជាប់កសិករក្រុមផលិតបន្លែទៅទីផ្សារ។​​ ក្នុងពេលនោះដែរ ខ្ញុំបានជួបជាមួយលោក និន ឆាយ​ ដើម្បីឆ្លុះបញ្ចាំងពីការងារដែលបានធ្វើកន្លងមក និងបានទៅមើលការអនុវត្តន៌គំនិតថ្មីរបស់កសិករ នៅស្រុកកំពង់ត្របែក។​ ជាទូទៅនៅក្នុងដើមរដូវវស្សានេះ​ កសិករច្រើនផ្តោតការយកចិត្តទុក ដាក់លើការដាំដុះដំណាំស្រូវ​ ជាជាងដំណាំបន្លែ។​ ដោយឡែកកសិករដែលមានដីទួល​ មិនដក់ទឹក​ គាត់នៅតែអាចបន្តដាំបន្លែបាន ប៉ុន្តែទំហំដីដាំបន្លែមានការថយចុះជាងខែមុនៗ ដោយសារតែគាត់ ត្រូវទុកដីសំរាប់សាបសំណាបវិញ។​ តាមរយៈការចុះពិនិត្យមើលនៅតាមភូមិ​ ឃើញថាកសិករបាន ចាប់ផ្តើមសាបសំណាបសំរាប់ដាំដុះដំណាំស្រូវរដូវវស្សានេះ។​ កសិករប្រមាណ​ ៣០ ទៅ ៤០% បានសាបរួចរាល់ហើយ​​ ប៉ុន្តែគាត់បានសាបស្រូវស្រាល ដូចជា​ស្រូវ អ៊ីអ៊ែជាដើម។​ ដោយឡែកចំពោះ ស្រូវពូជប្រពៃណី កសិករនៅមិន​ទាន់បានសាបនៅឡើយទេ។​ កសិករមួយចំនួនបូមទឹកអណ្តូង ដោយរួមផ្សំជាមួយទឹកភ្លៀងដើមឆ្នាំដើម្បីសាប។​ ទន្ទឹមនឹងនេះ យើងសង្កេតឃើញថា កសិករនៅ ខេត្តស្វាយរៀងមិនទាន់បានសាបទេ ដោយសារខ្វះខាតទឹក។

បន្ថែមពីនេះ លោក​ វ៉ាង​ សៀន និងអ្នកស្រី លុយ​ ធារី​ បានចូលរួមទៅទស្សនកិច្ចនៅភូមិ កណ្តាល ឃុំឈើកាច់ ស្រុកបាភ្នំ ខេត្តព្រៃវែង និងនៅភូមិថ្មី ឃុំស្តៅកោង ស្រុកបាភ្នំ ខេត្តព្រៃវែង​ ដើម្បីសួរនាំ ពីភាពរីកចំរើនរបស់សមាគមកសិករ និងក្រុមសនំ្សប្រាក់នៅតាមភូមិ។​​ តាមរយៈការសម្ភាសន៌ ជាមួយកសិករ​ដែលជាគណកម្មាការសមាគម យើងឃើញថាសមាគម និងក្រុមសន្សំទាំងនោះ នៅតែបន្ត​សកម្មភាពរបស់ខ្លួនទោះបីអតីតគំរោង កែលម្អកម្រិតជីវភាពគ្រួសារកសិករ ក្រីក្រនៅខេត្ត ព្រៃវែង​ ដែលអនុវត្តដោយអង្គការ សេដាក បានបញ្ចប់នៅឆ្នាំ ២០០៨​ មកម្លេះ។​ ទោះបីជាយ៉ាងណាក៏ដោយ ក្រុមសន្សំប្រាក់​ និងសមាគមកសិករ​មានការកែប្រែរចនាសម្ព័ន្ធគ្រប់​គ្រងមួយចំនួន ដូចជា​ការជ្រើសរើសសមាជិកគណកម្មាការថ្មីជាដើម។
នៅថ្ងៃទី​ ២៦ ខែឩសភា ២០១០ លោក យឹម​ សុខសុភាស់បានរៀបចំការប្រជុំឆ្លុះ បញ្ចាំងពីសកម្មភាព និងលទ្ធផលការងាររបស់គំរោង ​ បង្កើនផលិតកម្មស្បៀងនិងប្រាក់ចំណូល របស់គ្រួសារកសិករក្រីក្រ នៅខេត្តស្វាយរៀង​ ។​ បុគ្គលិកនៃគំរោងនេះបានធ្វើការបូកសរុបពីសកម្មភាពនិងលទ្ធផលដែលសំរេចបានដោយការ អនុវត្តន៌ គំរោងនេះ។ ​​ ជារួមគឺគំរោងមានដំណើរការល្អ ប៉ុន្តែមានដំណើរការយឺតយ៉ាវបន្តិចនៅខាងខេត្តព្រៃវែង​។​​ បន្ទាប់ពីបានធ្វើការប្រជុំជាមួយបុគ្គលិកគំរោង យើងបានចុះធ្វើទស្សនកិច្ចនៅភូមិគោលដៅ របស់គំរោងនៅស្រុកចន្ទ្រា និងស្រុកកំពង់រោទ៌ ខេត្តស្វាយរៀង។​ ជារួម​ យើងសង្កេតឃើញថា កសិករដែលសមាជិកគណកម្មាការសមាគមកសិករនៅតែបន្តការអនុវត្តន៌បច្ចេកទេស កសិកម្មបានល្អ ប្រសើរទោះ បីជាគំរោងបានបញ្ចាប់ក្តី។

ជាទូទៅភូមិគោលដៅនៅខេត្តស្វាយរៀង​សុទ្ធតែមានក្រុមស្ត្រី និងក្រុមក្រីក្រ ហើយមានប្រមាណ ៣០ ទៅ ៤០% នៃចំនួនសមាជិកទាំងអស់អនុវត្តនូវគំនិតថ្មីដែលផ្សព្វផ្សាយពីគណកម្មាការ។ គំរោងនឹងធ្វើយ៉ាងណាជួយពង្រឹងសមាគមកសិករដែល​ មានស្រាប់អោយមានសមត្ថភាពគ្រប់គ្រាន់ក្នុងការគាំទ្របន្តដល់កសិករដែលងាយរងគ្រោះ ដូចជា​ក្រុមស្ត្រី និងក្រុមក្រីក្រជាដើម។

Monday, May 24, 2010

IFWP-MP Organizes Thematic Workshop on System of Rice Intensification (SRI)

18-22 May 2010: With funding support from the European Union (EU), CEDAC has been implementing a project food security project titled “Improving Food Security for Women and Rural Poor in Mundulkiri Province” since October 2009. As the rainy season is coming, IFWP-MP organized 3 thematic workshops on System of Rice Intensification (SRI), attended by 125 participants (38 women). In other words, there were 40 participants per workshop on average, those participants composed of district councilors, commune councilors, village chief, indigenous farmers, rural women and youths, relevant government officials such as the representatives from District Agricultural Office, District Office of Women’s Affairs, District Office of Education, Youth and Sports, etc. A Technical Support Officer of CEDAC Mr. Bao Vuthy accompanied by Project Coordinator of IFWP-MP Mr. Yim Sok Sophors facilitated those workshops in Koh Ngiek and Pechrda Districts, Mundulkiri Province. The workshops were organized at the district level. The workshops aimed to strengthen the Knowledge, Capacity and Skills of the farmers, local authorities and other local stakeholders related to the Principles of SRI especially to enable them have more technical ideas to improve their rice cultivation methods.

At the beginning, the district council provided his opening speech of the workshop. To make the participants know and understand well about the project, District Coordinators of IFWP-MP Mr. Mak Samath and Mr. Pheung Kosal presented the activities and results of the project to the participants in plenary. Then, the facilitator encouraged farmers to share their knowledge and practical experiences related to rice cultivation to each other actively. During the sharing experiences of farmers, Mrs. Phok La who is a cooperating farmer of CEDAC from Prohout Village, Kraing Leav Commune, Bati District, Takeo Province shared her practical experiences in applying SRI to the participants. She explained and compared the traditional practice and SRI practice to realize that the participants understand well about the differences between the traditional practice and SRI practice. Moreover, Mrs. Phok La encouraged the participants to pay more attention to conduct good rice seed selection, improvement of top soil fertility and improvement of rice cultivation techniques through the application of SRI principles. Mr. Bao Vuthy provided detail explanation on SRI principles and SRI techniques (optional techniques) to the participants in plenary and then question and answer forum was conducted to provide more opportunities for the participants to make sure that they have learned well. At the end of the workshops, some interested farmers were selected to experiment SRI for this rainy season.
In conclusion, the participants have understood and learned effectively regarding to the activities and achievements of the project especially they are strongly interested to the SRI principles through exchange of knowledge and experiences of SRI practice to each other. Importantly, majority of the participants intended to apply and experiment SRI in this rainy season in order to increase their rice productivity for producing adequate rice for family consumption and market supplies for generating additional incomes for their families.

Internal Monitoring and Evaluation Team Meeting

On 24 May 2010, a monthly meeting of the Internal M&E Team Meeting was held in Phnom Penh. The participants of the meeting included Mr. Vang Sean, Mr. Nhep Mengcheang, Mr. Leng Huch, Mr. Chhin Chhunhoir, Mr. Nuon Piseth, Miss. Pheng Chandy, and Mr. Meas Somica. The meeting was facilitated by Mr. Yim Sok Sok Sophors, M&E Coordinator. During this meeting, we shared information to each other related to the M&E that we have done recently. Furthermore, we discussed how to keep record on several data such as the data of System of Rice Intensification (SRI), data of saving groups and data of old target villages of CEDAC.
Moreover, the presentation on the evaluation result of FLIP was presented by Mr. Chhin Chhunhoir. Through this presentation, we understood about the changes after the project’s intervention. At the same time, the participants also contributed to improve and comment the evaluation report.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Workshop on Rice Value Chain in Kompot

On 7 May 2010, with funding support from Catholic Relief Services (CRS), CEDAC in collaboration with WOSO, FLD, and PNKS which are the partner NGOs of CRS in implementing the project Civil Society and Pro-Poor Market (CSPPM) organized a workshop on Rice Value Chain Study in Kompot and Kompot Speu Province. The purpose of the workshop was to present the result of rice value chain study in Kompot and Kompong Speu Provinces. It is to notice that the study was conducted by representatives of the Community Based Organizations (CBOs) in both provinces. Totally, 72 participants (20 women) composed of government officials, CBO representatives, farmer representatives, students…participated in the workshop.

First of all, Mr. Eric Vandenbrink from CRS and Mr. Keum Veasna from Asia Foundation provided the opening speech of the workshop. At the beginning of the presentation, Mr. Yim Sok Sophors presented the methodology of the study to the participants in order to make the participants understand about the rational background, objectives and how to conduct this study. The CBO representatives then presented the result of the study on rice value chain to the participants in each studied province.  CEDAC’s staff Mr. Chhong Sophal conducted final presentation on the result of the study.

Finally, CEDAC President Dr. Yang Saing Koma conducted a synthesis on the result of the study by discussing the result of the study with the participants in plenary. Several Questions were developed and discussed among the participants in order to come up with strategic ideas for promoting rice value chain in the near future.
In conclusion, this workshop provided more knowledge to the participants and they are strongly interested to the topics. It is to notice that the district authorities are strongly interested in setting up rice farmer producer groups or community based rice mills in their respective districts in order to promote the rice market.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Training on Project Cycle Management (PCM)

From 19-22 April 2010, CEDAC organized a four-day training on “Project Cycle Management” at CEDAC head office with the participation of 33 staffs. The purpose of the training was to train participants how to design rural development project and provide more understanding on project management and evaluation. The main trainer of the training is Mr. Or Thy, Senior Program Advisor of CEDAC and with co-trainers Mr. Yim Sok Sophors, Mrs. Tong Chantheang and Mr. Kin Mengse.

Participants ‘expectation, reflection on experiences of project management and project monitoring and evaluation, and participants’ evaluation were discussed and provided. Relating to the topic of training, many styles of project cycle have been shown but the detail one was followed by Inwent. It is to note that during the training, in each step of project cycle all participants practiced to design the project through group discussion with six members. Then, plenary presentations were done in order to get comment and answer to participants and trainers’ questions. Moreover, the trainers also showed as example from a few projects of CEDAC to make clear understanding for participants. Besides, some games relating to the training topic were conducted as well.
As a result of the training, the participants gained more knowledge about project cycle management especially on how to design rural development project and project monitoring and evaluation. Moreover, they can use what they have learned to improve the performance of their currently projects.

Friday, April 9, 2010

CEDAC Organized Training on Sustainable Agriculture and Farmer Organization

CEDAC Organized Training on Sustainable Agriculture and Farmer Organization from 08-09 April 2010 with participation of 40 staff who are Project Coordinators, Field Coordinators, Project Officers, Project Monitoring and Evaluation Officers, and Field Community Facilitators. The training was held at Cambodia-Japan International Cooperation Center (CJCC) and facilitated by Dr. Yang Saing Koma, CEDAC President.

The training was mainly focus on Sustainable Agriculture throught discussion, sharing experiences, and plenary presentation. During the training, some key words related to Sustainable Agriculture were explained and agriculutral innovaitons which have been disseminated by CEDAC were discussed. There were 10 innovations were raised for discussion during the training such as system of rice intensification, vegetable growing, ecological chicken raising, pig raising, etc.
Five questions have been provided to participants regarding to Farmer Organization (FO), those are: What is Farmer Organization? What are the diffirences between Farmer Organization and CEDAC organization?, Why does CEDAC support to Farmer Organizaiton?, What kind of Farmer Organization has been supported by CEDAC? How is the support?, What are the strengths and weaknesses of our staff in the past to support to Farmer Organizaiton?, What are the points to be improved for supporting to Farmer Organization?
All in all, after the training, all participants have opportunity to review the main agricultural innovaitons as well as the meaning of each innovation; sharing experiences to each other; getting back the recommendation/improved idea; as well as gaining more understanding on the key words related to Sustainable Agriculture.

Saturday, April 3, 2010

CEDAC Organized Core Staff Meeting at Kompong Cham Province

On April 2-3, 2010 CEDAC organized a core staff meeting with the funding support by FNS at Phnom Pros Hotel in Kompong Cham Province. The president of CEDAC Dr. Yang Saing Koma played very important role to facilitate the meeting with the participation of 45 participants (9 women staffs). The purpose of the meeting was to review the CEDAC strategy 2010-2014, to analyze social trend for determining future development activities, to discuss about the mechanism for strengthening the cooperation between all components of CEDAC.
First of all, representatives of each CEDAC component shared the information relating to its progress of the last 3 months to each other. Later on, the participants conducted plenary review on the CEDAC Strategy 2010-2014. Then, the expectation of the meeting was given by the participants. Dr. Yang Saing Koma presented and discussed about the social trend related to the Agriculture and Rural Development Aspects in Cambodia from 1980, 2010 and up to 2020. Furthermore, the participants shared their personal observation and notions related to CEDAC’s development activities in recent years whether those activities are closely related to the current and future development activities or not. In addition, the participants also discussed to determine the future image for community development in 2010; CEDAC will target provide further development assistance at the sub-national level especially at the district level. It is expected that credit cooperative, community-based rice mill, community-based rice warehouse, farmer learning center, agriculture and rural development service provider association, community information center, community radio, etc. will be set up and functioned effectively in the communities to provide greater job opportunities within the communities.
As a result of the meeting, the participants are clear about the future image of each CEDAC component as well as they are quite sure about the CEDAC structure in the future. At the end day of the meeting, the participants agreed to organize core staff meeting every 3 months and the communication and information sharing among the core staffs will be conducted systematically.

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Second training workshop on Climate Change

3 staffs from CEDAC, Mr. Yi Kim Than, Mr. Yim Sok Sophors and Mr. Ma Veasna attended a 3-day training workshop on Climate Change at Sunway Hotel in Phnom Penh from 30 March to 1 April 2010. This is the second traning workshop organized by CORD, DCA/CA, and ForumSyd. Mr. Robert Solar is the trainer of the training. The case study analysis was conducted during the workshop in order to enable the participants to learn about practical experiences from the other projects and oher communities. Through the understanding from the case studies, it provided us some ideas how to design the climate change project. Importantly, we could know what can be integrated into our programmes for the context in Cambodia.

At the second day of the workshop, the participants worked separately to design the project proposal on climate change which is alligned with their self-organization assessment and the initiative action plan of each organization. The result will be presented to panel in order to give feedback and comments for improving the project proposal. It is expected that the participants will be able to design the project proposal at the end of the workshop and they know how to integrate climate change into their current programmes.

Monday, March 29, 2010

Meeting at CRS office in Phnom Penh

This morning I (Yim Sok Sophors) and Mr. Chhong Sophal joint a meeting wht Mr. Vatanak at CRS office in Phnom Penh. During the meeting, we discussed about the result of the rice market chain study that was recenly conducted by the representatives of CBOs (Community based Organizations) in Kompong Speu and Kompot provinces.
As a result of the meeting, we decided to organize a meeting with the participation of CBO representatives who were previoulsy involved in conducting the rice value chain study at Tramkak district, Takeo province on 7 April 2010. Furthermore, we also decided to organize a workshop in order to share the reuslt of the research to 64 participants who will included the representatives from CBOs, provincial department of agriculutre, provincial department of women’s affaires, commune and district authorities, etc. It is expected that the certificates of the CBO representatives who were trained by CEDAC will be distributed during the workshop.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Field Mission to IFWP-MP

From 23-27 March 2010, Mr Yi Kim Than and Mr. Yim Sok Sophors conducted a field mission to the project titled “Improving Food Security for the Most Vulnerable Women and Rural Poor in Mundulkiri Province”. The mission aimed to assess the project progress and to give comment on the project implementation as well as to build up the knowledge and capacity of the project staff in carrying out this project.

Mr. Yi Kim Than, Mr. Yim Sok Sophors and other project staffs visited as a farmer leader in Chi Klob village to ask and discuss with them about the progress his family and the village after cooperating with CEDAC’s project (Agriculture Livelihood Project for the Sok San Indigenous Community). During the discussion with the farmer, it was able to know that the collective saving groups are being progressed, there are more indigenous farmers interested to be the members of the collective saving groups. Furthermore, we also discussed about the establishment of rice bank with that farmer as well. The construction of rice store is being conducted.

It was able to see that the vegetable growing have been adopted and adapted by the indigenous people. The indigenous people previously didn’t know how to grow vegetables very well especially during the dry season. The indigenous farmers faced to the shortage of food for family consumption before existing of the project. But now they can grow vegetables for family consumption, they reduced expense on food, etc.

During the mission, we visited some villages in Koh Ngiek district, those visited villages are Chi Klob and Klang Lei in Sok San commune and Sre Huoy and Chhuol in Sre Huoy commune. On 26 March 2010, we provided and discussed with the project team related to what we have found during the field visit. The recommendations to improve the project performance were provided at the end of the mission.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

CEDAC Hosts Field Visit by Project Donor

Happy Mountain Bird (HMB) Project is a project CEDAC has been implementing since 2005. The first two phases were implemented in 5 provinces. Phase III seeks to eradicate poverty among all the poorest people in 300 villages in 5 districts of Kampong Chhnang Province, Cambodia. The target families will be helped to adopt ecological family agriculture techniques to improve their living standard, thereby ensuring that their children can attend school and have access to primary education, which is the overriding common goal of the project.
From 9-17 March 2010, the HMB III project donor made his ninth mission to check the project’s progress. He visited 42 of 300 target villages to meet some of the stakeholders and beneficiaries of the project. These include community-based facilitators (CBFs), target families, community education promoters (CEP), children group leaders, school principals and village chiefs. During his visit, he was accompanied by two Japanese newspaper reporters and a Cambodian translator.
The objectives of the donor’s visit were concentrated on assessing the formation of children’s groups, which are set up by the CEPs to promote and encourage all children to go to school regularly, and to what extent the poorest target families are adopting the agricultural innovations. In this context, a meeting was organized with HMB project staff to reflect on and identify ideas to improve project outputs.  The donor also conducted meetings with school principals to learn about the children’s education, the formation of children’s groups and how to make sure all children can complete their primary education. He met as well with the CBFs and CEPs to discuss the poorest target families and the situation regarding the establishment of children’s groups in the villages. And finally, he met directly with target families and their children to see the innovations they are implementing with support from the CBFs and CEPs.
The Asahi Newspaper Agency subsequently reported that most of the target families have improved their living conditions since the project’s intervention. Before they spent a lot for their daily food needs and borrowed money from microfinance institutions, but now they can produce agriculture products from their home gardens and raise animals to reduce their household expenditures.
The project donor was very pleased to see the project outputs. Even though it is the dry season, many target families have been growing vegetables for daily consumption and getting daily income, and making composts to use on vegetables and rice fields. As many as 4,200 children groups were established by the CEPs to encourage all children to go to school regularly. The project seeks to play an important role not only in enabling all children to attend school, but to understand as well the value of education and the joy that learning can bring.

Internal Evaluation Study of the Project “Improving Livelihood of Small Farmers in Kampong Tralach and Samaki Meanchey District, Kampong Chhnang Province

By: Sok Thea
The internal evaluation study was conducted early December 2009, with the main objectives as follows:
  • Assess the levels of adoption/adaptation of innovations developed by the project in cooperation with farmers, such as the System of Rice Intensification (SRI), Multi-Purpose Farms (MPF), chicken-raising, home garden improvements, and others;
  • Assess the economic, social and environmental impact of the project, with a focus on quantitative and qualitative assessment of changes in living conditions of the target group, such as changes in production, income, nutrition, mutual help and cooperation, as well as sustainability of the farmers association, agriculture cooperative and pig insurance group;
  • Make recommendations for future follow-up of the project; and
  • Draw lessons learned from the project experiences.
Household interviews and focus group discussions were the key tools for collecting information from the field. Approximately 187 of 200 villagers were interviewed from 20 villages, 9 communes and 2 districts of Kampong Chhnang province. Ten focus group discussions in 10 villages were conducted with participation of 80 villagers. The Samchol approach was used to assess the quality of life of farmers as compared with before the project. Key indicators of the Samchol approach include health, friendship and cooperation, knowledge and money. Read more…

First National Working Group meeting

By Heang Phira,

On March 16, 2010, Prolinnova Cambodia held its first National Working Group meeting of 2010 at CEDAC Institute for Local Development, Phnom Penh. There were 23 participants including 7 women. They represented 17 institutions: 8 provincial Departments of Agriculture (Prey Veng, Kandal, Takeo, Kampong Speu, Kampong Chhnang, Pursat Battambang and Svay Rieng), 3 NGOs (CEDAC, Srer Khmer, Aphiwat Strey), 3 educational institutions (Kampong Cham National School of Agriculture, Prek Leap National School of Agriculture and Royal University of Agriculture), the General Directorate of Agriculture, Farmer and Nature Net, and Thlork Commune Council in Takeo province.

Prolinnova Cambodia is a part of Prolinnova International, which is a multi-stakeholder network working to promote local innovation in ecologically-oriented agriculture and natural resource management. Currently, there are 21 institutions participating in Prolinnova Cambodia programs.
The purpose of the meeting was to review the 2009 Prolinnova Cambodia activities and to prepare the budget and work plan for 2010 programs, which mainly focus on farmer experimentation. A SWOT analysis was also conducted.
The meeting helped make participants aware of changes in the network activities and approach, including new activities such as a training workshop on leadership toward local innovation, establishing a network of farmer-researcher leagues and mainstreaming PID (Participatory Innovation Development) into university education curriculum. In addition to being well updated on the Prolinnova Cambodia program, new members learned the procedure to develop farmer experimentation proposals for funding assistance from the program.

Mission Support of Field Program Director to CEDAC Ratanakiri

CEDAC has been carrying out project activities in Ratanakiri (RTK) province since 2001, starting with a Non-Timber Forestry Project (NTFP) with 16 villages, 2 communes and 2 districts. To date, CEDAC has been implementing four projects in 67 villages, 17 communes, 8 districts and 1 municipality in Ratanakiri province in collaboration with ALDI, ICM, International Labour Organization (ILO) and the Learning Community Development project (LCDP)).  These projects involve a total of 22 CEDAC staff (4 women).

Due to the increase in projects and staff over the years, Mr. Yi Kim Than, CEDAC Field Program Director, called for a special staff meeting on 10 March, 2010, with 10 key staff members (2 women) at the CEDAC- RTK office. The main purpose of this meeting was to:
  • Introduce CEDAC  projects in Ratanakiri and their progress;
  • Reflect what CEDAC-RTK has accomplished; and
  • Develop a strategy/approach for CEDAC-RTK to 2015.
The process for this meeting included brainstorming and critical thinking. It was an opportunity for staff to look back and review and to think about self-development in order to prepare for future development of the CEDAC-RTK program. Five priorities issues were identified: 1). Good government; 2). Service; 3). Gender mainstreaming; 4). Animal feed enterprise; and 5). Climate change.

Mr. Yi Kimthan, recommended the following:
  1. The shop in Banlung should have more indigenous products such as pottery jars or handicrafts from each project in CEDAC-RTK. The shop should also find partners, such as a tourist agency, in order to improve sales of the products through tourism.
  2. The Indigenous Community Marketing Network in Ratanakiri Province (ICM) shop in Banlung should prepare a regular monthly financial report.
  3. CEDAC-RTK must produce an SRI annual report and should prepare plot experiments.
  4. CEDAC-RTK should identify topics for staff capacity building and share these with the CEDAC Field Program Office to facilitate support.
  5. CEDAC-RTK should/must conduct action research in order to develop learning materials for agricultural development in Ratanakiri.
  6. CEDAC-RTK should select interested producers for purifying seed for preserving local seed.
  7. CEDAC-RTK should try to support the existing saving groups and combine them into a cluster of saving groups and link to SOSOR.


Form 15-17 March 2010, CEDAC Field Program had organized the second Coordination Team Meeting in 2010, attended by 24 staffs. The meeting venue was held at CEDAC Branch Office in Kampong Chhnang town. The main agenda of the meeting included to share the progress of each project, improve job description for CEDAC Field Program staff, select core members of the program, list opportunities and challenges of CEDAC Field Program in 2009, and to present the results of Participatory Monitoring Evaluation (PME) of the Poverty Reduction among Subsistence Rice Farmers through the Promotion of Sustainable Livelihood System (PRS-EU) project by Mr. Vang Sean. A project coordinator Mr. Lang Chanthea faciliated the meeting. CEDAC President Dr. Yang Saing Koma and Director of CEDAC Field Program Mr. Yi Kim Than were the speakers for the meeting.
At the third day of the meeting, the team also visited three target villages of Happy Mountain Bird project. 6 target families, 1 Community Based Facilitator (CBF) and 1 Community based Education Promoter (CEP) were interviewed to see their progress after cooperation with the project. it is to note that all of the six families have improved their income generation capacity through the application of ecological agricultral innovations promoted and disseminated by the HMB project. At the same time, they have gained more understanding about advantages of children euducation and they are now able to send their children to school regularly.
As a results of the meeting, the partcicipants were able to know that there are 24 development projects have been implementing by CEDAC Field program in early 2010. Moreover, the participants are aware of their opportunities and challenges as well as the opportunities and challenges for the program as a whole. According to the participant impressions, they not only could learn very well about the results of PME of the projcet PRS-EU, but also they could learn about the progress of the target families of HMB after interviewing those families. Importantnly, the participants could select eleven core staffs of CEDAC Field Program at the end of the meeting.

Village Based Farmer Association and Local Development

Written By: Him Noeun

“SAMAKUM TROTRUNG KAKSEKOR” [in English Association for Supporting Farmers] is the name of the village-based farmers association (VFA) that was founded on 15 October 2006 with technical assistance from CEDAC. This VFA is located in Chheu Lom village Morhareusei Commune in Kong Pisei district of Kampong Speu Province. Initially, the VFA had 1 saving group, consisting of 37 members (19 women) with savings capital 470,000 Riles. Currently, there are a total of 94 households with 446 people in the village (226 women). The VFA has 11 farmers groups: 5 saving groups (including 1 young farmer and 2 women’s groups), 1 organic rice producer group, 1 chicken producer group, 1 community shop, 1 animal feed processing enterprise, 1 rice wine distillation group, and 1 collective rice paddy group. Total membership in these groups is 110 people (88 women) from 90 households equal to 95% of all village families. Total VFA capital is 31,660,000 KH-riel. Read more…

Friday, March 12, 2010

CEDAC Organized Project Introduction Workshop at Ratanakiri Province

By Heang Thira,

On February, 19, 2010 CEDAC, in Ratanakiri province, in cooperation with ETEA foundation for Development and Development and Partnership in Action (DPA organization) organized a project introduction workshop titled “Strengthening Agricultural Producers and Local Institutions for Developing Rural Areas in Ratanakiri” which is funded by Spanish Agency of International Development Cooperation (AECID). This is the second project for CEDAC-DPA and ETEA Foundation for Development that receive fund from AECID. The workshop was held at CEDAC-ETEA Office for the first two days and at the Meeting Hall of Build Bright University for third day.

The purpose of the workshop was: 1) to present the outcomes of the first project and find out lessons-learnt for improving the new coming project, 2) to present new coming project to all partners CEDAC-ETEA-DPA and other Line Government Departments, 3) to find out synergy cooperation among all partners, 4) to present the AECID rule.  There were 21 participants include 4 females participants attended the workshop, including CEDAC staff and marketing trainee, DPA staff, ETEA staff, PLAU, district governor  and commune council. Mss. Silvia Sanjuan, from ETEA foundation for Development was a main facilitator of this work shop.

As a result, the workshop enabled the participants to understand the achievement of the first project and the problems faced during the implementation and try to find lessons-learned for improving the second project. The participants, especially the 3 partners also understand the new project. On the other hand, the discussion among each partners enabled those 3 partners to continue and strengthen their cooperation for the implementation of the second project.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Phnom Domreiy Romeal Organic Rice Federation

By Nhep Meng Cheang


Sahak Poan Srov Sakreiy Rieng Phnom Domreiy Romeal, named in English “Doreiy Romeal Mountain Organic Rice Federation” was founded on 6th November 2007. Four organic rice communities are the members of the federation. 450 families are the members of this federation. The federation is located in Trapaing Chhouk Village, in Tramkak district of Takeo Province. The objective of this organic rice federation is to improve food production and income generation capacities of the small scale farmers through the application of ecological agricultural innovations, conducting collective buying and selling of organic rice and normal rice, and negotiating for a better price of their rice product with the middlemen and other rice market actors. Please read more….

Monday, March 8, 2010

Completion report of ALP Mundulkiri Province

The completion report of the project titled “Agriculture Livelihood Project for the Sok San community/ALP” was already written and submitted to WWF. Furthermore, i will be responsible to write up the end project evaluation report (end line survey) and result  come up from the report will be used to present at the end project evaluation workshop to be held on March 18, 2010 at Sok San commune hall. There will be representatives from WWF Mundulkiri to participate in the workshop. The local authorities, community people especially the farmers who have cooperated with the project will be invited to join the workshop. The project officer of ALP Mr. Cheav Sopheak will facilitate the workshop.
It is to note that CEDAC is implementing a development project mentioned above since March 2008 to February 2010. The project is very helpful to increase the agricultural production of the indigenous people. Before the project’s intervention, majority of the indigenous people the Sok San commune conducted off-farm activities that mainly rely on the natural resources. Furthermore, the indigenous people didn’t know how to grow vegetables, how to raise chicken appropriately, how to conduct fish raising in the  plastic film, how to form and manage the collective saving group or village based farmer association, etc. But this time, they have learned a lot about this knowledge and skills that are very important for improving their quality of lives.

Organizational Self-Assessment on Climate Change

Today, I am working on the organizational self assessment on climate change. I followed the instruction that i have learned during the training workshop at Sihanouk province from 22-26 February 2010. The organizational self assessment on climate change enabled me to know very well about what to be, to do (programs and projects), what to be integrated into our existing programs/projects. Furthermore, i also could now about strengths, capacities needed and gap to fulfill the gap, etc.
I expected that this task would be completed by 29 March 2010 as we expect to present this result at the workshop 2 at the end of this month. To me, I think that the organizational self assessment on climate change is very important because it is a way to discover new ideas in order to integrate the climate change mitigation, climate change adaptation, Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR) into our existing programs and projects. The climate change concepts is now very necessary important for the community farmers, the local authorities and other local stakeholders because this is a hot issue happening on this world.
CEDAC will conduct a research on impact on climate change and rice next week with a few team members. The study will be conducted in 5 villages across 3 communes in Prey Veng province where is the most vulnerable province in terms of natural disaster vulnerability. Mr. Yim Sok Sophors, Mr. Vang Sean and Mr. Nhep Mengcheang will jointly conduct this research next week. It is expected that the results come up from the research will enable us to know well about the impact of climate change and rice in that studied areas. That will be used as case study and examples for the other areas.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

CEDAC and FNF organize two Development Forums with Teachers

On March 6-7, 2010, CEDAC organized a Teachers’ Forum at Phnom Pros Hotel, Kampong Cham province. Attending the forum were 32 participants (6 females) including principals, vice-principals and teachers of 22 different schools from 12 districts.
On March 20, 2009, CEDAC organized another Teachers’ Forum at the CEDAC office at Baphnom district, Prey Veng province, with 48 participants (5 females) also including principals, vice-principals and teachers from 32 different schools in Baphnom district.
The objectives of these forums were to:
  • Provide an opportunity for school principals and teachers to discuss and exchange experiences on leadership issues and self-help saving groups as well as development work.
  • Exchange experiences among CEDAC development professionals and teachers.
  • Build an informal network among teachers from different schools.
These workshops were supported by the German Friedrich Naumann Foundation for Liberty (FNF), Cambodia’s program.
CEDAC, in collaboration with FNF, has been organizing Teachers’ Forums since 2005 in nine provinces including Prey Veng, Kampong Thom, Kampong Cham, Svay Rieng, Takeo, Kampot, Kampong Chhnang, Siem Reap, Pursat and Phnom Penh municipality.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

CEDAC Organized Project Launching Workshop in Prey Veng

On March 3, 2010, CEDAC organized a project launching workshop on “Improving Food Security of the most Vulnerable Families in Prey Veng”. The workshop was held at the office of the Provincial Department of Agriculture (PDA) in Prey Veng province. There were 109 participants attended the workshop, including chief of PDA, representatives from Provincial Department of Women’s Affairs, representatives from the Provincial Department of Rural Development, district authorities, commune council members, village chief, village based farmer organization representatives, and other relevant NGO staff from the target communities, etc. This is the second project that CEDAC has received direct grant support from European Union to implement a project abovementioned in 200 villages across 27 communes, in 3 districts of Prey Veng province. The target villages will be located in Baphnom, Kopong Trabek and Prah Sdach districts.
At the beginning of the workshop, president of CEDAC, Dr. Yang Saing Koma gave his summary remark on CEDAC’s activities and achievements in Prey Veng province in the recent years especially he expressed briefly about new project to be implemented by CEDAC in the province such as objectives, expected results, and how to monitor and evaluate the change of farmers and communities before and after the project intervention. Deputy Governor of Prey Veng province, H.E. Phann Chanthol presided at the workshop and gave his speech for opening the workshop. He is interested in and provided support to CEDAC to implement this project in the province.

To get detail about the project, CEDAC Field Program director, Mr. Yi Kim Than conducted a plenary presentation on the project to the participants. The project’s concept, expected results and outputs, strategies and activities as well as the main target groups of the project were raised and discussed during the presentation.

At the end of the workshop, Dr. Yang Saing Koma summed up the result of the workshop and Chief of the Provincial Department of Agriculture of Prey Veng Province, Mr. Yuos Mony provided closing remark of the workshop. He encouraged farmers, local authorities and other local stakeholders to cooperate closely with the project. In addition, he also suggested having a coordination mechanism at the provincial level for ensuring the effectiveness of the project implementation. All relevant development agencies especially those who are working involved in agriculture sector should meet together for sharing their concrete ideas and experiences relating to agriculture and community development activities in the province. Generally, the participants understand very well about the project and they are happy to cooperate with the project in order to prosper their communities.

Friday, February 26, 2010

Climate change workshop

On February 22-26, 2010 Mr. Yi Kim Than and Mr. Yim Sok Sophors attended a training workshop on climate change at Sihanouk province. There were many participants who come from different 10 partner NGOs of DCA/CA, ForumSyd, and Cord. During the workshop, the participants have learned very well about the concepts of climate change. The technical terms relating to CC were raised and discussed actively during the workshop.

Friday, February 19, 2010

CEDAC Zone Two Retreat Organized at Koh Kong Province

February 17-19, 2010, CEDAC Zone Two organized a three-day retreat at Koh Kong province with 44 staffs. It is to emphasize that CEDAC divided its 3,200 target villages into 5 zones and CEDAC Zone Two is implementing 9 development projects covers on 750 villages across 110 communes, in 20 districts of 4 provinces (Takeo, Kampong Speu, Kandal and Kampot Provinces). The specific objectives of the retreat was to improve solidarity and cooperation among of the staffs and to provide a good time for staff reflection on its annual activities and achievements in 2009 as well as to develop activity plan for 2010.

CEDAC Zone Two coordinator, Mr. Huot Dok facilitated the meeting  at Fishing Community Hall to share and discuss about progresses and challenges of project implementation, progress of self-development of the staffs, and activity planning for 2010. In addition, a member of CEDAC Steering Committee (CSC), Mr. Bao Vuthy presented to the participants about the number of current projects and expected projects for 2010. Furthermore, he presented about main activities of CEDAC Zone Two in providing technical and social assistances to communities such as: promotion and dissemination of family’s ecological agricultural innovations, establishment and strengthening community-led business cooperatives, facilitation to set up collective saving and credit services, etc.

According to participant impressions, the retreat was very helpful to encourage the staffs to increase their commitment to accomplish expectation of CEDAC Zone Two in 2010 as the staffs have already understood very well about the plan and strategies for the implementation in 2010. Furthermore, it also stimulated awareness to the staffs in relation to self-development for achieving their personal goal in the near future. In general , all staffs were able to learn about good progresses and achievements of CEDAC Zone Two and they also absorbed good lessons-learned and practical experiences from the project implementation through sharing from one another and it was important that the staffs have increased their mutual cooperation and team spirit among the whole team.

Weekly staff meeting of CEDAC Field Program

Weekly staff meeting of CEDAC Field Progam was organized among staffs who are based in Phnom Penh. Mr. Yi Kimthan normally chairs the meeting every weekend. Yim Sok Sophors, Vang Sean, Pheng Chandy and Nuon Piseith participated in the meeting to share each other about the activities and results of what we have done during this week. Furthermore, the participants also shared about activity plan for next week as well.

Based on the sharing from Mr. Vang Sean and Mr. Yim Sok Sophors who did end project evaluation of ALP (Agriculture Livelihood Project in the Sok San Community), it was able to know that the indigenous people have now improved their knowledge and skills relating to agricultural practices. For example, the indigenous people previously didn’t grow vegetables and lack of food for family consumption. But now they can grow vegetables for family consumption and some of them are able to produce for selling to generate more family’s incomes. Now, some indigenous farmers who have arable land near to natural water bodies, they can grow vegetables in the dry season. I noted that the vegetables produced are very good because the natural condition is fit for vegetable growing and other kinds of crops.  Some farmers said that they don’t really want to make compost because the soil fertility is good enough to  produce a good yield. I think that CEDAC’s staff there should train them more about soil nutrient management in order to help the indigenous people to be able to use the land sustainably for a long term benefit. 

Miss. Pheng Chandy shared about the progress of data entry of rice value chain study in Takeo and Kompot province. Up to now, all collected questionnaires were installed into computer database system for data analysis. Mr. Chhong Sophal will be responsible to write up the synthesis report of the study. It is expected the draft report will be firstly produced during the fourth week of this month, February 2010.

Meeting with IDE’s NGO partners

On February 19, 2010 Mr. Yim Sok Sophors facilitated a meeting with partner NGOs of IDE at Kor Andeak, Kompong Trabke district, Prey Veng province. 9 participants attended the meeting who are NGOs’ staffs from CEDAC, IDE and PADEK. The meeting was conducted by reviewing minute of the last meeting, discussion about Radio program of FBA (Farm Business Adviser), strengthening cooperation among partner NGOs, selection of new field school, etc. The meeting was conducted smoothly and was able to produce much results. The next partner meeting will be conducted at IDE office in Svay Rieng province on March 19, 2010.

CEDAC organized a training workshop on Samachal in Pailin Province

On 8-9 February 2010, CEDAC organized a training workshop on Sammchal at Pailin Bomboo Hotel in purpose of strengthening the knowledge and capacity of school principals, farmer leaders of Self Help Groups/saving groups, village chief and commune council members on how to improve quality of life through the rehearsal of Samachal theory. The theory of Samachal focuses on the enlargement of Health, Knowledge, Friendship, and Money. It was to note that, in the workshop, CEDAC also revealed progress of its project implementation to the participants. Attending 30 participants, including 6 women, come from Pailin and Sala Krao districts, Pailin province.

Derived from post evaluation of the training, the participants could learn in a good way on the subject of Samachal along with the increasing of relationship and solidarity among the participants. As the training is very helpful for the participants because it is necessary to improve their quality of life. Furthermore, they suggested having more training sessions for their communities. The participants assured to disseminate what they have learned to their colleagues and other people in their workplace. Besides, the participants also gained comprehension on advantages of community-led saving group and they commits to strongly participate in and set up saving group in their respective villages.

It is to notice CEDAC is executing second phase of project, titled “Community-led Saving Development for Poverty Reduction and Self-reliance in Pailin province” from October 15, 2009 to December 15, 2010 in 23 villages across 5 communes, in 2 districts, in Pailin province. Up to date, 36 community led saving groups with 876 members were set up with the total saving capital of 95 million Riels (approximately 23,200 USD).

How indigenous farmers in Sok San commune grow vegetables in dry season?

Some communes in Koh Ngiek district, Mundulkiri province especially Sok San Commune are very dry in the dry season, but there are flooded in the rainy season. Based on the direct observation, the farmers lack of family ponds as well as the community ponds to be used as the reservoirs  for water storage. However, there are some natural water bodies like the stream and lake, but only minority of the people there can access to these water sources. I see that some minority indigenous farmers who have been trained by CEDAC on ecological agricultural innovations applied vegetable growing in the dry season. Some other farmers still now grow vegetables even they can access to water.

There are big demands of vegetables in the dry season, from the experiences of lowland area, I think that it is good if the indigenous farmers form themselves into vegetable farmer producer groups so that they can join effort to produce more vegetables for local market supplies. They can supply their vegetables to markets at the district level as well as the provincial level. Mundulkiri is located in the upland area of Cambodia. Even the soil fertility is good but the vegetables are imported from Vietnam and from the lowland area of Cambodia. Some vegetable sellers in the province import the vegetable products from Phnom Penh to sell in Mundulkiri province.
To me, I think that the farmers can join to improve this situation if they have willingness to grow vegetables:
1. The technique of vegetable growing in dry season should be trained to the indigenous farmers. It is really good if the trainers could show the real practice directly to them. The indigenous people get more understanding through the real practice rather mentioning theories in the classroom. If they are trained on vegetable growing, they will be able to produce vegetable at least for family consumption. Some other potential families will be able to produce vegetables for market supplies so that they actually be able to generate more incomes to improve their family’s livelihood, which previously mainly rely on Non-Timber Forest Products (NTFPs),

2. The farmers should dig family pond or community pond to be used for vegetable growing and animal raising especially in the dry season. If they have ponds, they have hope to better their living condition in the dry season. They can raise fishes, they can grow vegetables, they can raise other animals, etc.

3. The farmers should use as much as possible the existing potentials of their communities, there are some natural water bodies in their communities. Therefore, it is good if they grow vegetables along the stream. They will produce good vegetables for family consumption and market supplies. Some farmers who are cooperating with CEDAC have already experienced of doing such good things and they could receive a good result from their effort.
4. Now, indigenous farmers in Koh Ngiek district do not use chemical fertilizer or chemical pesticide for farming activities. Therefore, it is good to promote ecological agriculture in the district. However, we worry about new comers who not indigenous people apply chemicals to their farm and it is followed by the indigenous farmers. I think that it is really good if development agencies such as NGOs, government line departments raise awareness to those farmers about pros and cons of chemical agricultural inputs and encourage them to use natural manure, organic matter, etc.


By: Him Neun,

Association for Local Development and Agriculture (ALDA) is an initiative started by CEDAC in 2008 in Takeo, Kompong Speu and Kompot provinces. The association was formed by clustering interested former graduates of CEDAC’s Young Community Leader[1] (YCL) and farmer promoter programs. ALDA is a sub-program of CEDAC Field Program Unit. The main purpose of this program to ensure that there is are sufficient competent community human resources committed to train, guide, advice and provide services to other farmers, NGOs and institutions in their community and neighboring communities. It is considered of first rank importance to build the capacity and promote cooperation among young community farmers and other farmers to enhance their careers and develop  specializations.

On February 25, 2009, CEDAC facilitated the organization of  interested young farmer community leaders in Takeo and Kompong Speu provinces into ALDA with title Rural Youth Association for Development (RYAD). The association was established with the objectives of:
-          Improving youth cooperation and mutual help
-          Increasing job and career opportunities
-          Building up the capacity of each other
-          Developing rural youth to be an organization that plays an important role in providing training and facilitating services in the fields of Agriculture, Health, Education and Environment.

Initially, the association consisted of 11 members (6 women) who had completed the Young Community Leader course (YCL) with CEDAC. Currently, the association has 19 memberships (6 women) with 398 USD as supporting fee. In general, RYAD has been able to generate a gross income of approximately 800 USD per month to support its operations. Members bring in a monthly salary from their services such as promoting service fee from PRS-EU project, hosting NGOs exchange visit, monthly salary (CFA of CEDAC project), data collection, training service fee from participants and selling farmer magazines. In addition, to strengthen the sustainability of the association all members agreed to set aside 3% of the association’s monthly gross income as a RYAD supporting fee and regular collective saving. Up to date RYAD has run its operation full one year with driving some achievement as following:

1- Community Assistance:
(RYAD) has been playing an important role by providing support, advice  and guidance to local   communities to improve their mutual help. They have facilitated farmers to set up village-based associations, saving groups, and collective business groups like community rice mill, animal feed processing, and local seed producer, applying community participatory development approaches. RYAD also assisted the community to set up saving-for-self-reliance groups at the village level and facilitates the administration of these groups by helping with the processes of saving, lending, bookkeeping and fund management of the money paid back. Besides providing social and business ideas to farmers, RYAD association has assisted communities to apply innovative agricultural practices such as System of Rice Intensification (SRI), ecological chicken-raising, fish-raising, home gardening, integrated farming, saving compost and improving fertilizer management, and reducing chemical pesticide and fertilizer use.

2- Enhancing Capacity of Members:
RYAD not only seeks to support communities but also to strengthen the skills and capacity of its members.  Their knowledge related to agricultural practices was improved through attendance in training and capacity building sessions organized by CEDAC, learning from expert farmers and producing best practice documentation. Family income of RYAD members was increased through practicing the agriculture techniques themselves at home. Moreover, RYAD provided more opportunities to members through additional training activities and hosting exchange visits. Each member can earn a salary on average of 70USD per month by providing the training service, hosting NGOs exchange visit, data collection and selling farmer magazine.

Though the association is still young, it has made rapid strides and members are contributing to communities for positive changes. Some members have identified their specialization and have been improving their own self development.

[1] YCL is the one approach of CEDAC rural development program  to improve quality of knowledge and life of young farmer

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Workshop on CMDG

Up to January 18, 2010, 9 workshops on CMDG (Cambodia Millennium Development Goal), with 255 participants including 72 women, have been organized by the project, titled “Happy Mountain Bird/Ensuring Access to Primary Education for Children of the Poorest Families”. This is the third phase of the project being implementing by CEDAC to support 34,000 poorest children in 300 villages across 40 communes in Kompong Chhnang province.

The participants were representatives of District Office of Education, commune council members, village chief, school principals, Community Based Facilitators (CBF), Community based Education Promoters (CEP), NGO’s staff and other local stakeholders. Summary background of CEDAC, critical information of HMB3, and the CMDG were raised for presentation and plenary discussion during the workshop. The workshops have been organized to build up the understanding and capacity of local authorities and other local stakeholders abovementioned on CMDG. All 9 goals of CMDG were presented and discussed especially the first goal “eradicate extreme poverty and hunger” and the second goal “Achieve primary education” were discussed in-depth thanks to they are strongly relevant to the implementation of HMB3.

About 90% of total participants have learned and understood well about the CMDG that will improve their commitment to ensure a good primary education within their respective communities.  Furthermore, it has provided a good opportunity to the school teachers/school principals, local authorities, and other local stakeholders to discuss actively about the education issue in their respective communities especially their effort to achieve the CMDG. Moreover, the action plan was developed by the participants in order to contribute to accomplishing of primary children’s education.

Friday, February 12, 2010

Progress of paddy value chain study by CBO representatives in Kompot and Kompong Speu Provinces

The data entry of the paddy value study at Kompot and Kompong Speu provinces were completed. Pheng Chandy, Kong Sina and Nuon Piseth, cedac’s staff, conducted the data entry. Chhong Sophal will write the research report by analyzing those data. It is to note that the paddy value chain study was conducted by CBO representatives in Kompot and Kompong Speu province. It was very good change for the community people to conduct the study by themselves. By doing so, they were able to learn how to conduct paddy value chain as well as they could gain more knowledge and information about paddy production and paddy market in their respective areas. The first draft report will be distributed to the CBO representatives to check and comment on the report. They would be able to add more additional information that they could learn from their effort in the fields that was recently conducted.

Sun Vatannak, staff of CRS, expected to continue in providing strengthening the capacity and knowledge to this team so that this team will become a good team that is able to provide good development services in their communities. Those CBOs can raise proposal to CRS in order to ask for grant to cover on the training sessions.

End project evaluation of FLIP

Mr. Chhin Chhunhoir is working on the internal project evaluation of FLIP in Takeo province. The evaluation will be conducted in Prey Veng as well because both Takeo and Prey Veng are the target provinces of FLIP. Recently, Chhunhoir was working on the questionnaire design and testing it for improvement. He trained team members to collect information from respondents in order to respond the objectives of the evaluation.

Field mission to ALP Mundulkiri

Yim Sok Sophors and Vang Sean, CEDAC’s staff, conducted field mission to the Agriculture Livelihood Project in the Sok San Community, Koh Ngiek district, Mundulkiri province from 8-12 Feb 2010. The purpose of the visit was to conduct end line survey of ALP. 80 questionnaires would be collected through individual interview with the community farmers. It is expected that by 19, all questionnaires would be completed.

During the visit, staff meeting was organized in order to prepare questionnaire for the end line survey. Cheav Sopheak who is the project officer of ALP also participated in the end line survey. We all have conducted individual interview with farmers in the target villages. However, we were likely difficult to find farmers for the interview as they were not at home. The report of the end line survey would be submitted to WWF at the end of this month.

Friday, February 5, 2010

The workshop on Harmonization and Equivalence for Greater Mekong Countries

From February 4-5, 2010 CEDAC staff member Mr. Khorn Sdok attended the Harmonization and Equivalence for Greater Mekong Countries Workshop in Nonthaburi province, Thailand. The workshop was conducted and supported by the Global Organic Market Access Project (GOMA) of FAO, IFOAM and UNCTAD. GOMA staff and 26 representatives from 8 countries attended: Cambodia, Laos, Thailand, Vietnam, Myanmar, Malaysia, Australia, China and attended the workshop. The objectives of the workshop were to:

- Share among the Greater Mekong Countries the challenges of standards and certifications for trade; and
- Discuss ways for countries in the region to address harmonization and equivalence in organic agriculture.

During the workshop, several important topics were presented and discussed. Topics included a summary of the Global Organic Market Access Project, understanding the situation in the Greater Mekong Countries and Australia (each country presented their situation and challenges regarding organic standards and certification bodies), Regional Harmonization and Equivalence in Asia, ways forward and recommendations. The participants discussed in-depth how were the Greater Mekong Sub-region (GMS) or Asian or Asian plus 1, 2 and 3 countries harmonized and equivalent in organic agriculture standard. At the end of the workshop, the majority of participants agreed to establish a regional minimum standard for organic products, which will based on the IFOAM or Codex standards and accreditation of certifying bodies, which will be based on ISO 65 for the long-term vision of the GOMA project.

Train Community Leaders to be Market Researcher

On February 05, 2010, Mr. Yim Sok Sophors facilitated a meeting with the participation of CBO representatives at Tramkak district, Takeo province on paddy value chain study. The participants came from different areas, included Kompot and Kompong Speu province. The participants shared their activities and results during the last whole month concerning to data collection through individual interview and group discussion with key respondents in the villages studied. During the meeting, we summed up the progress of data collection being conducted by the CBO representatives. So far, they have completed the data collection. We will go on with data entry and reporting.

Mr. Vatannak, CRS, was in the meeting and discussed with the participants to organize 3 training sessions to the same participants, the training will be start in March, May and July. The topics focus on Practical Management and Leadership, Training and Facilitation Skill, and Business Plan Preparation. He wanted the CBOs to raise the proposals for submission to CRS for covering the expenses of those training sessions.
It is expected that the first draft report of this paddy value chain will be done in February, around 22-23 Feb. The first draft report will be distributed to the CBOs in order to ask them for comment so that we can finalize the report ultimately. With support from CRS, it is expected that a presentation workshop will be organize to show the result of this study. Some relevant NGOs and government officials will be invited to join the workshop.

The meeting was ended with fruitful results, the participants mentioned that they have improved their understanding on general concept of paddy value chain. They knew how to conduct market study by themselves next time, etc.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Workshop on Improving Quality of Life

On February 03, 2010, CEDAC’s president, Dr. Yang Saing Koma, and director of Farmer and Nature Net (FNN), Mr. Pan Sopheap, facilitated a full-day workshop on the topic of “Improving Quality of Life” at Asia Hotel, in Kompong Chhnang province. 51 participants from five districts in  the province attended the workshops, included Community Based Facilitators (CBFs) and Community based Education Promoters (CEP) who are community leaders from CEDAC’s project, titled “Happy Mountain Bird/HMB”. It is to emphasize that HMB is implemented by CEDAC to ensure access to primary education for children of the poorest families.

Government officials who are representatives of Provincial Department of Education, Youth and Sport, HMB’s project coordinator, Mr. Kep Ratana, M&E officer, Mr. Sin Phoan, and Japanese interpreter, Mr. Heng Sokheng, also participated in the workshop.

The main purpose of the workshop was to discuss and build up knowledge of the community leaders and local stakeholders on how to improve their quality of life. Some relevant concepts, like Health, Knowledge, Friendship, and Money were raised for in-depth discussion. Additionally, the best practices or successful experiences of eradicating poverty was also actively discussed and shared among the participants. Moreover, the participants discussed about how to make a happy life at older age. Dr. Yang Saing Koma raised idea of collective saving for discussion with several examples. Each participant would be able to make income of 1,430 million riels by saving only 1,000 riels per month for thirty years with monthly interest rate of three percent.

The participants learned very well about the concepts of improving quality of life from the facilitators and mutual learning from the other participants. Ultimately, they committed to conduct collective saving in order to have a good happiness while they are older.

Kick off meeting on food security organized by EU

On February 03, 2010, Sim Samoeun, Yi Kimthan, Oum Savin, Y Kadum and Yim Sok Sophors (CEDAC’s staff members) participated in the kick off meeting on Food Security organized by European Union (EU) at Sunway Hotel in Phnom Penh.

EU procedure, included financial management, EU visibility. Furthermore, Food Security and Food Facility were also presented by the EU’s staff as well.  During the meeting, the participants raised many questions to ask the presenters and the answers were fully responded. Through the participation in the meeting, I was able to know that EU will grant more 2 million euro for food security project in Cambodia for the year of 2010.

Sunday, January 31, 2010

CEDAC and PLAN Joint Full Proposal to EU

CEDAC and PLAN Cambodia were working as partners on the designation of a joint full proposal to the European Union (EU) for four days from 25-28 January 2010 at SUNWAY Hotel in Phnom Penh. The proposal “Promoting Climate Resilient Livelihoods for Small-Scale Farmers in Most Vulnerable Dry Land Areas in Siem Reap and Kampong Cham Provinces”. The purpose of the workshop was to write up the full proposal for submission to EU. The project was developed to be implemented for five years from the end of 2010 to 2014, which mainly focus on the dry land areas, desertification. In addition to the project, it will cover on 325 villages across 31 communes, in 6 districts, in 2 provinces with estimated budget of 2.2 million euro.

22 participants attended the workshops, included 3 CEDAC’s staffs, 14 PLAN Cambodia’s staffs, Mr. Andi Hill who is the program officer of PLAN England, 2 representatives from Provincial Department of Agriculture from Siem Reap and Kompong Cham provinces, and other 2 farmer representatives from Takeo province. It is to note that CEDAC’s staff were included Mr. Yi Kimthan, CEDAC Field Program’s Director, Mr. Yim Sok Sophors, Program Officer and Mr. Ma Veasna, Project Coordinator of CEDAC were at the workshop.

One day before the workshop at SUNWAY Hotel, Mr. Andi Hill conducted a field visit to Dombae district, Kompong Cham province on January 25, 2010 in order to seek for understanding about the situation of the proposed target district. He met a group of youth, a group of farmers and local authorities in order to learn from the situation of the target district. Mr. Yi Kim Than and Mr. Yim Sok Sophors from CEDAC also participated in the field visit at that time. Apart from the group discussion with the key informants in the villages, we have also visited the farmers’ rice field in order to learn about degraded land. During the workshop, the participants discussed actively about the designation of the proposal. Small group discussion, plenary presentation, brain storming, group work were conducted during the workshop.

The preparation of expected outputs, activities, logical framework, were achieved during the workshop. The final action to finalize the full proposal was developed and it is expected that the completed proposal will be submitted to EU Brussels on March 08, 2010.  During the workshop, the participants could learn from each others and knew how to integrate their actions between CEDAC and PLAN in dealing with sustainable development, primary education, etc. All in all, the workshop could achieve all results as expected.

Saturday, January 30, 2010


Monthly meeting of CEDAC Field Program is organized regularly every month. The purpose of the meeting is to share the progress of project’s implementation, to prepare the action plan and to ensure a good cooperation among the development projects under the program and also to strengthen the knowledge and capacity of the project officers in relation to project management and implementation.

On January 29, 2010, CEDAC organized one-day monthly meeting with the participation of 17 participants, of whom 3 are women. Those participants are the project officers, project coordinators, program officer and director of CEDAC Field Program. Mr. Meas Somica, project coordinator, was the main facilitator of the meeting. During the meeting, the participants had reviewed the last minute of the previous meeting, discussed on writing up the annual progress report of CEDAC Field Program, discussed to identify target communes for new CEDAC’s projects that will be implemented in Prey Veng and Svay Rieng provinces. At that time, Mr. Yi Kim Than, director of CEDAC Field Program also presented in plenary about the concept notes of two development projects to the participants. Those projects are “Improving Food Security for the Most Vulnerable Families in Prey Veng province/IFS-PV” and another project ” Development of food production, farming incomes, nutrition and resilience in rural Cambodia/FF-PV&SR”. 

As the result, the participants could learn from each other relating to the progress of project implementation from each target province of CEDAC Field Program. Based the information shared by the participants, it is able to know that the Village-based Farmer Organizations (VFOs) set up under the facilitation of CEDAC are more effective in terms of operating their community-led businesses and other social development activities especially those VFOs become important partners with the commune councils. Furthermore, the participants could absorb more understanding about the general concept of the project IFS-PV and FF-PV&SR so that they are quite sure about what the projects will do. Moreover, the participants committed to improve their writing skills (writing of best practices, farmers’ successful stories, etc) so that they can produce interesting case studies for the Farmer Magazine, CEDAC’s website and so forth. The meeting was ended successfully with fruitful results. On the other hand, the next meeting will be held from 01 to 03 March 2010 at the branch office of CEDAC in Kompong Chhnang province.

Friday, January 29, 2010


On Monday, January 25, 2010, a video production team from SEA-TV visited Trapaing Veng village, Beungtranh khang tbong commune, Samrong district, Takeo province to interview and video experienced farmers cooperating with CEDAC in adapting and developing multi-purpose farms (MPF) as well as filming farmers and conditions in rural areas.

During their visit, the TV team interviewed Mr. Kep Chorn, a farmer who is cooperating with CEDAC to apply various agricultural innovations introduced by CEDAC on his farm. The SEA-TV team also interviewed Mr. Him Noeun, field coordinator of CEDAC, for more information about CEDAC, how CEDAC assists farmers in developing multi-purpose farms, and  accomplishments of  the project. After visiting and taking videos of multi-purpose farms and other agricultural innovations being implemented by participating farmers, the TV team videoed family sugar palm operations and living conditions in the rural areas.

The multi-purpose farm is an integrated agricultural innovation promoted by CEDAC since 2000, and is now being disseminated by CEDAC through two development projects: “Poverty reduction among subsistence rice farmers through the promotion of sustainable livelihood system” (PRS-EU) funded by the European Union and Evangelischer Entwicklungsdienst (EED); and “Integrated commercial farm for small farmers in Samrong district, Takeo province project” (ICM-SR) funded by UNDP Global Environmental Facility Small Grants Programme.

It is expected that the film will be shown on SEA-TV in February 2009 to share experiences from best-practice farmers with other farmers and stakeholders.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

CEDAC organized training series on Management and Leadership

On 22 January 2010, CEDAC organized the fifth training session on Management and Leadership. The purpose of the training series is to strengthen the knowledge and capacity of CEDAC’s middle managers to be more effective managers and leaders. The training was organized at CEDAC’s office in Phnom Penh, and attended by eight middle managers who come from different target provinces of CEDAC.  Mr. Tath Sok, project coordinator, was the facilitator of the training and Dr. Yang Saing Koma, president of CEDAC, was the main resource person for the training.

The training focused on the “8 ritual of visionary leaders,”  as developed by Robin Sharma and which include: compelling future focus; human relations; team unity; adaptability and change management; personal effectiveness; self-leadership; creativity and innovation; and contribution and significance. Dr. Yang Saing Koma explained each concept in detail by using concrete real-life examples. The participants discussed and actively shared their knowledge and experiences in relation to these topics. Drawing on his own work experience, Mr. Tath Sok illustrated the concept of “Maturity of Work” and facilitated participants to reflect on aspects of their jobs they had conducted well, or which they should have done better, and how they could be successful in making improvements.
As a result of learning and thinking about these concepts, and understanding how they are relevant to their current work and daily lives, participants will be able to improve the quality of both their professional and personal endeavors. The training was concluded successfully and the next training will be conducted 19 February 2010 at CEDAC offices in Phnom Penh.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Chea Borey: From Construction Worker to Agri-Entrepreneur

Chea Borey is 27 years old and lives with his parents and four other family members in Prey Kuy village, Trapaing Sre commune, Mesang district, Prey Veng province. Borey stopped studying at grade 12 in 2004 after failing the Bac II exam. For six months afterwards, he worked as a security guard in Phnom Penh, and then became a construction worker.  During the following years, he worked hard to achieve the skills of a master craftsman in house building. However, his income remained low, around US$100-150/year, and he often had to find work in other provinces. Read more...

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Farmer Success Story: Meng Pav Adopts SRI and Integrated Farming

Ms. Meng Pav is a 50-year old farmer living in Srey Krong Reach village, Krangleav commune, Bati district of Takeo province. She has been cooperating with CEDAC since 2005. She is the head of a family comprised of six members (herself, her husband, three sons and a daughter). Ms. Meng Pav has primary responsibility for her family’s well-being as her husband is 66 years old and has vision problems due to injuries he received as a soldier in 1995. Read more....

Training on Paddy Value Chain Study in Tramkak district, Takeo province

A 3-day training session on the study of paddy value chain was organized by CEDAC at the branch office in Tramkak district, Takeo province. The purpose of the training was to boost the understanding of CBOs representatives on how to conduct the study of paddy value chain. Definition of value chain, market chain actors, theory of supply, demand and price, questionnaire design, data collection methods, were raised for discussion during the training.

Mr. Yim Sok Sophors and Mr. Chhong Sophal, CEDAC’s staff, acted as the co-facilitators of the training. 25 participants who are the representatives of CBOs (paddy farmer producer groups, community-based rice mills) from Kompot and Kompong Speu Provinces and representatives of partner NGOs such as WOSO, FLD, PNKS participated in the training. Mr. Yi Kimthan, director of CEDAC Field Program and Sun Vanthanak, provincial facilitator of Catholic Relief Services (CRS) for Civil Society and Pro-Poor Market (CSPPM) project also participated in and acted the observers of the training. During the training, Mr. Yi Kimthan and Mr. Sun Vanthanak shared their knowledge and practical experiences relating paddy value chain study to the participants. Some training tools such as brainstorming, plenary discussion, small group discussion, group presentation, field practice were used to ensure that the participants could learn effectively in a participatory way. It was able to note that the participants actively shared and learned the knowledge and experiences to one another.

In conclusion, the training is very useful for the participants, they have learned and understood well about the concept of paddy value chain, methodology of conducting the paddy value chain study, understood and knew how to conduct individual interview and focus group discussion and finally the action plan was prepared among the CBOs representatives.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Reflection Meeting between CEDAC and PACT

On 18-19 January 2010, CEDAC and PACT Cambodia conducted a 2-day reflection meeting about the implementation of the project “Local Administration and Reform/LAAR” at CEDAC’s office in Tramkak district, Takeo province. It is to note CEDAC has cooperated with PACT to implement this project since 2006, the project is funded by USAID. Up to now, 3 phases of the project has been implemented.
The purpose of the meeting was to reflect the progress of the project, to find out recommendations to improve the effectiveness and efficiency of project implementation. Furthermore, the meeting aimed to strengthen and build up capacity of the project’s staffs in relation to the financial management as well. Totally, 7 people participated in the meeting, included 5 CEDAC’s staffs and 2 staffs from PACT.

Mr. Yi Kim Than, director of CEDAC Field Program, Mrs. Hell Simon, program officer and Ms. Oung Chan Mony, senior grant management officer of PACT were the main facilitators of the meeting. It is to emphasize that the participants discussed and conducted reflection in detail about progress of the project implementation, the progress of staff capacity, effectiveness of implementing social development projects, reporting and monitoring system, financial management, etc.

Finally, the meeting has achieved fruitful results especially the participants could learn that the project has accomplished more results if compare to the last quarter. In addition, the project’s staff are clear about the progress of the project implementation, they could learn well from their prior experiences and could improve more skills to implement and manage the project successfully.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

FNP Coordination Team Meeting at CILD

CEDAC Field Program (FNP) organized a meeting on January 08, 2010,  with the participation of its coordination team members, the members of FNP coordination team are the one who is the permanent staff of CEDAC/FNP. About 25 staffs participated in the meeting. The meeting was conducted in order to prepare the staff salary for 2010. Mr. Yi Kimthan who is the director of FNP facilitated the meeting smoothly for a full day at CILD (Cedac Institute for Local Development) office in Phnom Penh. During the meeting, staff salary was raised to talk over based on the policy of CEDAC. In the meeting, the participants prepared the proposed budget plan of FNP for 2010. Both staff salary and proposed budget of Cedac Field Program will be submitted to CSC (Cedac Steering Committee) in order to ask for the official approval.

Subsequently, all participants, Mr. Sim Samoeun (Executive director), Mr. Tath Sok (representative from Credit Cooperative) and Mr. Ouch Ngak (human resource manager) participated in the evening party as well. We have discussed and shared notions and experiences from one another.
Dawn to dusk, the meeting was conducted successfully with a happy environment and we got more energy to work more smarter in 2010. It is expected that we will have more projects for CEDAC Field Program in 2010 so that we can expand our scope of work to support rural  poor, marginalized people, poorest families, indigenous minority people, rural women, children to improve the quality of life and social development in the respective communities. We will be able to serve the benefit of 300,000 families in 6000 villages to overcome the poverty and improve the quality of life through the promotion of family’s ecological agriculture, community-led businesses, collective saving, establishment of farmer organizations and networks, etc.