Born in a rural farming community in Cambodia, I think that education and cooperative work can make agriculture, environment, economy and livelihoods of people, especially rural people better and sustainable with unity and peace.
I travelled a lot to visit many parts of rural areas in Cambodia and exchanged opinions with farmers and I could lealize that rural lives would be improved unless farmers, farmers’ children and or their next generations got opportunity to have higher education or at least any professional skills for lives.
Today, climate change and Covid-19 pandemic put additional pressures for farmers and the farming communities while economy of the rural people, especially small farmers that represent about 80% of the total population of more than 16 million in Cambodia is not well developed.
To reach the global goal by 2030 in the threats of Covid-19 and beyond, we need to find better strategies to re-build up a relationship amongst the relevant stakeholders such as government, private sector, development agencies, and farmers’ organizations. Build higher education, resilience and stronger cooperatives for the rural farming communities. Last, but not least we need to revitalize agricultural cooperatives and farmers’ organizations to be more inclusive.
We also need a high commitment and actions of the world leaders to function and create responsive policies to support farmers and the rural farming communities.