Rural women from LWD’s target areas become Woman Farmer Champions in Agriculture
Phnom Penh (March 09, 2016) – Four rural women farmers who actively participated in rural community development work, especially in agriculture sector under LWD’s Cooperation for Women’s Economic Development Project (CWED) today were voted “Woman Farmer Champions in Agriculture” at the 6th National Farmer Forum, held in Phnom Penh.
The forum, which was co-organized by NGO Forum on Cambodia, LWD and 13 other development partners, selected 48 women, including four rural women who were empowered by LWD, as “Woman Farmer Champions in Agriculture”. Those women were selected out of 100 female candidates from 24 provinces across the country.
“Woman Farmer Champions in Agriculture” is a title given by the Ministry of Agriculture to women who are strongly dedicated and committed to helping develop their communities, especially in agriculture sector.
One of the four women, Ms. Sun Sreypaov, from Svay commune of Sameakki Meanchey district in Kampong Chhnang province, said that she was very excited to get the title. “I’ve never thought that I have a success today,” she said.
Ms. Sreypaov became a Manager for Agriculture Cooperative (AC) in her commune since 2013. With the support from LWD, she and her AC management team members received several trainings such as (i) management and leadership skill; (ii) small business management; (iii) bookkeeping, small business planning and marketing; (iv) value chain; (v) integrated farming techniques, and so on.
With substantial experience and self-confidence, Ms. Sreypaov decided to apply for the title. “With the support from LWD, my husband, my community, and the local authority, I can make it today,” she said, adding that two things that she had to do first when she returned to her community was (i) to encourage farmers in her commune to grow more vegetables and raise more poultries, and help them get access to market; and (ii) to mobilize the community to build the irrigation system.
To become a Woman Farmer Champion in Agriculture, each candidate must meet a complete set of 17 strict criteria, i.e, (i) strongly dedicated to developing the community; (ii) having the gut to solve women’s issues, speaking out the issues, and advocating for support from related agencies; (iii) having high responsibility; (iv) having competencies and experience in community development work and agriculture activity; (v) having initiatives and creativity; (vi) having long-term vision; (vii) having leadership skill; and so on.
The Forum, which attracted 320 farmers from all provinces across the country to attend, also discussed three main challenges that farmers are currently facing in their farming business. They included (i) lack of water for farming; (ii) lack of capital investment; and (iii) lack of access to market.