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CFAP Organised the Best Local Vegetable Contest Event (BLVCE)!

On 6th March 2020, the Cambodian Farmer Federation Association of Agricultural Producers (CFAP Cambodia) with funding from ICCO through GRET Cambodia in partnership with Svay Chrum Agricultural Cooperative locates in Trabaek village, Svay Chrum commune, Svay Chrum district, Svay Rieng province, Cambodia and in collaboration with national farmers’ organisations platform, the association organised the BEST LOCAL VEGETABLE CONTEST EVENT (BLVCE) which participated by more than 100 farmers come from 15 provinces and municipalities in Cambodia and relevant stakeholders such as the Provincial Deputy Governor, Director of the Provincial Department of Planning, Director of the Provincial Department of Agriculture Forestry and Fisheries, Representative of the Provincial Department of Commerce, Deputy District Governor, Chief of Agricultural District Office, Commune Council/Chief of commune, Communal Administrative Police, Village chief, Development partners such as CIRD and Media (THMEY THMEY and HANG MEAS TV). CFAP Cambodia has facilitated to organize this event to enable farmers access to the opportunity to gather together to join in the vegetable contest event and to empower small scale farmers to continue their farming sustainably for long run, improve vegetable production to meet high market demands, engage smallholders to meet with buyers, local authorities, development partners and many other relevant stakeholders who work on agriculture and value chains. This event also aimed to involve producers’ associations and agricultural cooperatives in other local development programmes in Cambodia. The Vegetable Contest Event, there were more than 10 different types of local leaf and fruit vegetables i.e. cucumber, string bean, salad, ridge gourd, bitter gourd, eggplant, lemon grass, winter melon, gourd, kangkong and spinach were brought by farmers represented their producer associations and agricultural cooperatives in particular from Svay Rieng and Prey Veng provinces to join in the contest. To start the event, there was a playing of a short video produced by the Svay Chrum Agricultural Cooperative talking about the management of the agricultural cooperative, work performance of the controlling committee following the governing structure of agricultural cooperative and activities of the cooperative with farmer members included services, agricultural production, marketing, agricultural inputs supplies and value chains. CFAP lead founder and managing director, SOK Sotha said in the opening session that the event has organised to engage producers and buyers, improve and disseminate the local produces of smallholders, improve the participation of youth in agriculture, help increasing agricultural production, thus to reduce imported vegetables from outside and improve collaboration opportunity between farmers as well as farmers’ organisations with local authorities and relevant stakeholders. He also encouraged farmers in particular smallholders to have focused more on agricultural technical protocols from land preparation, taking care of crops to harvest and packaging following any preferred standards in the future. He raised few agricultural standards which are applicable by smallholders such as Good Agricultural Practice (GAP), Geographical Indications (GI) and Participatory Guarantee System (PGS) which required by higher- markets currently, nationally and internationally. Though, he also raised some challenges faced by smallholders in Cambodia on climate changes, new pests, diseases and markets. Moreover, he also expressed his concerns faced by farmers on Capital, Water source, Market, Packaging knowledge and Agricultural Technology. Mr. Aing Kimseang, Agricultural officer of GRET Cambodia said that the event provided great opportunity for farmers, buyers and many other relevant stakeholders to meet and discuss for understanding with each other about demands of produces and quantity of vegetable needed daily. Mr. Kimseang added that farmers should produce in response to market demands to avoid a producing over market demands that can make loss for producers, do harvest technically and good packaging to get value added. The director of the Provincial Department of Agriculture Forestry and Fisheries (PDAFF), Mr. Thach Ratana expressed his sincere thanks to CFAP Cambodia to initiate this event and sponsors of the event such as ICCO and GRET Cambodia to engage relevant stakeholders especially farmers who are the key actors to produce food for supplying markets locally and internationally. He added that in the future, farmers here in Svay Rieng can produce for export to neighboring country. In the meantime, he declared to provide a cooling house for the Svay Chrum Agricultural Cooperative this year for storage of agricultural produces for processing and packaging for supplying markets in the short future. Mr. Bou Samoun, Deputy District Governor intervened in the opening session that in behalf of the district administration, he had expressed his sincere welcoming the organization of the event in order to enable farmers come from across the country to meet and share knowledge and experiences on agriculture in particular producers and buyers to meet and network with each other. He added the district administration has a role to facilitate as needed. Though Svay Chrum district has always faced challenges with agricultural development due threats of climate change and poor soil, but the district administration pay high attention to support the farming communities. H.E. Thong Samean, Government advisor and a director of the Provincial Department of Planning, though the department has crossed relationship in agricultural sector, but it would be part of the development planning. He expressed his sincere thanks to CFAP to organize this event that brought together amongst the relevant stakeholders to meet and discuss challenges faced by farmers for better solution in the future. He wished to see this event every year. The Vegetable Contest Event was presided over by H.E Seng Sela, Deputy Provincial Governor of Svay Rieng. In the opening speeches, he expressed his sincere thanks to the organizer to initiate and organize this event that can provide opportunity for relevant stakeholders such as farmers, traders and many others to meet and discuss about amount of produces, quality of produces and opportunity to network between producers and buyers. In the meanwhile, he had also advised the participants to take care of health while on travelling to avoid the transmission of CORONA VIRUS or COVID-19 outbreaks. H.E. Seng Sela also honored to give awards with certifications for all the winners who won the vegetable contest. In order to make sure that the contest is free and fair, therefore CFAP has decided to nominate multiple stakeholders who come from different sectors to stand for a scoring committee, they are produces collector, active farmer, vegetable seller, technical public service provider and development partner. The scoring committee has to perform their duty with respect to the scoring guidelines which focused mainly on 1). Cleanness of produces, 2). high market demands, 3). Good Quality and 4). Good Packaging of produces with the lowest score is 1 and the highest score is 10. The scoring committee members composed of:- 1. Mr. SUM Neang, represented the agricultural produces collector 2. Mr. CHHENG Thong, represented farmer 3. Mrs. MANG Sithan, represented vegetable seller 4. Mr. PEN Phally, represent technical agricultural specialist 5. Mr. AING Kimseang, represented development partner Winners of the Best Local Vegetable Contest Event (BLVCE):- 1. Mrs. CHROENG Yut comes from SAMYOUNG SANGKAHAK KAKSEKOR Agricultural Cooperative was awarded number 1 2. Mrs. PRUM SARAN comes from SVAY CHRUM Agricultural Cooperative was awarded number 2 3. Mr. OUM Phean comes from the Rural Development Agricultural Cooperative was awarded number 3 4. Mr. KONG Savoeurn comes from BASAC Agricultural Cooperative was awarded number 4 5. Mr. KUCH VEY comes from SAMAKEE KROUS Agricultural Cooperative was awarded number 5 Due limited funding for this contest in particular gifts for winners, however the winners were awarded with small gifts as below:- Awarded Number 1: Received a certificate of winner, 5 packages of Good Vegetable Seeds, 50Kg of organic fertilizer, 5 Liters of organic fertilizer, and 200,000.00 KHR Awarded Number 2: Received a certificate of winner, 5 packages of Good Vegetable Seeds, 5 Liters of organic fertilizer, and 150,000.00 KHR Awarded Number 3: Received a certificate of winner, 5 packages of Good Vegetable Seeds, 5 Liters of organic fertilizer, and 140,000.00 KHR Awarded Number 4: Received a certificate of winner, 5 packages of Good Vegetable Seeds, 5 Liters of organic fertilizer, and 130,000.00 KHR Awarded Number 5: Received a certificate of winner, 5 packages of Good Vegetable Seeds, 5 Liters of organic fertilizer, and 120,000.00 KHR