The 5th National Farmers’ Forum on “Together to Empower Smallholder Farmers towards Market Oriented Interventions and Climate Resilience in Agriculture” Phnom Penh, 24-25 November 2014 Koh Pich Trade Centre, Phnom PenhNews detail:
The United Nations Organization has adopted 2014 as the Internaitonal Day of Family Farming. Family farming production or smallholder farmers can increase productivity; create employment; increase income, food supply, balance of food price rise; and improve food security. Household agricultural production has contributed to over 60% of food product worldwide. Eighty percent of farmland is cultivated by 1,300 million smallholder farmers. Gross Domestic Products (GDP) from agriculture are at least two times over GDP gained from other sources, and are effective in poverty reduction.
For Cambodia, where agriculture are still characterized by households, economic integration into the global and regional economy is seen as part of the national strategy for development and reconstruction. Empowerment of smallholder farmers is part of the most effective strategy contributing to economic growth and poverty reduction. However, farmers’ initiatives and support for famers, especially, smallhoder ones in investment in agriculture are still limited. In 2012, 375 agriculture cooperatives were established across the country with coordination by the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry, and Fisheries. Those agriculture cooperatives have actively taken part in numerous business activities, such as agricultural production, supply of agricultural inputs, and purchase of agricultural products, markets, and credit service for agricultural production chains.
Many problems facing farmers, especially smallholder ones, in agriculture, include markets and effectiveness of prices of agricultural products, farmers’ knowledge and technology in production, especially the capacity to process agricultural products, agriculture-related infrastructure, irrigation networks, capital, and access to commercial credit for investment in agriculture, policies, procedures, and imports of agricultural products from neighboring countries and countries in the region, both male and female farmers’ decision making in agricultural production, land encroachment, access to use and management of farmland, and Cambodia’s joining the ASEAN community in 2015. Further, impacts of climate change, resilience and adaptation to climate change in agricultural production have been seen to adversely affect food production and food safety. To address these challenges requires participation by all stakeholders, including the Royal Government, civil society organizations, the private sector, and in particular, famers themselves.
In response to the challenges, the Royal Government in the fifth legislative term has adopted the National Strategic Development Plan 2014-2018 (NSDP 2014-2018), in which, the Royal Government pledges its extra efforts to maintain the agricultural growth at 5% per annum through expansion of productivity, diversity and commercialization, further promotion of implementation of the 2015 policy on rice export enhancement, comprehensive implementation of the Cambodia Climate Change Strategic Plan (CCCSP 2014-2023), the Fourth Neary Rattanak Strategic Plan focusing on empowerment of women, continued improvement of water resource management, repairs and maintenance of irrigation infrastructure, in particular, the Strategic Framework for Food Security and Nutrition 2014-2018.
Since 2010, a National Farmers’ Forum has been organized every year to seek strategies to address issues facing farmers. In particular, this Forum gives opportunities for farmers, CSOs, the private sector, and the Royal Government to meet, discuss and seek strategies to address the problems resulting from climate change on food security. The 4th National Farmers’ Forum on “Together to Improve Farmers’ Food Security and Adaptation to Climate Change” created a joint action plan, which needs to be followed up and is a mechanism for agencies and stakeholders to review implementation of work in response to the issues raised in the Forum.
For 2014, the National Farmers’ Forum has adopted the theme: “Together to Empower Smallholder Farmers towards Market Oriented Interventions and Climate Resilience in Agriculture”.
- To refelct on and share the outcomes achieved by the Royal Government, civil society, farmers, and the private sector as raised in the 4th National Farmers’ Forum;
- To enhance farmers’ participation through sharing of local creative ideas, experiences, and challenges;
- To discuss the implementation of the Food Security and Nutrition Strategic Plan (2014-2018) and policies, in particular, those on agricultural product markets to imporve empowerment of smallhoder farmers.
- To strengthen collaboration and good relations between CSOs, farmers, the private sector and the Roya Governemnt at both national and sub-national levels through development of a joint action plan.
3. Expected Results
- All participants have reflected and shaed the outcomes achieved by the Royal Government, civil society, farmers, and the private sector as raised in the 4th National Farmers’ Forum;
- Farmers’ participation has been enhanced through sharing of local creative ideas, experiences, and challenges;
- Implementation of the Food Security and Nutrition Strategic Plan (2014-2018) and policies, in particular, those on agricultural product markets to imporve empowerment of smallhoder farmers has been raised for discussions in the 5th National Farmers’ Forum.
- A plan of actions between farmers, CSOs, the private sector and the Royal Government has been developed with a clear clear framework and joint monitoring.
4. Methodology and Proceedings
4.1 Date and Venue
§ This Forum will be organized on 24-25 November 2014 at the Koh Pich Center, Phnom Penh.
§ The total number of participants is 550 (45% are women)
§ Participants: farmers’ representatives from the 25 Capital / provinces, national and international CSOs, donors, development partners, the private sector, ambassadors, students and professors, academia, monks
§ Media corps, representatives of the Royal Government from relevant ministries and provincial departments of the 25 capital / provinces.
§ Key speakers include: farmers’ representatives, national and international CSOs, researchers, and the private sector;
§ Key speakers representing the Royal Government include: the Council for Agricultural and Rural Development (CARD); the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry, and Fisheries; the Ministry of Water Resources and Meteorology; the Ministry of Information; the Ministry of Environment; the Ministry of Rural Development; the Ministry of Economy and Finance; the Ministry of Women’s Affairs, and the Ministry of Commerce or the Chamber of Commerce.
4.4 Organization Process
4.4.1 Pre-Forum Preparation
A) Joint monitoring visits by inter-agencies and stakeholders based on a joint action plan: joint monitoring is to review activities that have been implemented by CSOs, farmers, government agencies, and the private sector in response to the suggestions and issues raised in the 4th National Farmers’ Forum and to better understand activities actually implemented and challenges at local levels.
B) Meeting with farmers’ representatives (25 Capital / provinces): this workshop is organized in order to present the results of inter-agencies and stakeholders’ joint monitoring of key activities that have been implemented by farmers, CSOs, the private sector and government agencies; remaining activities or challenges found based on the action plan of the 4th National Farmers’ Forum in order to make recommendations or suggestions and to discuss a follow-up plan of actions.
C) Meeting with representatives of CSOs and development partners: the main objective of the meeting is to present the results of inter-agencies and stakeholder’s monitoring of key activities that have been implemented, remaining activities, and challenges found and to reflect the suggestions or recommendations from the 4th National Farmers’ Forum and to discuss a plan of priority actions that CSOs and development partners will follow up.
D) Meeting with representatives of relevant ministries and the private sector: this meeting will be chaired by the Council for Agricultural and Rural Development (CARD). The main objective of the meeting is: presentation of the results of inter-agencies and stakeholder’s monitoring of key activities that have been implemented, remaining activities, and challenges found and to reflect the suggestions or recommendations from the 4th National Farmers’ Forum and to present the plan of priority actions that relevant ministries and the private sector have developed under a follow-up plan of actions. This meeting will be jointly conducted for one day prior to the National Farmers’ Forum and will be divided into groups as described above.
 Smallholder and family farming in figures-AVSF
 Impact of Private investment in food and agriculture sectors, Berlin agriculture, Minister’s Submit 2013
 NSDP 2014-2018: MAJOR ACHIEVEMENTS AND CHALLENGES IN THE IMPLEMENTATION OF NSDP UPDATE 2009-2013/ ENHANCEMENT OF AGRICULTURAL SECTOR/ RICE PRODUCTION
 NSDP 2014-2018: Key Priorities Policies and Actions 2014-2018
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