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.