On 25th July, 2022 CFAP’s Chairman, Prum Samat and a managing director both CFAP’s high levels of management and political participated in a briefing meeting with IFAD led by Mr. Hubert H. Boirard, accompanied by Mr. Alok and SRIA/RIA represented by Ms. Bernie, and Ms. Junie. The meeting held after field visits of the IFAD SIS Mission team to meet with producers’ associations and agricultural cooperatives in rural Cambodia. The meeting also participated virtually by IFAD country representative and EU in Cambodia.
According to Mr. Hubert H. Boirard, he found farmers and farmers’ organizations have business network in places, however capacity building on strategic business planning, bookkeeping, strengthen collaboration opportunity with relevant stakeholders included private sector, monitoring and evaluation (M&E) and increasing incomes for smallholders and so on. Strategic business plan for farmers’ organizations, however it is key to develop both agriculture and agricultural economy. CFAP’s managing director, Sok Sotha was briefing about the history of collaboration amongst farmers’ organizations in the so called “national farmers’ organization platform” under CFAP’s facilitation with support from IFAD under the project – MTCP1-2 because it is not easy to identify a single representative, therefore strengthening existing national project committees which farmers’ organizations involved should be considered highly to function.
IFAD country representative Mr. Meng Sakphouseth encouraged strongly for farmers’ organizations that represent farmers, especially smallholders to involve in other projects supported by ADB, World Bank and the Government of Cambodia to represent the voices of farmers and for farmers. Hubert got interested to engage the APFP-FO4A with IFAD country programs in Cambodia, however the project of IFAD in Cambodia like the Accelerating Inclusive Markets for Smallholders (AIMS) is expected to end in 2023, so the remained time is too short for collaboration opportunity, but he gets interested to do. He added that farmers’ organizations as sub national level still have limited number of farmer members and needed to increase members accordingly at the same time to increase incomes. To strengthen the organizational sustainability and incomes of smallholders are necessarily needed. EU represented by Ms. Bee Sokunthea expressed her interests of farmers and farmers’ organizations to bring voices heard to the public while farmers’ voices are still low. She recognized that capacity building for farmers and farmers’ organizations are necessarily needed and priority policy.
In conclusion, we appreciated to accept the recommendation from IFAD, EU and inputs from all farmers’ representatives to improve respectively in particular strategic business plan, economic growth of smallholders, bookkeeping and capacity building. Further, engagement of farmers’ organizations in the APIRE – AT is key to accelerate the economy of farmers and farmers’ organizations forward sustainable agriculture and improving the livelihoods of rural people in Cambodia.