Monthly Archives: March 2013

Documentary raises consumer awareness on food safety

My food my health
12 December 2012

Phnom Penh, Cambodia: Eighty people, including representatives of organic farmers’ groups of four provinces, consumers, students, journalists and staff members of the Centre d’Etude et de Développement Agricole Cambodgien / Cambodian Centre for Study and Development in Agriculture (CEDAC), the Cambodian Organic Agriculture Association (COrAA) and Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit / (GIZ), gathered to celebrate the premiere of the documentary film My Food, My Health—Where does our food come from?

With support from the GIZ, the premiere was organized by the CEDAC and COrAA at the Cambodia-Japan Cooperation Center in Phnom Penh.

The documentary raises consumer awareness on food safety and organic agriculture, and promotes ‘food care’ among the public.

 

Following the screening, a Q&A session addressed viewers’ questions. The GIZ’s Country Director for Cambodia, Mr. Eberhardt, remarked:

‘There is no health without good food—and organic food is at the forefront of eating healthy. This documentary takes the viewer on a journey that tells the story of organic vegetable farming in Cambodia. It is not only informative, but encourages one to eat organic whenever possible’.

During the Q&A, the viewers obtained valuable information regarding food safety and organic agriculture. Moreover, they gained awareness about matters related to food production.

Towards the end of December, several TV stations in Phnom Penh broadcast the film more than 10 times. DVDs were distributed to bus companies, high schools and several universities to further raise awareness of food quality issues among travellers and students.

To view My Food, My Health—Where does our food come from?, visit GIZ Cambodia’s YouTube Channel: http://www.youtube.com/gizcambodia

Baseline Study of the Cambodian Human Rights and Development Association’s Civil Party Scheme for Case 002

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Phnom Penh, Cambodia, Victims’ participation is one of the unique features of the trials held by the Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia (ECCC), also known as the Khmer Rouge Tribunal (KRT). In November 2011, the ECCC Trial Chamber began its second trial, hearing evidence against three former top ranking Khmer Rouge leaders. Nearly 4,000 victims participate as Civil Parties in this second case (Case 002), over ten times more than in the first trial. This unprecedented large number of Civil Parties in an already complex trial poses challenges for the Court, lawyers and NGOs alike to achieve a balance between the rights of victims to an effective participation and the rights of the accused to a timely trial.

Considering this challenge and the limited resources available, ADHOC, the Cambodian Human Rights and Development Association (French Acronym), has established in 2010 a Civil Party Representative (CPR) scheme, to facilitate a two-way communication process between Civil Parties, their lawyers, and the Court. ADHOC acts as the intermediary organisation for nearly half of the Civil Parties admitted in Case 002, providing assistance for their participation in the ECCC’s legal proceedings. The CPR scheme is centred on the role of 122 Civil Party Representatives who act as the focal point and link between the majority of the Civil Parties assisted by ADHOC, their lawyers, ADHOC staff, and the Court.

This study constitutes a baseline analysis for the monitoring and evaluation of the CPR scheme implemented by ADHOC. Specifically, among Civil Parties assisted by ADHOC in Case 002, it aims to examine: (1) awareness, knowledge and attitudes of the ECCC; (2) their perceptions and expectations about justice; and (3) their expectations in regards to collective and moral reparations. It is anticipated that the findings will have broader lessons-learned to inform the participation of large numbers of victims in criminal trials in international and hybrid tribunals dealing with mass atrocities.

Download Baseline Study >>>

GIZ supported organic fair-trade certified rice sets quality standards for a product in high-demand

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March 9, 2013

Kampuchea Krom Boulevard, Phnom Penh, Cambodia – In 2004, CEDAC’s Organic Rice Market Programme shop, supported by GIZ, opened in Kampuchea Krom. Since the opening of the first shop, CEDAC’s organic rice labeled under the brand “Natural Agricultural Products”, gained popularity very quickly in retail locations throughout Phnom Penh.

CEDAC soon became a synonym for quality organic rice. Today, consumers continue to trust CEDAC’s organic quality control system.

 

Strengthening value chains – from rice field to fork

Since 2011,Technical Advisor Mr. Claudius Bredehöft and Technical Assistant Mr. Samorn Channa have supported the process with the aim to gain product value from the farmer’s field to consumers’fork.

“In our joined project between CEDAC and GIZ, we have to consider all stakeholders involved. We are starting with the farmers and their production environment and end with the needs of the customers in Cambodia as well as overseas”, Claudius Bredehöft summarizes.

Fairly grown in Cambodia, eaten world-wide

In 2008, CEDAC applied for international organic certification and successfully exported the first container of organic certified rice of Cambodian origin to the USA. Lotus Foods, the product’s market partner in the USA,strongly promotes SRI grown organic rice produced by small-scale farmers.

And by 2010, CEDAC became Fair TSA Standard certified, which assures fair production and work conditions, higher prices plus afair trade premium for community development. Last year, Germany received its first batch of CEDAC first organic certified rice through fair trade partner, EL PUENTE.

From subsistence to commercial gain – CEDAC’s vision

The Vision of CEDAC is to convert subsistence rice farmers to organic rice farm entrepreneurs or commercial organic fragrant rice producers. Through Fair trade standards, CEDAC generates extra funds for social development with international partners.

“By 2022, CEDAC plans to support up to 100,000 farmers to produce more than 400,000 tons organic fragrant paddy to supply the markets”, Dr. Yang Saing Koma, CEDAC´s President explains the ambitious targets of his organization.

300 Farmers certified, 700 more prepare for certification

In 2008, only one cooperative in Takeo Province was certified. Today approx. 300 Farmers in Takeo, Kampong Chhnang and Kampong Speu are certified and 700 more farmers prepare for international certification. To qualify for certification, farmers have to demonstrate that they manage their farms without any chemical inputs for at least 3 years.Every year, CEDAC’s Internal Control System, under the supervision of CEDAC’s Program Director for Health & Environment Mr. Keam Makarady is certified by an accredited certification body, BCS ÖkoGarantie GmbH.

The heart of CEDAC’s Internal Control System is the ICS Handbook in which the farmers have to record all their farm activities. Additionally, the entire supply chain of the organic rice has to be inspected to assure that it has not had any contact with any hazardous chemicals. The new CEDAC warehouse stores organic rice only to ensure highest standards possible. The two rice mills have to follow strict rules to reach international organic standards.

Mr. Sou Savorn, Operation Manager of CEDAC Sahakreas, is responsible for the paddy buying, processing and export of the organic rice.

“Our product is very popular – We do not have enough organic certified rice for our customers available”, he explained. Last year, CEDAC Sahakreas exported 105 tons of organic fair trade certified rice to Germany and the USA. This year, exports will double – and are anticipated to reach over 200 tons. Other customers in Canada, France, Germany, Malaysia and the Netherlands are awaiting the opportunity to import CEDAC’s products.

For more information on CEDAC’s Organic Rice Programme contact: 

Mr. Claudius Bredehöft

E-Mail: claudius.bredehoeft@giz.de

Tel: +855 12 215 430

Every Mother and Every Child Counts – GIZ and partners join the road to making motherhood safer for Cambodians

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24 February 2013

Kampot Province, Cambodia – Despite the progress achieved during the last decade, Cambodia’s health indicators are still among the worst in Southeast Asia. Huge inequities exist between rural and urban population and between the wealthiest and the poorest quintiles. High risk deliveries contribute to high maternal and new-born morbidity and mortality. Reasons lie in inadequate antenatal care and unqualified attendance during emergency obstetric and new-born care, especially at the health centre level.

 

“The challenges in Cambodia are multi-faceted: high-risk pregnancies are not always observed, or not treated correctly; health professionals lack clinical skills; and health facilities are not well equipped to deal with emergencies,” Klaus Hornetz Project Manager explained.

In addition to these development hampers, health referral and transport systems are underdeveloped and a majority of the population, particularly in rural areas, lacks the financial means to cover transport costs even if ambulance services are available.

“The knowledge of the population to detect risk signs during pregnancy and childbirth and to seek treatment in time is low or non-existent. Our partners in the Ministry of Health and the provinces are trying to turn this fact around, and we are key supporters” Klaus Hornetz Project Manager continued.

Improving lives from day one: maternal and new-born health a high priority

Maternal and Child Health is a priority for the German Development Cooperation, GIZ, and Malteser International in Cambodia. GIZ and Malteser International initiated a partnership in October 2012 and are combining their long-standing experience in Cambodia to implement the Muskoka Project – a project that aims to improve maternal and new-born health in Kampot operational district (Kampot Province – see map for details) through focusing on obstetric care and behaviour change communication

The project takes on a two-level approach: it works to strengthen both the demand and supply side, which has proven to lead to an effective and efficient improvement of maternal and new-born health indicators. Furthermore, the project has added value and created synergy effects with other projects and programs within social health protection throughout Cambodia.

Clinical skills enhanced, quality of care in health centres on the rise

Despite recent efforts, a trained midwife shortage persists. Commonly, midwives working in rural health centres have undergone short vocational trainings, lasting a couple of months at the maximum, and thus exhibit only basic knowledge, especially with regards to emergency obstetric care.

To overcome this challenge, the project has employed highly skilled midwives, which are assigned to conduct intensive ‘on-the-job’ capacity building exercises with trainee midwives from the 10 target health centres. Once trained, the midwives should be able to contribute to higher quality obstetric care. Together the midwives focus on delivery care as well as ante- and postnatal care. The trainees are also accompanied during outreach activities to remote villages. In addition to the direct skills impact of the trainings, the aim is also to induce changes in the behaviour and attitude of medical personnel towards their clients.

Involving Communities – essential for success2. Picture unten

The participation of the community is essential for the success of each health project. The project plans to conduct intensive awareness sessions at the village level to promote deliveries in medical facilities; to strengthen the linkage between health centres and communities; and to increase local knowledge on how to make motherhood safer.

“We hope for this project to not only enhance capacities among the public health care providers, but to also ensure that public health services respond to the patients’ needs,” Klaus Hornetz, said.

“Our bottom line is to improve health – especially for women and children.”

Public-Private Collaboration transforms small-holder agriculture in Siem Reap province

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25 February 2013

Siem Reap, Cambodia – GIZ’s Regional Economic Development (RED) – Green Belt Programme operates in the Siem Reap province of Cambodia to foster the competitive integration of agricultural producers and small-scale businesses in commercial markets.

In particular, the programme supports thousands of producers in the province who are engaged in vegetable farming.  The production and commercialization of vegetables has the potential to generate revenues that complement incomes and allows investments in economic assets as well as household health and education.

Addressing small-holder challenges

Small-holders, however, are often disconnected from markets, have limited resources to scale up production or access new technologies and are caught in potentially harmful cycles of economic and social degradation. Developing small-holder agriculture requires providing technical expertise and know-how, which is often difficult to deliver in rural areas and costly for farmers.

In order to address this challenge, RED has promoted the establishment of partnership agreements between Provincial Department of Agriculture (PDA) and agricultural input companies.

Input producers and distributors, such as seed, fertilizer or agrochemical companies, have a strong interest to promote the development of the vegetable sector from the subsistence to the commercial level, since their business depends on having a growing number of commercial producers as clients.

Public-private sectors support over 4,00 farmersb2

Private sector companies can contribute to increase farm productivity by commercializing quality inputs in rural areas (e.g. high yield and climate tolerant seeds or safe pesticides). Additionally, they can provide extension services to farmers such as training and technical advice related to the correct and effective application of their products.

The public sector plays a key role to catalyze the interventions of private sector companies in support of small-holders. Since 2009, RED and the Provincial Department of Agriculture have teamed up with agricultural input companies to benefit vegetable producers in Siem Reap. Meanwhile, PDA technical staff operate as an aggregating entity that identify and channel the demand of farmers for technical support, which facilitates service delivery by private sector companies.

Jointly, the public and private sector have supported the dissemination of modern techniques and technologies to over 4,000 farmers. As a result, vegetable growers in Siem Reap have increased and diversified production, which generates, on average, an additional income of USD 159  per year, per household.

At present, the RED programme is supporting PDA to develop partnerships with new companies and extend existing collaborations, tailored to the changing requirements of a sector in transformation.

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All activities are implemented by GIZ on behalf of the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ).