Safe food, Healthy life in Cambodia
10 April 2017
Phnom Penh residents start changing their behavior from eating normal vegetable and fruits which contained chemical residue to consume organic products. Though the prices of organic products are higher than the normal products, some people still prefer to eat since they know these products are good for health.
“The sales volume of vegetables and fruits has increased from 100kg a day to 300kg a day,” said Canady Mao, an Assistant Director of Khmer Organic Cooperative (KOC).
In respond to the increasing demand from buyers, KOC start doing contract farming with 20 local farmers in Kampot Province. This will help to improve the income generation of the farmers and to ensure the products quality meets the organic standard and the quantity meets the demand of the market. Until now, there are around 100 different types of organic products for sale at the KOC shop.
“Most buyers come here to buy organic vegetables even though the vegetables do not look good from the outer appearance and have higher price,” said Ms Mao.
KOC also has the strategy and plan to enlarge the scope from working with 20 farmers to many more farmers in other potential provinces. Moreover, KOC is also working collaboratively with community and non-government organizations to promote community’s products. Those products are composed of leafy vegetable, fruit vegetable and processing products.
“Applying organic farming method is not only a way to generate income, but it is also good for human health because we eat safe food,” said Mr. Ieng Sotheara, a Founder of KOC.
By Phen Chhunhak and Lum Sereykut, Improvement of Livelihood and Food Security of Landless and Land-Poor Households and So Saody, ASEAN Sustainable Agrifood Systems.
The World of Organic Agriculture: Statistics & Emerging Trends 2017 is providing a comprehensive analysis of the development of the organic market worldwide.
27 March 2017
GIZ ASEAN Sustainable Agrifood Systems (ASEAN SAS) assisted the Research Institute of Organic Agriculture (FiBL) to collect information of organic production and trade in Cambodia.
Since 2011, GIZ ASEAN SAS in cooperation with the Cambodian Center for Study and Development in Agriculture (CEDAC) is promoting organic rice and vegetable value chains. ASEAN SAS intervention along the organic agriculture value chain cover inputs, production, logistics, regulation, certification, logistics, processing and marketing. Project partners come from the private sectors, other development agencies and the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fishery (MAFF) with which the project develop a regulation for Biocontrol Agents and a National Standard for Organic Agriculture.
With previous projects GIZ and its Cambodian partners were pioneering the development of a national market and the first one to export organic certified rice to the US and the EU.
Having understood the benefit of organic production for health, environment and sustainable development, the demand for organic produce in Cambodia is increasing. By 2015, the organic production occupied over 12,058 hectare (2012: 9,055 ha) which is about 0.2 percent of the total agricultural land in Cambodia. The total producers are 6,753 families. Beside rice as the biggest organic crop, cashew nuts, mango and pepper are increasing under organic production.
Noting that the sector is still small there is a big interest in investing in this sector.
The publication is compiled by FiBL and International Federation of Organic Agriculture Movements (IFOAM). It is our pleasure to assist the production team in the data collection.
Also, we are happy to provide any information about the organic market in Cambodia in the future to any organization or individual upon request.
The complete publication can be found here: http://www.organic-world.net/yearbook/yearbook-2017.html .
“You are ugly, but I still eat you.”
15 March 2017
Organic products are in higher demand in Cambodia although they do not look as nice as the chemical coated produces.
According to a shop assistant at Khmer Organic Cooperative (KOC) in Phnom Penh, about 50 to 60 customers visit the shop to buy the organic products on a daily basis. Besides, four to 10 customers call to order the products per day, especially the leafy vegetables, said Ms. Seng Sophea, 23, the KOC shop assistant.x
“Japanese bitter gourd and purple maize are most popular. Customers also ask for organic carrots, cucumber, onions and passion fruit, but they are under supply,” she said.
Visitors to the KOC include Khmers and foreigners. Usually, the Khmer customers come to buy fresh vegetable and fruit while the foreign customers shop for organic ingredients such as pepper and sugar palm, according to Ms. Sophea.
More than 100 types of products including fruit tree, leafy vegetables, tubers and other processed products and ingredients are offered at the shop. The major sources for the fresh produces come from KOC farms and contracted farmers.
Ms. Sophea said the KOC customers love the organic products because of its taste and benefits to health.
“Customers say it is tastier and they feel safe when eating,” said the shop assistant. However, the customers complain about the price which is two to three times higher than the general market.
Currently, there are two KOC shops in Cambodia, one in the suburb Chruoy Changva and the other in the central city of Phnom Penh.
KOC is a sister of Eco-Agri Co. Ltd (EAC) which is a joint initiative of GIZ Cambodia through ASEAN Sustainable Agrifood Systems (ASEAN SAS) project. EAC is the agricultural input supplier. It sells seeds, local produced Biocontrol Agents and bio-fertilizer. And, soon it will import biological pest control solutions from ASEAN Member States to Cambodia.
At present, KOC buys agricultural produces from farmer groups who are connected through EAC.
This story is based solely on an interview with Ms. Seng Sophea, the Khmer Organic Cooperative shop assistant. It is part of an activity in a workshop ‘Impact Story Writing and Basic Photography’ for project staff of Improvement of Livelihood and Food Security of Landless and Land-Poor Households, ASEAN Sustainable Agrifood Systems (ASEAN SAS), and their partner, Khmer Organic Cooperative. The workshop was conducted in Phnom Penh, Cambodia from 14-17 February 2017 and attended by 14 attendees. ASEAN SAS Communication Officer provided the training.
The story and its photos are the outcome of the workshop.
By Chhet Socheata, Keat Pengkun, Khann Kanha, and Sok Lina, Improvement of Livelihood and Food Security of Landless and Land-Poor Households and Rojana Manowalailao, ASEAN Sustainable Agrifood Systems.
RED III Data Management Process
15 March 2017
The Regional Economic Development Program III (RED III) is a Cambodian rural development program funded by Germany (BMZ) and Switzerland (SDC) and implemented with technical assistance by Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ). The third phase of the program is scheduled to last from September 2014 to December 2017. It succeeds the GIZ-supported Regional Economic Development Program – Green Belt that was implemented in the province of Siem Reap from October 2007 until August 2014.
The program aims to support the poor, rural population – especially women – in using new, sustainable business and employment opportunities to increase their income and reduce poverty. Since January 2015, RED III is active in three provinces: Siem Reap, Banteay Meanchey and Oddar Meanchey. The program promotes four fields of activities (components) (1) Local government action for inclusive growth, (2) Stakeholder cooperation for local economic development, (3) Sustainable services and business links for increased competitiveness of local products and (4) Knowledge partnership with national level stakeholders.
As part of the RED III demand-oriented approach, the program implements a great number of human resource development (HRD) measures for partner staff members especially those from government institutions. Capacity development (CD) measures for target groups (TG) are being jointly implemented by RED technical advisors, government partners, and other partners such as private companies and contracted organizations (e.g. NGOs).
To manage and evaluate partner staff (HRD) and target group capacity development (TG-CD) data of all RED components and provinces, the program has designed and introduced a simple monitoring system. The monitoring data are being regularly collected, except for outcome and impact data which are occasionally captured through survey assessments. The regular monitoring data includes the data on trainings, workshops, meetings combined with trainings, study tours, and field day events, and so on. GIZ RED III technical staff members or partners in the provinces and districts collect the data by using a participants’ registration form (attendance list) as shown in pictures 1.1 and 1.2. Then, they submit the list of participants to RED III offices in their respective province. Later, the administrative officers use the attendance list to generate a report per event as shown in picture 2.1 and 2.2 (normally use hard copy) before entering them into Excel data files (HRD & TG-CD data files).
Picture 1.1: Attendance List for Partner Staff HRD Event
Picture 1.2: Attendance List for TG-CD Event
The HRD data for staff are enumerated in person-days for each person who has participated in a particular HRD event. The TG-CD data are enumerated as the number of participants as well as person-days per kind of target group which participated in an event. The data are disaggregated by gender, poverty (ID Poor) and vulnerability (Former ID poor) status as illustrated in pictures 2.1 and 2.2. Each event may be addressed to several target groups, for example the group of farmers, traders/collectors, village authorities, commune councils, district councils, etc.
Picture 2.1: Report on HRD for Staff Event
Picture 2.2: Report on TG CD Event
After summarizing the data from the attendance lists, the administrative staff inputs the data into an Excel data file. The HRD data for staff and the TG-CD data for target groups are entered in the same data file but into separate data sheets; this is done by component / province as shown in pictures 3.1 and 3.2.
Picture 3.1: Part of RED HRD for Staff Data File – Example for Siem Reap, Component 1A
Picture 3.2: Part of RED TG CD Data File – Example for Oddar Meanchey, Component 2
The administrative assistants also enter data from attendance lists and TG-CD summary reports into the beneficiary data files. This comprises data on individual participants (name, address, contact number, etc.) as well as the event (type of event, duration, location of event, etc.) as shown in picture 4.
Picture 4: Part of RED III Beneficiary Data File – Example for Banteay Meanchey, Component 2
Data Processing and Reporting
From HRD and TG-CD data files, the RED M&E technical expert produces the respective summary reports on HRD measures for partner staff and TG-CD measures as illustrated in pictures 5.1 and 5.2. In addition, data of the beneficiary data files are also being processed for other reporting purposes.
Picture 5.1: RED III HRD for Staff Summary Report – Example Data for January – December 2016
Picture 5.2: RED III TG CD Summary Report – Example Data for January – December 2016
So far, the beneficiary data files have been indispensable as:
- They allow the program to know the outreach in terms of persons (avoiding double counting when a person joined two or more events) and households. Individual and household outreach can easily be documented at any required level: project activity, village, commune and district level. This is also used for the visualization of activities on maps as shown in picture 6.
- They allow the program to easily generate a list of outreach villages, communes and districts in order to capture facts and figures on spatial coverage of the program as shown in picture 7.
- They provide a basis for discussion with local authorities (that can be at commune and district level) about areas that are so far under-served or under-represented in events organized by the program.
- They provide a basis for random selection of beneficiaries for evaluation studies.
- As a small side benefit: they are the source of contact numbers of particular individuals since phone numbers are recorded.
Picture 6: Map of agricultural training activities – Example for Banteay Meanchey
Picture 7: Part of RED III Monitoring Outreach – Example from Banteay Meanchey
The RED III data management is a relatively resource-intensive, but conceptually simple and robust process. In terms of software, it mainly needs the Microsoft Office Program Excel and for map visualization a public domain GIS such as Q-GIS. It requires data collection, entering and validating data as well as reporting in a systemic manner. Technically, all people involved in the process are to be familiarized with the formats and file structures which is a task for the project’s M&E expert who needs to have advanced knowledge in Excel, data and map processing. One of the major advantages of applying Excel for managing the data is that it has flexible tools for visualization to which data sets can easily be customized and reports generated.
For further information, please contact:
Dr Wolfram Jaeckel, RED III Program Leader | firstname.lastname@example.org, Or
Mr Samrach Ten, RED III Planning, Monitoring and Evaluation Advisor | email@example.com
Life of contract farmer in Cambodia: Growing organic, glowing income
Ms. Ing Sarun
Since Ms. Ing Sarun grows organic vegetables for Khmer Organic Cooperative, she smiles more often.
Ms. Sarun, 58, grows rice and vegetables on her family’s land of 0.92 hectare in Kampong Nung Village in Kampot Province, Cambodia. She cultivates rice and grows vegetables such as cucumber, bitter gourd, eggplant, pumpkin, and long bean for a living. She has six members in her family including her husband and four children, two boys and two girls.
Ms. Ing Sarun’s cultivation plot
The Khmer Organic Cooperative (KOC) buys organic vegetables from farmer groups in Cambodia and supply the fresh produces to its sister company, Eco-Agri Co. Ltd (EAC) in Phnom Penh. EAC is a joint initiative of ASEAN Sustainable Agrifood Systems to provide green agricultural input suppliers such as bio-pesticides and bio-fertilizers to farmers and chemical free agricultural products to consumers in Cambodia.
Having been a contract farmer for three months for the KOC, Ms. Sarun has opportunities to attend different organic production trainings such as technical cultivation, compost making and pest and farm management. In complying with organic standard, she knows that she has to use organic fertilizer, compost, and natural fertilizer and insecticide. Ms. Sarun also participates in meetings with her farmer group and representatives of KOC to discuss about the production plan and fixing price of vegetables as well as sharing constraint in production to inquire possible supports from KOC regarding pest, seed and necessary techniques.
Ms. Ing Sarun’s organic cucumber
At KOC, Ms. Sarun enjoys her home grown vegetable such as cucumber at over a double price compared to general market. She can sell her cucumber at 0.75 US dollar per kilogramme while at a local market she will receive 0.3 US dollar per kg. From KOC Ms. Sarun will get payment for her produces about two to three times per month.
“I am very happy with the price and also technical supports from Khmer Organic Cooperative which assists me in improving my knowledge and vegetable growing techniques,” says Ms. Sarun. “Also, I learn now that growing organic vegetable is not only benefiting me but also consumer and environment.”
Being a farmer for more than half of her life, Ms. Sarun is proud to share her tips on when to best grow cucumber in Cambodia.
There are two seasons in Cambodia: rainy season (from May-October) and dry season (from November-April). From November till January the weather is cool which makes it a good season for growing vegetable while from February-April it is very dry and difficult to grow vegetable.
However, in the rainy season since the soil temperature is always cold and wet which is favorable for plant pathogen to grow and spread, the plant is infested, especially rotted root. Also, when the soil holds a large amount of water, it will cause water stress for plant causing downy mildew on leave and productivities decrease.
Still, cucumber grows better in the rainy season and it gives about 15 per cent higher yield. In the land of 180 square meter, Ms. Sarun spends about 53 US dollar to grow cucumber in the rainy season while in the dry season she spends 12 US dollar more for the total input’s cost in a two-month cycle of cucumber.
Ms. Sarun is an exemplary farmer and has a lot of experiences through her collaborations with NGO and government agencies. She shares that during the rainy season farmer should prepare higher bed and use plastic mulch to control weed and soil compaction, and invest in the plastic raining protection from pest and heavy rain.
She also says that cucumber cultivation in the dry season is harder due to water deficiency so the productivity is limited. Besides, the weather is too hot and the vegetable grows slowly while in the rainy season the vegetable grows faster and more productive.
By Saody So and Rojana Manowalailao, ASEAN Sustainable Agrifood Systems
PRESS RELEASE – Boosting organic production and consumption in Cambodia
02 September 2016
Germany enters a partnership with Khmer Organic Cooperative Co., Ltd to promote production schemes for organic agriculture and link producers into ASEAN markets
The Deutsche Gesellschaft fuer Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH on behalf of the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ), enters a cooperation agreement with the Khmer Organic Cooperative Co., Ltd (KOC) until February 2018, to establish two organic certified demonstration farms, focusing on fruits and vegetables. The prepared farms later on will be used as a national organic training center for Cambodia. Additionally, the cooperation strengthens regional market linkages and establishes local organic supply networks. To assure continued knowledge transfer, best practices and knowledge of organic agriculture will be shared in trainings with other farmers and interested institutions. On top, efforts to raise consumer awareness will be made.
“The partnership creates a great opportunity for us to boost organic fruit and vegetable production among farmers, but also reach consumers through a marketing campaign”. – Sotheara, Founder of KOC
For GIZ, this partnership shall increase usage of food standards among Cambodian farmers and overcome existing challenges that prevent agricultural businesses from implementing food standards, including poor agricultural practices especially when it comes to chemical inputs of smallholders, and lack of access to premium ASEAN markets for organic produce.
The agriculture and food industry is one of the most important economic sectors in Cambodia (33.5% of overall GDP in 2013 according to the World Bank) and almost employs more than half of the country’s population. However, currently in Cambodia fruits and vegetables are only rarely certified in accordance with current standards for good agricultural practices (GAP) and organic agriculture. The lack of certification of agricultural products hinders Cambodia to trade its agricultural products. With increasing economic integration within ASEAN, standards for food production and processing will be attributed even more importance.
About “Khmer Organic Cooperative Co.,Ltd (KOC)”
Khmer Organic Cooperative’s vision is to promote organic vegetables and fruits for consumers at an affordable price, equip farmers with knowledge and essential skills to grow organic produce on their own, and work towards establishing a sustainable environment free of chemicals and genetically modified seeds.
Organic fruits and vegetables not only taste better but they are important for good health. Khmer Organic Cooperative strives to find markets for our farmers’ produce in order to provide them with earning and providing sustainable practices in the country.
KOC has two organic farms, the first farm is located at Picnic Resort along National Road 4 and the second farm in Chhroy Svay, Sre Amel district, Koh Kong province. These two farms are using organic farming methods of growing fruits and vegetables combined with modern concepts of preparing the soil, planting and harvesting products and the organic farms will become educational centres for farmers and others.
More information on KOC can be found on www.khmerorganiccooperative.com
About the project “Standards in South East Asian Food Trade” (SAFT)
SAFT is a GIZ-supported project that supports the ASEAN Secretariat on the development and implementation of regional food standards for good agricultural practices (ASEAN GAP) and organic agriculture (ASOA). The objective is to verifiably apply both standards in the ASEAN region, particularly in the production and processing of fruits and vegetables. The project is commissioned by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ).
GIZ is an experienced service provider working on behalf of the German Government to support achieving its objectives in the field of international cooperation. We offer demand-driven, tailor-made and effective services for sustainable development.
More information on GIZ can be found on www.giz.de
Sovann Pisey THLANG Borany Suy
Director, KOC Administrative Assistant-Public Relation
GIZ Office Cambodia
T: +855-12-510-005 T: + 855 92 420 165
Sotheara IENG Ra Ten
Founder, KOC Technical Advisor, GIZ
DMS Makes RED III Progress and Impact Monitoring Easy
2 March 2016
The Regional Economic Development Program III (RED III) is a Cambodian rural development program supported by Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) and the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC). The program is scheduled to last from September 2014 to December 2017. It succeeds the GIZ-supported Regional Economic Development Program – Green Belt that was implemented in the province of Siem Reap from October 2007 until August 2014.
The program aims to support the poor, rural population – especially women – in using new, sustainable business and employment opportunities to increase their income and reduce poverty. Since January 2015, RED III is active in three provinces: Siem Reap, Banteay Meanchey and Oddar Meanchey. The program promotes four fields of activities (1) Local government action for inclusive growth, (2) Stakeholder cooperation for local economic development, (3) Sustainable services and business links for increased competitiveness of local products and (4) Knowledge partnership with national level stakeholders.
With the expansion of the program to two additional provinces with their own offices, three components, and a vast range of different stakeholders involved in implementing program activities, managing program data can become challenging. The program has adopted the GIZ Document Management System (DMS) as the centerpiece for data collection, modification and storage which integrates this variety of data generating sources.
The DMS functions as a cloud computing device across GIZ which helps store and organize relevant corporate information regarding projects or programs around the globe, including instruments and tools, regulations and strategies, reports and experiences etc. Information can be accessed, edited, and changed by authorized DMS users (usually GIZ personnel) by using ‘Open’ and ‘Edit’ functions which are controlled by Microsoft Office programs (Word, Excel and PowerPoint) using an ActiveX control that is normally installed the first time when the DMS is called up. Users can also download documents. In case the ‘Open’ and ‘Edit’ functions do not work due to the automatic installation is blocked by the Internet Explorer security settings, the software Office-Editor “OFFICEEDITOR_CLIENT” needs to be downloaded and manually installed.
In the context of RED III, for the purpose of storing and monitoring documents, the DMS is used in the following way:
On the GIZ website (https://www.giz.de), there is a link, through which you can access and log on to the intranet including DMS (https://dms.giz.de). On the DMS overview page, there is a main selection menu from which you can navigate your way to your own projects or programs. For RED III in particular, you need to go through ‘Enterprise’, ‘Region’, ‘Asia’, ‘Cambodia’, ‘GnB Auftraege’, and ‘201322262-Regionale Wirtschaftsentwicklung (RED) III’. Since the program has a mandatory standard structure of established folders, RED III created a new folder for Monitoring and Evaluation (M&E) working documents. This separate folder helps to keep working documents apart from finalized documents, which are stored in the standardized folders mentioned above. This way, work-in-progress can easily be accessed, edited, changed without risking a mix-up of finished and unfinished products. Staff members can further create sub-folders under the new folder and add (upload) documents or data files as required.
In this regard, an M&E technical staff member of the program created several forms for data entry using Microsoft Excel and uploaded them onto DMS. These forms serve the purpose of monitoring implementation progress (milestones and activities) of the annual operational plan, spatial coverage (villages, communes, and districts), household outreach and impacts of the program. The following pictures show some parts of the forms.
After these forms had been uploaded onto DMS, all program technical staff members involved in entering data were informed and trained on how to use them. The training, which is conducted and repeated in the framework of short workshops, always includes an introduction to DMS, how to navigate through the data files, enter data or edit the data files on the DMS and finally on how to make sure that the updated data files are properly saved and synchronized.
The M&E technical staff member follows up and backstops all types of data entries regularly and ensures that deadlines for updating data on DMS are met. When necessary, he provides technical training on advanced Microsoft Excel functions used in data entries, summary, and visualization.
In the context of the RED III program, the use of DMS is the most efficient way to collect and manage data from different provinces and components. Storing data in only one authorized repository does not only safeguard data integrity but also ensures that summaries, analyses and reports generated from the data are consistent. Moreover, the DMS supports transparency and data quality for it is open to all staff to point out wrong or inconsistent data and make the necessary corrections.
For further information, please contact:
Dr Wolfram Jaeckel, RED III Program Leader | firstname.lastname@example.org, Or
Mr Samrach Ten, RED III Planning, Monitoring and Evaluation Advisor | email@example.com
Soil and Nutrient Management
Agricultural lands in Southeast Asia are predominately occupied by small-holder farmers, who have limited resources and capability (knowledge and technology) to manage the soils efficiently to optimize crop production.
Current land use practices together with harsh climatic conditions and population pressure have led to soil degradation, loss of soil fertility, declining crop yields and malnutrition, subsequently declining in livelihood. An enhancement in productivity of food crop is unlikely to be achieved without ensuring that crops have adequate and balanced supply of nutrients.
Sustainable agricultural system is based on managing soil according to their constraints and thus capabilities. Rehabilitation of the productive capacity of soil for crop production is the key issue to be addressed in ASEAN Sustainable Agrifood Systems (ASEAN SAS). If soil quality is poor, it cannot function effectively thus incapable to sustain a productive agriculture. This could be achieved through integrated approach to conserve and manage soil and nutrient. Accomplishing this could have enormously impact on sustainability of agriculture and food production in the region….
Building Capacities for Urban Planning
2 February 2016
From 18 to 22 of January 2016, the Ministry of Land Management Urban Planning and Construction conducted an Introductory Training Course for Urban Planning with the support of GIZ Land Rights Program II. It aimed to provide an insight into urban planning in general and to the first steps of an urban master planning process in particular. Participants were representatives of the 25 provincial spatial planning committees, mandated with the elaboration of spatial plans in the country. The training showcased the attempt of the ministry to increase subnational capacities for spatial and urban planning.
Mr. Thomas Hänert, Component Manager in the GIZ Land Rights Program, emphasized the importance of creating capacities for urban planning in Cambodia in his short address to the participants:
“The cities and towns of Cambodia are one of the most visible and dynamic examples of transformation. Sub-urban areas become urban, low-rise areas become high-rise, and the open and green spaces are shrinking, while construction becomes denser. Traffic congestion and air pollution are affecting economic activities and the quality of city life. Cities and towns in change are in search for a new identity. For example, we all know about the ‘Pearl of Asia’ from about 90 years ago, but what will Phnom Penh be called in 20 or 30 years? (…) The competition of functions and uses for increasingly expensive urban land requires regulatory and well-informed consensus-oriented planning. Urbanization needs urban planning. Urban planning needs urban planners.”
H.E. Senior Minister Im Chum Lim personally provided the closing remarks to the training and handed the certificates to the participants. He urged the participants to apply the newly gained knowledge and to embark on the first steps of the planning process.
Equitable development for all
Cambodia has experienced significant economic development over the past decades. However, development indicators reveal that at least 30 percent of Cambodia’s population still lives below the poverty line. This is coupled with the fact that an estimated 90 percent of the poor live in rural areas and the majority relies on agriculture for their livelihoods.
As Cambodia’s economy begins to take off, we strive to ensure that the rural poor are not left behind. Our support in rural development is focused on regional economic development and land sector reform.
Investing in rural infrastructure and rural electrification and developing capacities of rural enterprises and public and private sector institutions: These are the areas where we focus our commitment to Cambodia’s regional economic development. Our aim is to eradicate poverty.
We finance the construction of rural roads, marketplaces and bridges and provide technical support to the Government in their effort to introduce a countrywide road maintenance system. With better and all-season roads, farmers have easier access to markets, while students and patients can more easily access schools and health care facilities. This leads to a significant increase in local incomes, higher school completion rates and reduction of gender gaps in access to education and other public services.
With limited access to electricity, everyday life is difficult. By supporting the Royal Government of Cambodia with technical expertise and investments in the national electricity grid, households have fewer burdens, less cost and an easier daily life and work than before. As a result, women have more chances to access to formal economy and become more active in the public sphere.
We advise public and private sector decision-makers on measures to promote pro-poor growth. We foster better cooperation within value chains, promote partnerships between the public and private sectors and capacitate business federations to provide services to their members. Through better access to technical know-how and innovations, thousands of female and male rural entrepreneurs increase the volumes and the competitiveness of their products and access new markets. This contributes to agricultural growth and increased rural employment of women and men that are crucial for poverty reduction.
Access to land is one of the crucial areas for the development of any agricultural-based economy. This also includes the realization of the human right to food. Therefore, we support Cambodia in their comprehensive land sector reform. Major components of this reform aim at a transparent system of land administration, secure land tenures as well as distribution of land to the landless.
National forum promoting green production, its regulation, use and trade in Cambodia
08 September 2015
The 2nd “National forum on regulation, use and trade of Biocontrol Agents (BCA) in Cambodian Agriculture” was held on 28-29 July 2015 in Siem Reap, Cambodia aiming at:
- Providing a platform to different stakeholders in the agricultural sector including the public sector and other regulators, practitioners, extension workers, academia, NGOs, SMEs, farmers and the private sector for sharing their experiences and identify synergies in promoting environmentally friendly agriculture production;
- Promoting the use of BCA and showcasing the benefits of BCA through visiting field trials;
- Presenting BCA products or other related environmentally friendly agricultural inputs and equipment, thus establishing market linkages.
The overall goal is to push forward the development of organic agriculture in Cambodia.
The event was launched in cooperation between the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries (MAFF), GIZ, Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit GmbH, and the Cambodia HARVEST.
For more information, please kindly refer to http://www.asean-agrifood.org/national-forum-on-regulation-use-and- trade-of-biocontrol-agents-bca-in-cambodian-agriculture/
A ‘Green Fungi’ improves farmers’ life
07 September 2015
Mr Sun Song is a farmer in the Siem Reap province in Cambodia. He has been using an organic fertilizer and pesticide called Trichoderma to protect his cucumbers and string beans from harmful fungal infestation and to improve the growth of his crops for the past year. Trichiderma is a green fungi naturally living in the soil. Before using Trichoderma, Mr Song applied chemical pesticides to control diseases. Trichoderma can be mixed with compost and distributed on the field to improve the soil quality and control harmful fungi, Mixed with water, it can also be used for seed coating to accelerate germination and protect the seed against pathogens. Or, it can be directly sprayed on infested plants.
Asking Mr Song about the differences, he says: “Now my kids are allowed to play in the fields.”
Due to the fertilizing effects of Trichoderma, Mr Song also says: “The crop is healthier and also looks better.”
Mr Sun Song’s yield is higher and because his vegetables are of better quality now that he does not need additional synthetic pesticides, he earns about 200 riel (approximately US$ 0.05) more per kg compared to other farmers. Smiling diffidently, he tells that he also receives support from customers that recently called to ask for his vegetables.
Mrs Choun Yan farms since her childhood. As Mr Song, Mrs Yan started using Trichoderma-based products last year. Even before the harvest, she could see the
changes. Previously, Mrs Yan had problems with diseases, mainly fungi. Since the application of Trichoderma, she does not have that problem anymore. In addition, she estimates an increase in her cucumber yield from 1 to about 1.5 tons, while the input costs for pesticides and fertilizer are reduced.
In supporting the farmers’ use of Trichoderma and other biocontrol agents (BCAs), GIZ’s ASEAN Sustainable Agrifood Systems’ project (ASEAN SAS) provides capacity development measures, technical know-how, and establishes a national network and discussion forum to enhance learning among farmers and relevant stakeholders. In this respect GIZ, in collaboration with HARVEST Cambodia (USAID funded) and the Cambodian’s Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries (MAFF), organized the 2nd National Biocontrol Agents (BCA) Forum in Siem Reap, Cambodia on 28-29 July 2015 bringing public sector and other regulators, practitioners, extension workers, academia and the private sector together to share experiences and present BCA-related products.
One of the forum’s participants, Dr. Kean Sophea, Deputy Director of the General Directorate of Agriculture, Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries from Cambodia and his team have been conducting research on Trichoderma in the past ten years.
“So far, a lot of chemicals are used with bad effects. I think the better way is to use organic fertilizer, as it is safe for people and the environment,” says Dr. Sophea. During the ten years, he and his team have experimented Trichoderma with different kinds of value crops such as vegetables, rice, fruit trees and black pepper. All showed better yields by about 20 to 30 per cent compared to the control groups.
Durians, for example, do not only yield better and give more fruits, but also mature earlier. Dr. Sophea emphasizes that there are no known negative effects to humans of the application of Trichoderma. However, it would not be advisable to eat or inhale the spores of the fungus. Farmers are advised to store the product safely and use protective masks while spraying.
To demonstrate the practical application and the benefits of Trichoderma, field visits were part of the the 2nd National BCA Forum’s agenda. At the farmlands of Mr Song and Mrs Yan more than 150 participants witnessed the usefulness of green fungi and earned their own impressions of what BCA have to offer.
• Growth Promotion: Trichoderma affects the root system of the plant. The roots grow stronger and deeper. It also treats root injuries so the plant can take up nutrients more effectively and resistance against drought is increased.
• Antibiosis: Trichoderma produces chemical compounds (metabolites) that inhibit or kill other microorganisms. These compounds are also known as antibiotics.”
Story and photos by Kristina Spantig, ASEAN Sustainable Agrifood Systems
For information, please refer to http://www.asean-agrifood.org/a-green-fungi-improves-farmers-life/
Stories of Change: Othom Village, Kampong Thom Social Land Concession
24 August 2015
“After receiving training, I had a new desire to raise chickens,” said Yem, an Othom Village land recipient.
In every direction one looks in Othom Village, chicken pens and gardens line the villagers’ houses. Chicken raising is now a priority and new interest for the people of this social land concession village in Kampong Thom, according to a recent agro-ecological assessment and agriculture needs assessment.
At the end of July 2015, 36 villagers – a majority which were women, attended a training on chicken raising practices provided by GIZ’s Livelihood Improvement and Food Security Project, in coordination with Cambodia’s provincial Department of Agriculture.
“Previously I raised 50-60 chickens, but I did not know how to take care of them and protect them from being stolen,” said Yem in a recent interview. “Now after learning chicken raising techniques, I have built stronger pens that will protect my chickens from other animals. I also know how to prepare chicken feed and how to keep them healthy.”
The project provided 10 local chickens to the households that successfully built chicken pens as a result of their training. As an incentive to get others in the village involved, chicken farmers will give 4 new chickens after reproducing (half kg per chicken) to other neighboring households who are new to the chicken raising business.
Presently, there are 35 households with chicken pens. An additional 31 households are waiting for their new chickens.
“My goal is to raise 2,000 chickens. I want to have my chicken raising business at home and then I will focus my seasonal work on the other 1 ha of cashew nuts and 0.5 ha of rice fields on my farm. If I can achieve this, I will no longer need to migrate for work,” said Yem.
Improving the Management of Conservation Hotspots in Cambodia through Integrated Spatial Planning and Innovative Modelling Tools
30-31 July 2015
Sen Monorom, Mondulkiri Province, Cambodia – This July 50 representatives from government, academia, international organisations and civil society attended a workshop to discuss the possibility of using modelling software to better inform decision makers regarding the sustainable territorial development within their jurisdiction.
The two-day workshop, initiated by the provincial administration of Mondulkiri, WWF, the Royal University of Phnom Penh, and GIZ Land Rights Programme II, reviewed the possibility of using the modelling software ‘InVEST’ for sustainable spatial planning. The tool named ‘InVEST’, applied by the Royal University of Phnom Penh for the territory of Mondulkiri Province, is a suite of software models used to map and value the goods and services from nature that sustain and fulfill human life.
The workshop served as a starting point to analyse if and how the tool could be used for integrated spatial planning in Mondulkiri. The province is one of the few areas with natural primary forest and important hotspots for biodiversity conservation and indigenous people communities. Researchers from the Royal University of Phnom Penh presented the InVEST initiative, with insight on the current outputs on several ecosystem services including:
• Biodiversity, habitat quality and non-timber forest products;
• Carbon storage and sequestration; and
• Water yield, nutrient and sediment retention
Subsequently, scenarios for three different land use and land cover futures including “conservation”, “green economy”, and “business as usual” were presented, based on forest cover and agro-industrial development data.
The “business as usual” scenario emphasized the need to plan the management of the provincial territory in a more sustainable manner. Since Mondulkiri is facing severe problems regarding deforestation and land degradation, as well as conflicting claims for land, this potential future would lead to immense degradation of land and various ecosystem services. The land rights of indigenous communities would also be further threatened.
In a second session, Battambang Province and GIZ Land Rights Programme II, shared their success stories and experiences in spatial planning. The Ministry for Land Management, Urban Planning and Construction, represented by H.E. Dr. Meng Bunnarith (Deputy General Director), gave insights into technical and legal aspects of the spatial planning mechanism.
Linkages and synergies between the InVEST and land management through spatial planning were discussed. Participants from Mondulkiri expressed their wish for an integrated spatial planning approach, to develop the province and manage their rich natural resources in a sustainable manner.
Public-Private Partnerships Support Vegetable Producers in Cambodia
20 August 2015
Siem Reap Province, Cambodia–In Siem Reap Province, commercial vegetable farmers are catching on to the benefits of public private partnerships. In less than a decade, public private partnerships have spurred local commercial vegetable production, planting roots for the sub-sector in Siem Reap.
The partnership between the Siem Reap Provincial Department of Agriculture (PDA) and supply companies have become a cornerstone of the GIZ Regional Economic Development (RED) Programme, and have created a new market opportunity, offering local produce to consumers.
So far, the results are notable: Between January 2009 and February 2015, 1,029 training events in vegetable cultivation techniques, including the safe and environmentally friendly use of fertilizers and pesticides with more than 23,000 participants (61% female) have been jointly implemented. Additionally, about 200 demonstration farms have been established in all 11 districts and the municipality of Siem Reap Province.
How it works
As a public private partnership, the main interest of internationally operating input supply companies is to develop markets for their products, whereas the main mandate of the PDA is to promote agricultural production. However, both share common interests: To make quality input available to farmers and to capacitate farmers to apply modern inputs in the right way.
The PDA and its district officers, in addition to its general role of managing and regulating the PPP agreements, define training needs and contents, select the training locations and training participants, and facilitate the implementation of the training events and field days.
As a result, more than 4,600 households have improved and increased their vegetable production considerably. Improved product quality and regularity of supply to markets has led to an increase of seasonal household revenues on average by US$159.
PDA’s close cooperation with the private sector has also improved the technical qualification and services of the agricultural district officers. “I learned a lot from the private companies. The farmers respect me now as an experienced and helpful extension worker,” said Sina Seum (Soutr Nikom) Siem Reap District Officer.
- At the initial stage of the RED Programme, commercial vegetable production was almost non-existent in Siem Reap province. Only seven % of the vegetables found in Siem Reap’s markets were locally produced. Most vegetables were imported from Thailand and Vietnam.
- Farmers focused only on the traditional rainy season rice cultivation and were unable to take advantage of the untapped market opportunities in the vegetable sub-se Moreover, high quality inputs for vegetable cultivation were simply not available.
- Between 2009 and 2015 several partnership agreements between the Provincial Department of Agriculture and input supply companies such as East-West International, Agrotech Vita, Bayon Heritage were implemented.
- Since 2012, trainings included the use of organic fertilizers and in 2014, organic pesticides trainings were offered.
- To date, the contribution of private companies totals to more than US $300,000. How work is divided is based on each partner’s skill set.
Additional program activities improved the cooperation amongst farmers and joint marketing by facilitating the establishment of farmer networks, as well as the cooperation and information exchange between collectors and farmer networks in view of the changing demands for certain vegetable varieties. About 100 input retailers have been trained on the correct use of improved seeds, fertilizer and pesticides in order to ensure their save and proper application.
- Commercial vegetable production is well established in Siem Reap province: The market share of locally produced vegetables increased from seven % in 2008 to over 25% in 2014. Moreover, improved farmer-collector cooperation, as well as the diversification of the vegetable production (through the introduction of new varieties, extension of the cultivation season from 3 to 6 months, etc) enables farmers to much better align production to the market demand.
New partnership: GIZ Land Rights Program II signed a MoU with Phnom Penh Capital Hall to jointly secure land tenure for urban poor settlers in the capital
24 July 2015
Guided by the motto „Cities have the capability of providing something for everybody, only because and only when they are created by everybody“ GIZ’s Land Rights Program II and Phnom Penh Capital Hall signed a MoU on July 10. With the technical support of GIZ, Phnom Penh Capital Hall aims to strengthen the capacity of their staff to identify and implement replicable, transparent and participatory procedures to provide land tenure security for urban poor settlers.
During the signing ceremony the Deputy Governor of Phnom Penh Capital, HE Ieng Aunny, presented his goal to stop the development of new urban informal settlements. He underlined the need to improve the situation of urban poor settlers and thus to give them secured tenure rights.
Maraile Görgen, representative of GIZ Land Rights Program II, welcomed the approach and valued the representatives of Phnom Penh Capital Hall for their ambition to fight poverty in the capital. Through the longstanding and successful cooperation with the Municipality of Battambang, GIZ Land Rights Program II became an experienced and valuable stakeholder in the area of securing land tenure for urban poor communities. The LRP II team is more than happy to share its expertise with its new partner in Phnom Penh and is looking forward to bring the capital’s informal settlers to formal land tenure rights.
Be responsible, be profitable and be proud
22 July 2015
Father and daughter exploring Thailand’s fruit juice standard in improving Cambodian SMEs market
Heang Srun and his daughter Rothany Srun want to develop their own fruit juice business in Cambodia, Mr. Srun’s home land.
Mr. Srun traveled from Minnesota, USA to meet his daughter in Bangkok, Thailand. Ms. Srun flew from Phnom Penh, Cambodia to see her father. They were going to visit four fruit production factories, one manufacturer, and one laboratory to learn about food standard and quality in the Thai food and beverage industry.
The four-day study trip was organized by German’s ASEAN Sustainable Agrifood Systems (ASEAN SAS) with its goal to heighten food safety and quality standard in ASEAN countries.
“Cambodian market itself in terms of production and manufacturing has been hit with so many scandals in relation to what sort of pesticide and chemical get put in the food. The SMEs in Cambodia want to improve their product safety and quality. They know that this will actually improve their business and also trust in their brand,” said Ms. Srun, a US born citizen, who has been working in Cambodia for the past five years in communication and organization development.
“From what I hear, a lot of Cambodians are interested in developing their own country that they have something to be proud of at better quality and higher standard,” she said.
On a personal note, Ms. Srun said she was very concerned about the food she ate and if she was going to start a food production factory of her family, she wanted to be able to eat the food she
produces. “I am really concerned about the food I eat that what sort of ingredients they are putting into the food if there’s pesticide and chemical residues in the vegetable and the food I am eating. I want to be able to actually produce something I could also eat. I don’t want to eat pesticide and I don’t’ want to eat chemical,” she said.
This four-day study visit was planned and organized by a fruit juice factory auditor of Sure and Global Fair (SGF), a German based self-control association for fruit juice safety and quality assurance, a public private partnership of ASEAN SAS on a project “Improvement of product safety and quality for the Thai fruit juice industry” with the aim of improving the production processes of fruit juice in the Thailand.
ASEAN SAS supports responsible agriculture production for safe, healthy and affordable food to meet an increasing demand of a growing populations while, at the same time, protecting a shrinking natural resources. The Agrifood systems will only be sustainable when the value chain including, for example, farmers, processors, traders, and input suppliers are profitable while securing food safety and quality standard.
“ASEAN SAS seeks to collaborate with serious private partners to adopt food safety and quality standard and link to the market. This also includes supporting SMEs in getting benefit from ASEAN Economy Community,” said Mr. Suriyan Vichitlekarn, regional adviser of GIZ’s ASEAN SAS project.
One of the ASEAN SAS’s activities is providing advisory support for responsible business development.
Mr. Srun, business entrepreneur and vice president of QTS manufacturing for medical device outsourcing said: “Business is business, but we want to do business with responsibility. For us standard is about responsibility. For a lot of private business, at least in Cambodia, it costs money. But we want to improve the society and the community. It’s not like the rich taking advantage of the poor. We don’t want to only make money and take advantage of the consumers and our employees.
“We want to create jobs for Cambodian people that they can make a basic living and pursue their other interests and enjoy life. People are people. It doesn’t matter if they are Thais, Americans or Cambodians, but they should be able to enjoy life as people.
“We want to see Cambodian people live and eat well in their own country and make enough for their family that they don’t have to find work in other countries living in a harsh condition. We are proud that we can help people,” he said. Mr. Srun was born in Cambodia and moved to the US for over 20 years.
Ms. Srun also said about responsible business and standard that: “We talk about responsible social practice but at the end of the day it needs to be profitable. How you can talk to them [SMES]
that standard can improve and widen their market scope in the future and why it should be important to them. I want to be able to show that these sorts of things are possible to do in Cambodia that you can be profitable and you can still also follow international standard.
“Food standard is important for food production if you want a better market, better product, and better image of the country,” she said.
In this four-day study visit the father-and-daughter entrepreneurs visited the pineapple product factories, coconut product factory, beverage factory, and laboratory and machinery manufacturer. The study trip was specifically designed to fit the needs and future business possibilities of the visitors.
“I like the variety of what we saw, we saw the big factory, we saw the smaller factory, and even not factory, but laboratory and manufacturer. After the visit, I saw that so many other SMEs would also benefit from it, and they would be very much interested in learning from it. It is not only about visiting the factories in Thailand but if we connect other SMEs in utilizing the different services available here [laboratory and machinery manufacturer] that are not available in Cambodia, it will eventually help their business, help them to improve the quality,” said the Ms. Srun.
By Rojana Manowalailao, ASEAN Sustainable Agrifood Systems (ASEAN SAS)
For more information: http://www.asean-agrifood.org/be-responsible-be-profitable-and-be-proud/
Community Based Organization Built in Othom Village Tipo Commune, Kampong Thom Province
In Kampong Thom Province, communities are working together to eradicate hunger. Since March 2015, the land recipient community of Othom village has established 16 communal food security interest groups, comprising of 10-22 households per group – driving the movement for communities to be self-reliant. Established on the principals of GIZ’s Improvement of Livelihood and Food Security (ILF) project, the food security interest group has received up to 700 kg of milled rice and has provided access to food for 300 households that are residing in a near-by new settlement.
Since May 2015, community members and authorities have been working to support village administrative processes and proposals to integrate the working group’s initiatives into commune investment plans. This community-based organization is also monitoring the fulfilment of contractual obligations of land recipients.
- Readiness to work on volunteer basis
- Interest to help the community
- A good communicator, willing to share knowledge, trustworthy, taking initiative
- Resourceful: candidates should have knowledge of how to mobilize support from outside resources
The positions up for election included the village chief, vice chief, community agricultural facilitator, gender focal person, financial assistant and information secretary. Mrs. Peng Srey Hort was elected as chief of land recipient committee for the community of Othom village. As a result, the process of setting-up the community committee structure has been recognized by commune councils, district and provincial authorities.
Indigenous Community Representatives Report Improved Livelihoods to German Ambassador in Northeastern Cambodia
April 23-28, 2015
Northeastern Cambodia – German Ambassador H.E. Joachim Baron von Marschall, senior GIZ officials and development partners visited a trip to Northern Cambodia to witness first-hand land tenure security and food security issues for indigenous communities. The field trip was an opportunity for officials to experience the challenges and achievements of GIZ’s Land Rights Programme (LRP), GIZ’s Improvement of Livelihood and Food Security (ILF) Project, and Deutsche Welthungerhlilfe (WHH)’s projects. More than 100 representatives joined the delegation to Kratie, Ratanakiri, Mondulkiri and Tbong Khmum Provinces to learn about issues surrounding land tenure, food security and livelihood support for Idigenous Communities, and former landless and land-poor households.
To gain a practical understanding of German funded activities, the delegation visited two former Land Allocation for Economic Development (LASED) communities and five indigenous people communities. Former LASED community members reported on their improved livelihood and food security situation after receiving support for community development.
One representative highlighted how the set-up of a community shop contributed to better living conditions for him and his family.
Another representative from the indigenous La Eun Kraen community in Ratanakiri introduced her small business on weaving and selling traditional indigenous scarfs. In other indigenous people communities, community committees and representatives reported the problems they have been facing with land encroachment and illegal logging. They likewise reported on the advantages of owning collective land titles. Community members introduced their natural resources and land management approaches to the delegation, and discussed their strategies to secure their land tenure.
In each province, the delegation also had the opportunity to meet with authorities and discuss social and economic land concessions and the communal land registration of indigenous people communities. Delegates discussed development potentials in these provinces with officials and reflected on other German supported projects. NGOs and partner organisations were also invited to share their progress on related work.
During the five-day trip, the delegation achieved a good understanding of the complexity of securing land tenure for indigenous people communities and the efforts which are necessary to improve the livelihood of the former landless and indigenous HHs. The delegation valued the achievements of GIZ LRP II, GIZ ILF, and WHH commissioned by BMZ and also realized that the communities need to take responsibility and ownership to secure their land rights. It became clear that not only land titling but also the capacity of the indigenous people communities need to be empowered to take action as well as to collaborate with other stakeholders such as local and provincial authorities to ensure land tenure security.
Cambodia and Vietnam Exchange Experiences on Heritage Conservation
A study trip on heritage conservation had been conducted to Hoi An city, Quang Nam Province, Vietnam in partnership between Ministry of Land Management, Urban Planning and Construction and GIZ. The study trip was from April 20 – 23, 2015. Totally there were 19 people from National and Sub-National levels including Battambang, Kampong Chhnang, Takeo and Kandal provinces within the GIZ support to the Land Management Sub-Sector Program.
The study visit served to exchange the knowledge and experiences on preserving heritage and on urban planning and management, particularly between Battambang Municipality and Hoi An city. It is to learn from Hoi An experience on the preparation of the registration for UNESCO Heritage List. In 1999, Hoi An successfully entered into the UNESCO heritage list. Meanwhile, Battambang has undergone various steps to preserving its built heritage and has been discussed as a potential candidate for the UNESCO Heritage City list.
The Cambodian delegation had a meeting with the Hoi An Center for Monuments Management and Preservation, and the Department of Urban Management. Mr. Nguyen Chi Trung, Director of the center expressed his warm welcome to the delegation. The discussion was focusing on the heritage management, tourism and urban planning. The Cambodian delegation explored and learned about the way towards becoming an UNESCO World Heritage Site, how to manage this after successful registration, as well as balancing between conservation and development. Additionally, Mr. Tran Van An, Deputy Director of the center, shared his insight and valuable recommendations of how Battambang should focus on during the document preparation process before submitting to the UNESCO. Besides, the Battambang Municipal Master Plan Team had also shared their experiences in the effort of preserving historical buildings and ancient houses to the Vietnamese team.
Additionally, the delegation held a meeting with local residents to understand about local community’s perception on the registration in the UNESCO World Heritage List. Moreover, the team
explored how the local community engaged and participated with public sector in house restoration, and the implementation of the policies and regulations. The discussion demonstrated that local community participation is recognized to play a significant role in heritage conservation. The good coordination between relevant stakeholders both in public and private sector since the beginning is crucial for a smooth process. Various meetings, workshops, seminars, dialogues, symposiums shall be conducted to raise public awareness on the value of heritage buildings and to promote active participation. During the two-day event, the delegation also had the opportunity to observe how the restored ancient town looks like and organized a visit, showcasing influence of the implementation of the various government policies in accordance with the UNESCO guideline. The delegation was impressed how the policies were successfully implemented on the ground in a harmonized way with local people’s daily life.
From the study trip, the delegation team also learned that challenges still lay ahead – before, during and after the successful registration – which need to be taken into consideration. Experiences from Vietnam can’t be totally replicated in Cambodia due to the differences in political, social, economic, cultural and traditional contexts. The delegation team, therefore, also recommended that further exchange of experiences will be required to establish guidelines and regulations on urban heritage conservation and to be successfully register for the UNESCO World Heritage Site.
National Forum on Biological Control Agents shares success storiesy for sustainable agriculture in Cambodia
Introducing and promoting Biocontrol agents as an alternative to commonly used chemical agricultural inputs was at the core of the ‘National Forum on the regulation, trade and use of Biocontrol Agents (BCA) in Cambodian agriculture’ held from 22-23 April 2015 in Battambang, Cambodia.
The two-day workshop was hosted by the GIZ ASEAN Sustainable Agrifood Systems project (ASEAN-SAS) in collaboration with the USAID Cambodia HARVEST funded program and the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries (MAFF).
An actual body of evidence for advantages of biological agricultural practices, such as higher yields, increased income opportunities, and improved health indicators were presented from BCA field trials by Dr. Kean Sophea from the General Directorate of Agriculture, Ms. Elodie Schoenmakers from Charlemagne High Education Institute, Mr. Melvin Medina from Cambodia HARVEST, and Mr. Sip Pagnasoley from University of Battambang.
From the government side, Mr. Pum Ra from Department of Agricultural Legislation (DAL) provided an overview of the ongoing process of implementing the ASEAN Guideline in Cambodia to regulate the use and trade of BCA products, jointly carried out with GIZ ASEAN-SAS and Cambodia HARVEST.
Among the more than 110 participants were representatives of the General Directorate of Agriculture (GDA), Department of Agricultural Legislation (DAL), International organizations, various farmer and rural development NGOs, farmer cooperatives, the University of Battambang (UBB), and numerous agricultural input companies committed to the commercial production and distribution of BCA.
Some selected forerunners among the companies displayed their products – mainly organic fertilizers and bio-pesticides, seeds, irrigation schemes, and organic groceries – to potential customers and cooperation partners throughout the duration of the workshop. Altogether, the national forum provided a beneficial platform for a broad range of actors to identify entry points of cooperation and push forward the rollout of BCA throughout Cambodia.
Author: Benjamin Scholz
Development between Production and Protection: International Summer School Addresses Land Policy Issues
PHNOM PENH - The 6th International Summer School, Comprehensive Land Policy – Fundamental for Sustainable Urban and Rural Development was held by the Ministry of Land Management, Urban Planning and Construction (MLMUPC), jointly organized with the Royal University of Agriculture (RUA), and the Technical University Munich (TUM), in partnership with GIZ.
The summer school reached an unprecedented scale, attracting about 360 participants with representatives from Bangladesh, Cambodia, China, Germany, Lao PDR, Nepal, the Philippines, Serbia, Thailand and Vietnam. Aiming for balanced perspectives, speakers included local and international NGOs, Cambodian and German academe, government representatives of Cambodia and the region, and bilateral and multilateral development organisations.
After a well-received welcome speech by the German Ambassador to Cambodia, H.E. Baron Marschall von Bieberstein on the land reform, senior minister H.E. Im Chhun Lim, opened the summer school, pointing out, among many other aspects, the comprehensive character of the national land policy.
The summer school was structured into different themes:
- Relevance of Land Policy in the Global and International Context: Addressed inputs on sustainable development goals (SDGs), Global Land Indicator Initiative, Voluntary Guidelines on the Responsible Governance of Tenure (VGGT) and on land policy efforts in other countries in the region. While land policy has to address the needs of all, marginalized or vulnerable groups require explicit and targeted consideration.
- Land Policy and Marginalized Groups: Discussed housing rights of the urban poor, indigenous land rights as well as gender-sensitive land policy, with inputs of representatives from UN Women, the Cambodia Indigenous Youth Association (CIYA), the Asian Coalition for Housing Rights (ACHR) and government.
- Cross-Cutting Topics of Land Policy: Presented concepts of ecosystem services and impacts of economic corridor development. Different perspectives on the Cambodian White Paper on Land Policy and its implementation complemented the themes addressed.
H.E. Dr. Holger Magel summarized key messages from the summer school in his closing speech, including an acknowledgment of the comprehensiveness of the White Paper on Land Policy, its quality in an international context and the political signals of commitment to its objectives. Likewise, he emphasized the need to focus on implementation and its review and evaluation, on participation, information, capacity development and cooperation – all key means for achieving an implementation that lives up to the spirit of the policy: a sustainable rural-urban development between production and protection.
For further information, all presentations is available: http://giz-cambodia.com/?page_id=2181
The 5th Project Partner Meeting of the “ASEAN Sustainable Agrifood Systems The 6th Meeting of the ASEAN BCA Expert Groups on Application and Regulation The 1st Meeting of the ASEAN Soil and Nutrient Management Expert Group The Dialogue on ASEAN Integrated Food Security (AIFS) Framework
02 – 04 December 2014
Nay Pyi Taw, 02 December 2014: The Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), the German International Cooperation (GIZ) together with the Department of Agriculture of Myanmar’s Ministry of Agriculture and Irrigation organized the 5th Project Partner Meeting of the “ASEAN Sustainable Agrifood Systems” and related meetings on 2-4 December 2004 at Shwe Pyi Taw Hotel, Nay Pyi Taw, Myanmar.
H.E. U Ohn Than, Deputy Minister, Ministry of Agriculture and Irrigation presided over and opened the Meeting.
The agrifood sector is of critical importance in Southeast Asia and beyond. The demand for food products of higher quality and quantity to supply both domestic and international markets, along with the need to manage scarce natural resources, has driven agricultural development policies towards the concept of “sustainable agrifood systems”.
Sustainable Agrifood Systems’ project, an ASEAN – German cooperation to develop regionally coordinated policies and strategies for sustainable agrifood systems is one of the two modules under the ASEAN-German Programme on Response to Climate Change: Agriculture, Forestry and Related Sectors (GAP-CC) commissioned by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) from 2011 to 2017. Towards realization of ASEAN Community by 2015 and beyond and in the light of the planned ASEAN Economic Community (AEC), the Project also promotes sustainable cross-border value chains jointly with public decision-makers, agricultural enterprises as well as farmers’ and private associations. Furthermore, farmers are supported with the implementation of sustainable production technologies and practices.
The Project builds upon experiences gained during the first phase (ASEAN Biocontrol, 2011-2013) and broadens its scope by expanding the focus on biological control agents (BCA) to soil and nutrient management and farm economics. To ensure long-term food security in ASEAN, the Project supports the Member States to implement the ASEAN Integrated Food Security (AIFS) Framework and its Strategic Plan of Action on Food Security in the ASEAN Region (SPA-FS) at national level.
Three prioritised crop sectors will be implemented by ASEAN Member States, namely rice, fruits and vegetables. The topics where areas of intervention are applied include: Integrated Pest Management and Biological Control, Integrated Soil and Nutrient Management, and Farm Economics.
The Project is important for the Government authorities, private sector, farmers as well as consumers in ASEAN Member States (AMS). The activities of the project will be implemented both at the regional and national levels to meet its objectives. Considering the importance of the Project, the 5th Project Partner Meeting and related meetings are very important as it will discuss and agreed on project activities implementation during 2015-2017.
In addition, H.E. U Ohn Than, Deputy Minister, Ministry of Agriculture and Irrigation has launched and handed over of the translation of the ASEAN Integrated Food Security (AIFS) Framework and the ASEAN Guidelines on the Regulation, Use and Trade of Biological Control Agent (BCA) for further implementation by the ASEAN Member States at the national level.
The Khmer translation of the ASEAN policies was received by a Cambodian Delegation coming from the Department of Agricultural Legislation and General Directorate of Agriculture under the Ministriy of Agriculture, Forestry and Fishery.
The Project primarily works at a regional level and has established six offices in the ASEAN region (Cambodia, Indonesia Lao PDR, Myanmar, Thailand and Vietnam)
ASEAN Sustainable Agrifood Systems (SAS)
Project Office – Cambodia
#80c, North Bridge Street, Khan Sen Sok
Mr. Claudius Bredehöft, National Project Coordinator
Bio-agriculture Input Sector Pushes ‘Green Center’ Forward in Cambodia
Phnom Penh, Cambodia –Six private and social business companies leading the local market in providing inputs for agriculture and trainings in organic agriculture sent eleven of their representatives to join GIZ for a consulation this week. GIZ ASEAN Sustainable Agrifood Systems (Biocontrol) program hosted the consultation with local companies to discuss moving the concept of a ‘green center’ in Cambodia forward. The new center will aim to bring bio-agricultural companies under one roof, to provide their high quality inputs for a sustainable and environment friendly sound agriculture. Open to the public, the center plans to act as platform for training and dialog activities for national and international development partners, extension workers and farmers, and will provide seminars to consumers interested in learning about agriculture and urban gardening.
To push their vision forward, the participants of the workshop developed an action plan to map out the next steps for the center.
Companies that joined the consultations have the common aim to promote sustainable agriculture with little or no chemical (organic) use. These companies include Bayon Heritage Holding Group Co, Ltd., Angkor Green Investment and Development Co. Ltd., EX-M (Cambodia) Co. Ltd., iDE Cambodia, and Entrée Baitang Co. Ltd., which met at the Cambodian Center for Study and Development in Agriculture (CEDAC).
For more information on the development of Cambodia’s first ‘Green Center’ contact:
Mr. Claudius Bredehöft
National Project Coordinator Cambodia
ASEAN Sustainable Agrifood Systems (Biocontrol)
Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH
M +855 12 21 54 30
Organic Food Certification Gives Consumers Confidence to Go Organic
11 August 2014
Phnom Penh, Cambodia – Issues of food safety and nutrition have become a part of public discussions in many countries. Also in Cambodia, the number of people who are concerned about the quality of food and make an effort to consume safe and healthy foodstuff is continuously increasing. When in search of wholesome food, organic is the best option. However, many people rightfully ask, “How do we know that it is really organic? How can we trust claims that certain rice, fruits or vegetables were produced organically?” Commonly, certification of producers and processors is the means to enable consumers to trust products.
To gain consumer trust in organic products, the Cambodian Organic Agriculture Association (COrAA), with support from GIZ, is developing a certification system for the domestic market. To independently certify processes throughout the value chains for organic, chemical-free or other food production standards has been the founding mission of COrAA since 2006. However, it was only in 2010 that COrAA started to conduct inspections and to develop a certification system. Currently over 30 producers have obtained certification based either on the Standard for Organic Crop Production or the Standards for Chemical-free Crop Production.
On request, COrAA sends an independent inspector to inspect the farm, plantation, or food processing operations. Farmers are inspected individually, or in a group. Smallholders usually
join an organic producer association or a cooperative, which have set-up an Internal Control System to safeguard the integrity of the organic quality of their products.
All persons dealing with the products are identified, registered, instructed on the requirements for organic certification and contracted to ensure compliance. The activities of the persons involved are then monitored in a system of regular visits and documentary control. The inspectors of the group visit every field at least twice during the growing season and record their findings. COrAA’s inspectors check if the group can manage its control system. During the inspection they check different areas of the farms at random.
Farms and processors are inspected once a year, while organic vegetable producers are examined twice a year. However, certification bodies also have to conduct unscheduled inspections to assure that producers follow standards. During the audit, the inspector assesses the producer’s understanding of basic organic farming rules and tests for the possible contamination of organic fields with chemicals from adjacent fields. Then, the inspector will check the fields and all storage facilities, including the farmer’s house. The findings are summarized in the inspection report. Deviations or non-conformities and corrective measures will be pointed out. The COrAA-assigned inspector has to discuss the findings with the farmer or operator.
After this, the inspection report is submitted to the Certification Committee, which is composed of three people independent from COrAA. Based upon the review, the committee will decide if certification can be granted. COrAA can reject an application for certification if the respective standards were not met, or if they were violated.
Certification is expressed to the public by COrAA’s certification marks, also known as labels. These are marks of conformity, not to be confused with trademarks. A mark can only be used on products which come from farms that have been certified based on one of COrAA’s standards.
COrAA strives to further professionalize its certification system by upgrading the skills of the inspectors and the certification managers as well as by further defining the certification processes. In addition to cooperating with regional certification bodies that are members of the Certification Alliance (CertAll), COrAA is also working towards the recognition of its certification system by other ASEAN member countries. In the future, COrAA hopes to offer certification for international markets such as the EU at reasonable costs through CertAll members, which have obtained respective accreditation.
The Certification Alliance includes members from China, India, Nepal as well as several ASEAN countries. The aim is to improve exporting conditions for Cambodian organic products to reach buyers in the region.
COrAA is also preparing the certification for food products obtained through ‘wild collection’, such as honey. Commercial inputs for organic agriculture, such as organic fertilizers, are another area of concern. Furthermore, COrAA currently prepares guidelines for organic inputs to enable the certification of such products.
For more information, please contact Mr. Winfried Scheewe (email: firstname.lastname@example.org).
Nearly there – Final Land Policy Consultation a Success
20-21 May 2014
Sihanoukville, Cambodia – “The workshop was a clear success. Therefore, we can go ahead and finalize the draft of the White Paper on Land Policy in the next weeks in order to submit it for approval by the Council of Ministers in the third quarter of 2014,” said Cambodian Secretary of State Lim Voan.
Mr. Voan made this statement in his closing words of the final public consultation workshop on the White Paper on Land Policy in Sihanoukville, thanked all representatives of more than 15 ministries, and an impressive number of NGOs that contributed to workshop discussions.
An achievement for Cambodia, the ‘White Paper’ is internationally seen as the supreme policy on sustainable and just land use and land rights. Additionally, it outlines the government’s direction on land administration and management. In November 2014, the White Paper is planned to be presented by Senior Minister Im Chhun Lim.
At this recent workshop, more than 80 experts discussed the White Paper draft for two consecutive days. This draft is a result of five years of consultations and discussions among experts and policy makers. As in previous consultation workshops, GIZ provided flexible moderation, which gave enough time for discussion and group work. As a result, the participants involved themselves actively in the discussions during the full two days. Five years after the approval of the Declaration on Land Policy in 2009, Cambodia will finally have a comprehensive land policy.
Technical Advisor to the former Council of Land Policy and Land Expert Prof. Dr. Ing. Holger Magel – who provided guidance on the White Paper development during the entire process – underlined in his closing remarks that the White Paper process was itself a model of good governance, thanks to very transparent procedures and broad participation. Regarding the contents and quality of the White Paper, Magel expressed his satisfaction that, in his opinion, all relevant international standards in terms of land governance, and respective land tenure and other rights were intensively discussed and presented. It is expected that this comprehensive land policy will have a far reaching multiplier-effect throughout the country.
As a result, all government agencies, private-sector companies, and the public will receive information on land rights and their responsibilities. There is also no doubt that the White Paper is fundamental for the implementation of Cambodia’s upcoming sustainable development goals.
Trust and Control – Consumer Field Trip to where the food is grown
22 March 2014
Kampong Chhnang – Forty-one costumers of Natural Agri-Products shops (NAP), a social-business branch of the Center for Study and Development in Agriculture (CEDAC) in Phnom Penh, joined a one-day field trip to Kampong Chhnang province to see where their food is sourced. The field trip, including local media, visited organic vegetable produces in Thnoung Kambot village; Svay Chhroum commune and Thmor Reap village; Dok Kroung village; and Pong Ror commune of Rolea Baear District.
The visit is part of CEDAC’s Participatory Guarantee System (PGS) – a locally focused quality assurance system. The consumers certify producers based on active participation and foundation of trust, transparent relationships and dialogue as well as knowledge exchange.
Consumers learned the behind-the-scenes of organic farming and biological control approaches to agriculture. The Cooperation between CEDAC and the GIZ project ASEAN Sustainable Agrifood Systems (Biocontrol) supports farmers to strengthen their knowledge on irrigation techniques, organic fertilizer production, protection of useful insects (predators) and application of other useful Biocontrol Agents (BCA) like Trichoderma Harzianum.
The customers of the NAP shops in Phnom Penh enjoyed the trip out of the city and actively discussed organic agriculture, health and environmental issues with farmers and the advisors from CEDAC and GIZ.
The participants of this field visit are now 100% confident of product origin and quality of the organic vegetables available in eight NAP shops in Phnom Penh. They want to share their impressions with their friends and relatives as well.In addition to the consumer field trips, CEDAC and GIZ are introducing a new Documentation Handbook for farmers, which is based on IFOAM Standards – an internationally applicable organic standard that can be used directly for certification. The farmers have to document every input and activity for their production. The data is controlled and verified first by commune leader, then by the internal inspector, and finally by the ICS Supervisor in CEDAC Headquarters. Trust and Control are going hand in hand.Visit NAP on facebook: https://www.facebook.com/CEDACNAP
National Project Coordinator Cambodia
ASEAN Sustainable Agrifood Systems (Biocontrol)
Mobil: +855 12 21 54 30
Development Partnerships: Experience Exchange
6 December 2013
SIEM REAP – On 6 December 2013, a workshop on development partnerships was held in Siem Reap. The event was facilitated by GIZ programme for Regional Economic Development (RED) – Green Belt and organised in collaboration with Provincial Department of Agriculture (PDA) and the representative office of East West Seed International Ltd. (EWS).
The workshop brought together over 40 representatives from the public and private sectors as well as development agencies operating in Cambodia. Participants presented and discussed on-going development partnerships, i.e. collaboration agreements between agricultural input companies, on the one hand, and government or development agencies, on the other.
The event built on the experience of RED and its partners in the implementation of development partnerships in Siem Reap province since 2009. The Provincial Department of Agriculture (PDA) Siem Reap, EWS and the NGO Agricultural Development Denmark Asia (ADDA), among others, presented achievements and lessons learned from partnership initiatives that matured in the framework of RED. The representatives of Provincial Departments of Agriculture from Kampong Cham, Kampong Chnang and Kanda shared their perspectives as well.
Participants expressed agreement on the effectiveness of development partnerships as a tool to engage the private sector in the role of a know-how provider in agriculture. Similarly, private sector representatives shared the view that development partnerships can fit in their long-term commercial strategies.
Discussion unfolded on the challenges faced by public and private sector stakeholders and on ways forward. All participants stressed the difficulties involved in the identification of the “right” partner and advocated for a “brokering function” as RED has played in Siem Reap. Secondly, trust, transparency and clear communication procedures were identified as cornerstones of a successful partnership. Finally, participants debated on the contributions and functions that each partner should bear and expect. Lack of clarity on such matter is, in everyone’s opinion, a reason for failure.
- The need for a policy framework that enables and regulates development partnerships also led to discussion. On this matter, the representative of the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries (MAFF), Dr. Mak Soeun, emphasised that partnerships with the private sector are already endorsed by government policies, while guidelines for their design and implementation still need formulation.
In conclusion, partnerships with private sector were recognised to play a significant role to promote access to know-how and innovations in agriculture, and increasingly so, as the public sector progressively embraces regulation, facilitation and coordination functions. However, challenges still lay ahead and further experience exchange will be required to establish guidelines and models that will orient development partnerships in the future.
5th International Summer School in Phnom Penh – Crowned by success!
6 November 2013
The end of the two-day International Summer School in Phnom Penh welcomed many satisfied faces, and all voiced positive feedback.
The Summer School took place from 5-6 November 2013. It is organized every year by the Ministry of Land Management, Urban Planning and Construction, the Royal University of Agriculture – Faculty of Land Management and the Technical University Munich; supported by GIZ Land Rights Programme.
This year’s Summer School was chaired by H.E. Im Chhun Lim, Senior Minister of Land Management, Urban Planning and Construction. It focused on the topic, “Strategic Spatial Planning: Responding to Territorial Development Challenges in Rural Areas”. About 22 high quality speeches and presentations of national and international experts from Lao PDR, the Philippines, the Socialist Republic of Vietnam and Germany provided a strong foundation for further discussions with panelists and the audience.
Discussions touched upon some of the most important topics for developing and emerging countries: How to mitigate the rural-urban migration? How to avoid the rural exodus? How to strengthen rural areas in terms of social and physical needs of the population? How to create jobs in rural areas and transform dormant rural towns to lively rural centers? And, what role does comprehensive spatial planning play to respond to these various challenges mentioned above?
In order to respond to these challenges, participatory planning activities are of utmost importance. However, coordination, cooperation and communication among all stakeholders are necessary preconditions. The role of all stakeholders must be clarified and they should actively take part and contribute to the common objective. In his summary, Prof. EoE Holger Magel remarked, “It’s all about People and Land!”
The Summer School was attended by more than 150 persons from national and sub- national government institutions, international experts, NGOs, students and representatives of the private sector.
Informing Governmental Consultations on Land Sector Support
Mondulkiri/Kampong Cham, Cambodia - In preparation for the governmental consultations on October 17, the continued German support to the Land Administration, Management and Distribution Program (LAMDP) was the occasion for an informative joint field visit to Mondulkiri and Kampong Cham provinces. The international delegation comprised the Desk Officer for Cambodia of the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ), Ms. Stefanie Ruff, alongside several participants from the German Embassy, the Embassy of Finland, European Union (EU), KfW Development Bank, GIZ Cambodia, FINNMAP, ILO and representatives of local NGOs. The field visit was organized by the Ministry for Land Management, Urban Planning and Construction (MLMUPC), Provincial Authorities from Mondulkiri and Kampong Cham together with Provincial Land Department of Mondulkiri and Kampong Cham and the GIZ Land Rights Program.
While also introducing into the work of the provincial cadastral offices on systematic land registration, the focus of the first half of the field visit was the support to indigenous people’s (IP) communities land registration in Mondulkiri province. The delegation visited the IP communities in Sre Khtom and Oo’Rona and learned about their experiences and involvement with the process of land registration, which had led to the issuance of collective titles for these communities.
A visit to two indigenous Bou Sra communities highlighted as well the difficulties of IP land registration to the delegation. The IP of the villages in Lmes and Poulu articulated their concern with multiple conflicts pertaining to their land boundaries, while not having received a collective title yet. It became very clear that resolution of conflicts during IP communities land registration is a complicated and lengthy process that needs further support.
The second half of the 3-day field visit, focused on reviewing the situation of land recipients on social land concessions in Kampong Cham province. While still poor, the land recipients showed to the delegation members in which manifold ways they were able to improve their livelihoods. As a side event, a pre-cut of a short film about a photo-documentation by famous war photographer Tim Page was screened in the community hall. The film stars several of the villagers, which squeezed into the community hall, next to the delegation team, to watch themselves and their fellow villagers on the screen.
The topics and lessons learned from the field visit were picked-up again during the governmental consultations and contributed by informing on agreed proposals, e.g. on the further strengthening of the support to IP communities land registration and post-project support to the German-supported land recipients.
For more photos, please visit: http://on.fb.me/1gtIrlM
Organic Farmer Assembly Marks Progress, Plans for Future
19-20 September 2013
Phnom Penh—As organic rice production continues to expand in Cambodia, the Cambodian Center for Study and Development in Agriculture(CEDAC) and GIZ are working to ensure that farmers are properly supported to reap the benefits of organic agriculture. To this end, the Second General Assembly of the National Organic Rice Producer Confederation in Cambodia was held on September 19-20, 2013 at CEDAC’s head office in Phnom Penh. Over 50 rice farming community representatives participated in the meeting. Mr. Keam Makarady, CEDAC Director of Health and Environment and Mr. Claudius Bredehoeft, National Project Coordinator for GIZ ASEAN Biocontrol (ABC) for Sustainable Agrifood Systems facilitated the meeting.
Dr. Ludgera Klemp, Counsellor and Head of Cooperation at the German Embassy delivered the Opening Remarks in Khmer. She spoke about the German government’s long support for CEDAC, saying “it’s a pleasure to look back on the established cooperation with CEDAC since 2003 and the progress made through technical support for organic agriculture and market development for farmers since then.”
The assembly’s primary objective was to generate the 2013-2014 organic rice production plan. But according to Mr. Bredehoeft: “This meeting is also about sharing knowledge about the situation in the fields, in the market, and this year’s rice production.” In addition to reviewing the numbers of organic farmers, respective yields and the Fair Trade premium available to certified groups, participants were encouraged to discuss their successes and challenges. “It is very important that we learn from each other,” Mr. Bredehoeft stressed.
Other presenters included CEDAC President, Dr. Yang Saing Koma and Mr. Sou Savorn, CEDAC Sahakreas Operations Manager. Dr. Koma gave an overview of the essential System of Rice Intensification practices as well as the Fair Trade and organic certification processes, explaining how the farmers can benefit from this linked system.
Author: Mr. Alexander Davis
Ministry of Planning conducts forum to promote IDPoor Database
Phnom Penh, Cambodia On June 6, the Cambodia’s Ministry of Planning, with support from GIZ and the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP), conducted a consultative forum on the use of the different information sources and data products offered by the Identification of Poor Households (IDPoor) Programme. Excellency Tuon Thavrak, Under-Secretary of State, Ministry of Planning opened the forum, underlining the importance of the IDPoor data, which is used by a growing number of organizations and poverty-reduction programmes as a tool for efficient poverty targeting.
The forum aimed to collect feedback from a group of key stakeholders including Government agencies, bi- and multi-lateral donor organizations, as well as non-governmental organisations, on the usability of different existing formats (website, data DVD, IDPoor Atlas) of IDPoor and how they could be further improved. Participants also had the chance to provide feedback on potential data products linked to an online database, which GIZ supports the Ministry of Planning develop. Last but not least, participants had the opportunity to inform the Ministry of Planning what additional types of data, reports and formats they would like to have and need for their work. Ideas included services to poor households, and support to plan their programmes, monitor progress or prepare reports.
Most participants agreed that the IDPoor data is very useful for their work and appreciates that the Ministry of Planning provides access to this information. However, some organisations – specifically smaller organisations at subnational level – still face difficulties finding the most up-to-date information, as well as extracting and analyzing the data that they need for their work. Therefore, participants welcomed the idea of making more information available online in the future and the Ministry of Planning’s efforts to include new, more user-friendly features.
The feedback and recommendations received during the Consultative Forum complement the feedback received from a larger group of organizations from an online survey designed by GIZ and disseminated by Ministry of Planning in May. The feedback from the Forum and the online survey will be used to make IDPoor information and data formats easier to use and better fitted to the different users’ needs. This will help promote the utilisation of IDPoor data as the primary basis for identifying poor beneficiaries and targeting development programmes to the households and areas that are most in need of support.
The “Support to the Identification of Poor Household’s Programme” implemented by GIZ is funded by German Development Cooperation and Australian Aid.
For further information on the IDPoor Programme please visit: http://www.mop.gov.kh/Projects/IDPoor/tabid/154/Default.aspx
Rising Demand Boosts Organic Rice Industry
Phnom Penh, Cambodia Production of Cambodian organic rice is rising rapidly as international demand for the product increases, experts said at a forum for growers and other industry members held Tuesday at the Phnom Penh headquarters of agricultural NGO Cedac.
“In the first six months of this year we’ve exported about 200 tons of organic rice, which is about double last year’s figure,” said Cedac president Yang Saing Koma, adding that farmers aren’t producing enough to meet demand. “We hope that by next year, we’ll be exporting 1,500 tons annually.”
Although there are about 100,000 farmers who produce organic rice in Cambodia, only about 200 meet international standards, Mr. Saing Koma said.
He said Cedac hopes the number of certified organic farmers will rise to 700 by next year, but certification is a strict, three-year-long process, and farmers who are certified are subject to annual inspections thereafter.
Claudius Bredehoeft, national project coordinator for the regional program ASEAN Biocontrol for sustainable Agrifood Systems of GIZ, the international development arm of the German government, said at the forum that Cambodian farmers are well-positioned to carve out a niche in the rice market. GIZ together with CEDAC is building up the organic rice value chain for the national and international market since 2003. The organic production is preserving the soil fertility on the one hand and supports the farmer to save the costs for chemical inputs on the other. Through the organic and fair-trade certification and market driven approach the farmers are increasing their income as well.
“Since Thailand has introduced minimum rice prices, and Cambodia can export tax-free to the E.U., it has advantages Thailand and Vietnam do not,” he said. “With the fair trade and organic price premium, there are good market incentives to [continue to grow the rice industry].”
Heum Sothea, a farmer from Kompong Chhnang province and forum participant, said that growing organic rice had improved living conditions for her family.
“When I grew conventional rice, I spent a lot of money on fertilizer and chemicals, and cultivated only 1 to 2 tons per hectare. I sometimes had to sell pigs to pay my debts,” she said.
“But now that I grow organic, I harvest about 3 tons per hectare and sell at higher prices. I can use the profit to send my children to school and buy them plots of their own.”
By: Mech Dara and David Kaner
Copyright by The Cambodia Daily
Handicraft Association Supports Business Development of Local Producers
Siem Reap, Cambodia – GIZ’s Regional Economic Development (RED) Green Belt Programme supports private and public sector partners in Siem Reap to strengthen the handicraft sector and improve the competitiveness of handicraft producers, particularly in rural areas.
In Siem Reap, handicraft production significantly contributes to the economic development of rural areas due to a winning combination of tourist volume and natural fiber processing industries. Today, handicraft production is one of the most important non-agricultural income opportunities in rural areas, particularly for low income and landless households.
However, most local producers face serious difficulties making full-use of their product’s potentials. Often, they struggle to enter national and international markets. The existence of basic business development services, an important precondition for improving the competitiveness of handicraft producers, is currently underdeveloped.
Angkor Handicraft Association provides essential institutional framework for handicraft entrepreneurs
Siem Reap, Cambodia - In 2011, GIZ-RED Programme, in cooperation with the Siem Reap Provincial Department of Commerce, supported handicraft enterprises establish the Angkor Handicraft Association (AHA). Today, the non-profit business association represents the Siem Reap handicraft sector in private-public forums, such as Small and Medium Enterprise Private Sector Working Group meetings in Phnom Penh, that aim to improve the business climate in the handicraft sector.
AHA also offers important business development services to its members and implements various initiatives that strengthen the competitiveness of local handicraft producers. Meanwhile, AHA has grown from 15 founding members to its present 42 members.
GIZ-RED, and its programme partners, provide advice to AHA during the planning and implementation of AHA initiatives and assist with management and steering capacities of the association through trainings and seminars.
“Seal of Authenticity” promotes locally produced handicrafts
Siem Reap, Cambodia - Each year tourists visiting the Angkor Wat temples in Siem Reap spend around USD100 million on souvenirs. Most tourists prefer locally produced handicraft products. Often, tourists are unable to distinguish local souvenir products from imported items. In order to make better use of the long-standing and untapped high demand for locally produced souvenir products AHA has introduced the “Seal of Authenticity.
The Seal guarantees that artisans from Siem Reap Province made the product. At present, 32 handicraft companies are using the Seal of Authenticity.
Design Competition” fosters the development of authentic souvenirs in Siem Reap
Siem Reap, Cambodia - In 2012, AHA and its supporting partners, held the “1st Siem Reap Souvenir Design Competition”. The objective of the design competition is to facilitate links between university-level Cambodian design students and the handicraft sector. These links support the strengthening of product and design development. More than 100 participants developed souvenir designs in 5 different categories.
As 2012’s competition was a success, AHA is currently preparing for this year’s.
Providing market access for local handicraft producers – The Siem Reap Handicraft Trade Center and the AHA Souvenir Market
Siem Reap, Cambodia - The recently opened Siem Reap Handicraft Trade Centre displays locally produced handicraft products from all handicraft sub-sectors in the area. The handicraft trade centre facilitates commercial connections between national and international traders and Siem Reap handicraft producers.
In addition to supporting the Siem Reap Handicraft Trade Centre, Angkor Handicraft Association (AHA) also provides trade related advice and services to Siem Reap handicraft enterprises and its national and international customers.
In 2012, AHA and its members jointly established the AHA Souvenir Market - the first and only Souvenir Market in Cambodia that displays only locally produced handicraft products. The market provides an additional trade platform for local handicraft producers, particularly for producers from rural areas who have limited access to customers.
Cambodian Organic Agricultural Association displays organic products at Cam-Inter Fair, 29-31 March 2013
Phnom Penh, Cambodia - GIZ partner COrAA (Cambodian Organic Agricultural Association) presented their diverse organic produce lines at the recent Cam-Inter Fair from 29-31 March 2013. The fair took place at Diamond Island (Koh Pich).
Several members of COrAA displayed certified foodstuffs such as rice, vegetables, fruits and pepper. Also on display were wild grape wine, textiles made from organic cotton as well as nutritional supplements prepared from Moringa. COrAA certifies organic products based on its Standards for Organic Crop Production and the Standards for Chemical-Free Crop Production.
For more information see www.coraa.org
The association is assisted by GIZ technical adviser Winfried Scheewe (second from right).
GIZ’s indigenous community land registration initiative ranks as largest effort to secure indigenous land rights in Cambodia
19 March 2013
Preparing 95 indigenous communities for collective land registration
Phnom Penh, Cambodia – In December 2012, GIZ’s Land Rights Programme signed an agreement to work with the International Labour Organization to help 90 indigenous communities in Cambodia take steps to prepare for the registration of their collective lands.
Following this, in January 2013 GIZ cooperation led to an additional five indigenous communities preparing for land registration. Altogether, this is the largest single effort any government or organization has ever made to assist indigenous communities in Cambodia secure their land rights. In 2001, a Land Law outlined indigenous communities’ land rights, and in 2009, a sub-decree on registering indigenous lands was issued. GIZ’s work builds on these legal documents.
First 5 indigenous communities register land – over 400 to follow
Cambodia has approximately 450 indigenous communities. Currently, the land of only five of these communities has been registered: three were registered with GIZ’s support, two with Canadian support
However, GIZ anticipates that through Canadian support three more communities will achieve registration by May 2013. The registration includes land that the indigenous peoples use for farming, residence, and for cultural purposes such as burial areas and spirit forests.
These eight communities are taking major steps in history, as they are the first to have ever applied for land registration. Others have taken various official steps that precede filing for land registration applications, which include receiving acknowledgement as an indigenous community by the Ministry of Rural Development and obtaining legal status recognition by Ministry of Interior. Legal status enables indigenous communities to hold land titles.
GIZ aims to help as many indigenous communities with land title applications as possible
A key objective of GIZ’s Land Rights Programme’s work is to help as many as possible with the land title application filing process.
Under a 2011 joint circular of the Ministries of Interior and of Land Management, Urban Planning and Construction the filing of these applications triggers provincial governors issuing interim protection letters for the lands specified in the applications. Once issued, these letters prohibit private transactions, but do not affect pre-issued concessions.
As stated in the circular, the letters do not apply to “those plots that the Royal Government has agreed in principle for investment or development – prior to these measures coming into effect.”
The concession exclusion poses serious limitations to issued letters’ effectiveness. Nevertheless, the letters are the only legal protection that currently exists until the community’s land registration process is complete.
For more information on GIZ’s Land Rights Programme, please contact: Mr. Poch Sophorn, Senior Advisor on Land Policy, Land Rights Program at email@example.com.
Documentary raises consumer awareness on food safety
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
GIZ supported organic fair-trade certified rice sets quality standards for a product in high-demand
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
Tel: +855 12 215 430
Public-Private Collaboration transforms small-holder agriculture in Siem Reap province
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 farmers
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.